Well, I uh…sure! Jayce Tingler is the new manager for the San Diego Padres. The 73rd in team history. That’s not a real stat, but who gives a shit?
As I tweeted out earlier today, we all knew this was coming. You knew as soon as you heard the name “Jayce Tingler” that he was going to be our manager. He just had to be. He has absolutely no experience, wasn’t interviewed or even thought of for any other vacancy, and his name sounds like the guy who had a scholarship to SDSU for Crew but got kicked out for partying too much.
But, he knows Preller, and I guess that’s enough. He likes analytics, and that’s a plus. I mean, I don’t like analytics very much, but I’m not an idiot as obviously the game is moving into that direction and it’s an advantage to have a skipper who believes in it.
I can sit here and write out the plusses and minuses of Tingler’s hiring. Examine his resume and on and on and on, but that’s what EVT is for.
We hired Andy Green, when we should’ve hired Gardenhire. That made me mad, but ultimately I wanted to give Green a chance. I did.
This time I’m less inclined because the Tingler hire is just another lie sold to the fans. And, more than hiring a manager whose never been a manager – again – that’s what really pisses me off. The lies.
When Green was let go the team brass said they wanted experience in their new manager. They wanted someone who had been around, knew players, coaches, knows what the game is now, and had a good grasp of working with a team on the brink. We kept hearing that sentiment over and over again. We heard Maddon, Showalter, Ron Washington, and of course Bochy (more on him in a minute). Names synonymous with baseball and managerial success and experience. And cocaine.
We got the exact opposite.
The team sold us on the premise that they wanted a name to come in and lead this squad, and that is CLEARLY one of the biggest things they are missing. There is no one stepping up on the managerial side and lighting a fire under these dudes asses. The execs said they were gonna get us someone who could push the team over the edge, but the only thing that was pushed over the edge and into the canyon was fans expectations and hopes.
Now let me be clear – I want Tingler to be successful. Of course I do. And, it’s not like he can’t be. Cora, Boone, Snitker, whoever that guy in Washington is, they all had relatively little to no managerial experience, but have all had success. All those teams had something else in common as well: a talented squad. The Padres also finally have that (starting pitching aside). I don’t know Jayce and I make fun of him because it’s either that or burn my Padres gear and go root for the Nationals full time. Jayce is now under the microscope and I hope he never looks at #PadresTwitter.
Tingler is jumping in to a great situation – low expectations and high upside. But, that’s what pisses me off. If they wanted a manager with no experience at the Major League level then why not go with Barajas? Someone the players like and know and trust. No. They wanted a possible scapegoat or hero. They wanted someone who would be easy to fire if it all goes to hell, and someone who signed for cheap if they decided to have him stick around. They wanted to look like geniuses, but right now they’re asking a lot from a jaded fan base whose only thing to look forward to now is a uniform change.
Other than once again being lied to, this also extends the “competitive window” to whatever they feel is correct. Remember when 2019 was gonna be the first year the team was supposed to be competitive? I do. Then it got moved back, and back, and now with a rookie manager, in more ways than one, the timeline could have just evaporated and who the fuck cares anymore.
UNLESS. As Padres fans, we love that word. We crave it. We need it. It means that maybe our worst fears aren’t so bad after all. It packs so much hope, but let’s be honest, our “unless” is always emptiness.
UNLESS: Bochy was serious about just laying low for a season. In an interview today and even when his name was floated around last month, he strongly suggested he would be back in a dugout in 2021. Why not our dugout? And, honestly – why not?
I always thought it was strange that his name was released as a candidate for the Padres job. Strange because he is 89 years old (possibly), and has had so much success, so why wouldn’t he just wanna…hang out? He doesn’t owe San Diego anything. Still…it was weird that his name was on the list, and that he didn’t outright deny anything.
We already know what the man can do with a talented team, a team of young scrappers and crafty vets. We know how he works, we know that we love him. The team brass sure as hell does – every other week there’s a tribute to 1998 at Petco.
Could the Padres just be hiring Tingler as a stopgap before the triumphant return of our beloved Boch? Wouldn’t be the worst idea. Ron let AJ build a team, and then pick his manager for that team he built. This is all AJ’s deal right now. He wanted Jayce (ugh, I literally hate that name it just makes me think of Sublime t-shirts, sandals, and flat-brimmed hats) so he got him. If AJ and Jayce make this work then we’ll all be incredibly happy. If AJ can’t make this work this season, there is a real chance he is gone at season’s end. If the team comes out of the gate stumbling, AJ and Jayce might both be gone by the All-Star break, and then what?
I have a very sneaky suspicion we see Bruce Bochy once again donning brown and gold, and Dave Dombrowski at the helm. Uncle Ron is an impatient man, and if there’s on thing Dom can do it’s build winners quick. Sure, you’re gonna give up prospects – the good ones – and spend more money, but there is a much better chance you’re gonna win – at least once.
Yes, this is all opinion and not based in any real fact other than alluded to comments and the hopefulness that comes with being a Padres fan.
UNLESS it’s not.