After a disappointing season, the Padres put their hopes on next season’s new manager
Speaker 1: (00:00)
The San Diego Padres came out of one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory by hiring Bob, Melvin as the team’s new manager, while Melvin is one of baseball’s most respected managers, only time will tell us if his hiring will make a difference next season for the besieged Padres. San Diego sports writer Jay Paris Jay joins me now with more information, welcome to the program.
Speaker 2: (00:24)
Thanks for inviting me, it was good to join you.
Speaker 1: (00:26)
What was the first reaction to hiring Bob. Melvin, are people excited about this?
Speaker 2: (00:31)
I’m excited, thrilled, stunned, I think that would be an appropriate term. Bob Melvin had already agreed to an extension for the 2022 season with Oakland Track and Field. And going through the long list of candidates to replace Jason Fiddler, who was fired after the season, Bob Melvin’s name wasn’t on anyone’s list because he had a job. He had a contract, but with the people of Oakland and their situation, then maybe moving and the franchise really changing, Mr. [inaudible] The general manager of the Padres asked for permission to speak to Mr. Melvin, age, granted it, and look, you hear the Potteries have their 22nd manager in franchise history.
Speaker 1: (01:09)
Have there been a lot of responses from players or people within the organization to this?
Speaker 2: (01:13)
Yeah, I think the wheels might be a good term. I mean, for once they’re not bringing in a manager who needs practice wheels, uh, the last two gentlemen, Andy Green, Jace Tingler. I mean, they had never been a big league manager and Bob Melvin certainly was he’s three times manager of the year, only, uh, eight people won him three times like him, he has won over 1300 games as a manager. He was a 10-year-old as a receiver. I mean, when he walks into a room you sit a little straighter, you know what I mean? He has that instant credibility. He has that presence. He’s been there, done that, what all of these players have experience and, uh, in the big leagues he thinks he’s one of the best communicators. And one of the most respected managers in the game.
Speaker 1: (01:57)
I know some people, for example, who wanted to see Ron Washington of the Braves considered who else was, was watched
Speaker 2: (02:02)
Why she was a finalist and the last round, of course, everyone’s hearts are torn, pattering on Bruce bocce. You know he got the first call no matter what anybody says. You know, he won three titles with the San Francisco Giants, but of course, uh, his heyday was with the Padres. He’s still one of the most iconic, er, of, the Padres’ past. And, uh, maybe they were hoping for presence. So, you know, Ron Washington, uh, uh, there was other talk about bocce and, uh, even locally about how awesome Brad was with Del Mar who, who handled tigers and angels, than his name. was certainly there. Mike Sotia I think what, what was interesting about this research is that, you know, one side of baseball today is the analytical side. And on the other side is old school baseball. If you will, the game, the way it was played, what makes Mr. Melvin such a good candidate he’s almost a hybrid, he brings with him those old school ways, uh, if you will. But when someone suggests the data suggests analysis, what baseball is now, he doesn’t go, you know, the other way around like a 60 year old man screaming at not knowing what is. a PDF file or something like that. So he’s capable of being an old school guy, but he’s definitely receptive to data-driven analysis, which the game came up with today is
Speaker 1: (03:13)
This new manager expected to be a good candidate for the Padres.
Speaker 2: (03:16)
Baseball has changed. And just to put that hiring in context, you know, old school baseball, yet you had nine different hitters and you move the ball around, you try to chain, a few hits and the score short these days. The pitchers are so good at throwing impenetrable throws that everyone is really trying to hit a home run. And, uh, that’s just the way the game is today. Now, the mix of analytics, which the AGA trailer is certainly a big fan of with what Mr. Melvin has and can do, is exciting. I think again, is to point out that he’s done a lot of this recently over the past 10 years with Oakland Track and Field, Oakland still has one of the lowest payrolls in the league. He has managed to advance to the playoffs three of the past four years and has become the windiest manager in Oakland history.
Speaker 2: (04:01)
So he did it on a small budget. So now he’s going to have a bigger budget with the Padres, a projected payroll of $ 180 million. Next year he’s got the data and the stars and Manny Machado, Fernando’s tests, is a junior, uh, you know, there are five stars on that team. So they think they’ve really hit a home run to sum it up. They think they stole one of the greatest managers in the game today from the rest of the teams and had to do it without anyone knowing just adding to Mr. Melvin’s intrigue, coming to town.
Speaker 1: (04:28)
You touched on this, but talk a little more about Melvin’s track record of success with previous organizations when it comes to winning championships.
Speaker 2: (04:36)
Uh, you know, he was a bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks from the time they won it all in 2001, he was manager for time and back. He was manager of the Mariners. He was an Oakland manager. A has spent 18 seasons making tough decisions. And before that again, we mentioned his playing career, which, uh, when you hit 2, 30, 3, and 35 career home runs it didn’t quite turn out the way he thought it would, but I think it did. ‘he knows what the players are going through, and he’s not a crier. He’s not a screaming guy, he’s a communicator. And he does it in a way that she empathizes with a player, who’s going through tough times, you know, every player is going through a tough time. You know baseball is built around failure. Only Glen went out seven out of ten times and we built a statue for him. It shows you how difficult the game is. So I think when you have a manager who can empathize with those, uh, you know, those during those puddles on the way to greatness, you know, it’s going to be tough. It’s Palm, Melvin. He knows what his players think and he’s proven himself. And again, it’s almost like writing about the Pope. You can’t find anyone to say bad things about him. And it’s Bob, Melvin,
Speaker 1: (05:40)
As you mentioned earlier, Melvin’s hiring comes after the Padres parted ways with their former manager JS Tingler. What do the experts think Melvin will bring to the table? Uh, that his predecessor didn’t,
Speaker 2: (05:52)
Um, again, we come back to the training wheels, you know nobody has to point Bob Melvin in the right direction. No one has to tell him what to do next. I think the comfort of being your own man, uh, the comfort of knowing you’ve already done it with respect, the other players have relied on that. Now, now when Mr. Tingler Mr. Green, you know, too good a baseball player, but when they walked into the room, they were still proving themselves. You know, you look at their sleeves, there weren’t any stripes yet. You know, they were still earning their stripes during their work, as manager of the Padres, Mr. Melvin comes in, he has those stripes, he has these big wins. Him, and maybe more importantly, knows how to react to losses, you know, react. When a team goes into freefall, look at this second half of the year, last year was a disaster during the all-star break.
Speaker 2: (06:38)
The Padres had 15 out of 500 games and appeared to be a lockdown for second place in the national wildcard playoffs. And it was a full faceplant in the second half, once they started losing there was no one or nobody who could pull a rip rope, if you will. And, and, and try to soften the landing and maybe with a more experienced guy like Mr. Melvin, he would know what buttons to press. Look, no one knows how it’s going to turn out, which is the beauty of baseball. But that being said, the Padres feel extremely lucky to have Bob Melvin, as their manager,
Speaker 1: (07:12)
The Padres have made a number of roster changes in recent years to put the team in the running and again this year they haven’t hit their targets, or what kind of a difference another manager will make with a team that already has so much talent?
Speaker 2: (07:26)
I think a different voice. And again we come back to credibility, uh, maybe if someone hasn’t proven themselves and their message could be exactly the same as someone with a proven track record, but when you hear it from someone who, who hasn’t been there, is doing this etiquette, maybe you take that advice or you take that, uh, their statements with a little trepidation. You know, Bob, Melvin said something, you know he did it when Bob Melvin said something, uh, he can back it up. So, so I think it’s just more of the, uh, not so much of the message. I mean the message is really the same, you know play hard, have fun, win games, but that’s the messenger. And, and that way, it would be like a substitute teacher telling you to do your homework or, uh, a regular faculty member. Who is then the teacher of the year, a few times. I mean, if you’re a student you react differently. If you are a baseball player, you also react differently.
Speaker 1: (08:22)
I spoke with San Diego sports writer Jay Paris, Jay, thank you very much for joining us.
Speaker 2: (08:27)
OK. Always fun to be with you and have a good evening.