San Diego Padres: Only experienced managers need apply

Oct 31, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler (right) is introduced as general manager A.J. Preller looks on at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2019; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler (right) is introduced as general manager A.J. Preller looks on at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

The rumors of his demise came true shortly after the conclusion of the 2021 season. The San Diego Padres relieved Jayce Tingler of his duties as team manager after a very disappointing campaign.

Oh sure, Tingler received the “standard praise” for his work from the Padres in the press release to announce his firing. Sadly, team general manager A.J. Preller could not offer any reasons why one of his closest confidantes in baseball lost his job.

But the Friar Faithful will tell you Tingler lacked the managerial experience to keep his club accountable for their miscues in games. Plus, he could have been more proactive at getting everyone in the locker room on the same page during the team’s struggles.

A.J. Preller will choose the next Padres manager

The move came as no surprise and the first of several expected changes in the offseason. The Padres could not stay above .500 with the wave of injuries that came their way. The Friars took a nosedive in the standings following the All-Star break. The starting lineup was inconsistent all season long and an overtaxed pitching staff crumbled in the dog days of August.

However, Preller is not endangered of losing his job. In a recent interview (subscription required) with The Athletic baseball writer Dennis Lin, Padres Chairman Peter Seidler gave him a strong endorsement of his role in the organization. This should not come as a big surprise since Preller’s contract runs through the 2026 season.

Seidler added that Preller alone would decide who will become the organization’s next manager. He did emphasize the value of major league managerial experience as a key but not a priority when selecting the right person for the job.

This will be Preller’s fifth hire as a Padres executive. He inherited Bud Black, then hired Pat Murphy as interim manager for the remainder of the 2015 season. Preller’s next two hires (Andy Green and Tingler) were young, inexperienced and failed to produce in times of crisis. It didn’t help that neither manager was given help by Preller to thrive or much less survive in a floundering situation. And the dismissal of Tingler is another indicator of why the Padres must get this hire right.

Experience is not only a virtue but a necessity for Padres

Now the other shoe has to fall. It is time for the Padres to hire a manager who has a sizeable resume of major league managerial experience. A name that is well-liked and synonymous with winning. The next Padres manager must be recognized as a strong strategic manager. But the hire must have some baseball life ahead of him.

You will recognize the names associated with the Padres job. The top candidates include Bruce Bochy, Ron Washington and Buck Showalter. All are no-nonsense managers who expect results on the field. Each has a reputation of getting their teams to play better than original expectations.

Next. Washington wants to be next Padres manager. dark

Bochy, Washington and Showalter all viable managerial candidates for Padres

Bochy has recharged his battery and appears ready to take his position in the dugout once again. No question, the future Hall-of-Fame manager has the resume with three (2010, 12 and 14) World Series titles in his 13 seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

A return to San Diego seems like a logical fit for Bochy. It will give him an opportunity to finish the job and lead the Padres to the franchise’s first World Series title.

Washington has been patiently waiting for another opportunity to manage in the majors once again. He was at the helm of the Texas Rangers from 2007-14 and led them to two World Series appearances. Washington is a “hands-on” manager who will enhance his player’s skills. This makes him a perfect fit with the Padres young roster.

Plus, Preller and Washington worked together during their time with the Rangers. And he was a finalist when the Padres job was open after the 2019 season.

If the Padres are looking for an experienced manager there is no candidate more qualified than Showalter. On each of his stops (New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles), Showalter has instilled a winning mentality to a struggling franchise.

However, he does not have a World Series title on his resume. Showalter deserves another chance in the dugout but does his managerial style mesh with today’s players. That is the unknown factor.

Whoever is the next Padres manager will find themselves in an ideal position as he inherits a team ready to prove their critics wrong. The person hired must have the ability to critique his players while patting them on the back at the same time.

Doubt has crept into the Padres’ locker room. A veteran manager can walk in and change the mindset of a team with a few choice words. His guidance will prepare them to face every challenge that lies ahead in a chase for a postseason berth.

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Each of the above managerial candidates understands that they’re a part of a results-driven business. If you do not reach your goals, people lose their jobs. It is the nature of the beast.