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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Padres fire GM Josh Byrnes

The team announced the move in a statement on Sunday.

“This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play,” Padres president and CEO Mike Dee said in a statement. “Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today.

“The search for a new general manager begins immediately. We are looking for someone who can define, direct and lead this franchise’s baseball philosophy for years to come.”

Dee said the GM role will be filled on an interim basis by senior vice president of baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant GMs A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman, Jr.

Thanks to BH.

Repoz Posted: June 22, 2014 at 04:59 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: padres

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   1. NattyBoh Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4732847)
I'd have thought long and hard about firing Byrnes if Omar was going to be the interim GM. How much longer before Amaro and Towers joins him?

   2. asinwreck Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4732849)
Kevin Towers made it further than Josh Byrnes. Who knew?
   3. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4732853)
This is further evidence that just having a guy that can talk the SABR talk is no guarantee that your organization is going to be successful. With even smaller market teams able to lockup their homegrown stars, it's more important than ever to produce your own players.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4732861)
I'd have thought long and hard about firing Byrnes if Omar was going to be the interim GM.


Yeah, no kidding.
   5. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 22, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4732863)
Has Byrnes had more success than Omar?
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 07:22 PM (#4733005)
Has Byrnes had more success than Omar?


No, but his failures haven't been as thorough or expensive as Omar's. It's like the difference between a guy who scuffed the fenders on a rental car and one who drove an oil tanker into a reef.
   7. micker17 Posted: June 22, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4733135)
Wait a minute, someone hired Omar Minaya? THAT'S the guy that needs to be fired!
   8. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2014 at 09:41 PM (#4733190)
Somehow it never sunk in that the Pads and Dbacks essentially swapped GMs. That wasn't a good move for either team.

Seems a bit unwarranted. Took over a losing team and had two seasons of 76 wins -- pretty solid all things concerned. Bad this year but hardly embarrassing. He's only just had his third draft and the first round of the first one was HS heavy so you wouldn't have expected any of them to be ready yet. That is their terrible record of producing talent is not Byrnes's fault. One of his 2012 picks was a pre-season top 100 (injured now I assume) and that draft had another HS pitcher who seems to be doing OK and a speedy CF who gets some walks but no power. His 2013 pick just finished a solid half-season of A+ at 22 (about league average age) and got promoted to AA.

The Latos trade was his (oops) and I didn't think the Gyorko extension was a great idea. Headley's terrible performance looks like a BABIP fluke (the other components seem pretty stable) but the Pads aren't locked into him long-term anyway and his FA value is plummeting so a good time to lock him up if they think it's just a fluke.

Not that he has a great track record or anything, I'm just not clear on what the Padres were expecting. The 2011 team won only 71, featured an IF of Jesus Guzman, Orlando Hudson and Jason Bartlett, had one major tradeable asset in Latos and no system to speak of it seems. His drafts seem to have done OK, what more were they expecting from him at this point?
   9. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:25 PM (#4733237)
Has Byrnes had more success than Omar?

No, but his failures haven't been as thorough or expensive as Omar's.

Byrnes seemed to do more with less in Phoenix and certainly left the team in better condition than he found it.
   10. Dr. Vaux Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:31 PM (#4733240)
Is there anybody available who they can realistically expect to get better results than Byrnes? That's something that always has to be considered when making the decision to fire someone. It's certainly not Minaya. Byrnes did well in Arizona, and it was a clear mistake on their part to fire him. And as has been pointed out above, his results in San Diego aren't embarrassing or disasterous, just not good yet.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:46 PM (#4733248)

I'd have thought long and hard about firing Byrnes if Omar was going to be the interim GM. How much longer before Amaro and Towers joins him?


Seems like we've had a lot of stability lately. Wonder if we're due for a bunch of firings now. Jack Z and Dayton were on the hotseat before the year, but a .500 record may have gotten them off the chopping block for now.
   12. Joe Kehoskie Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4733253)

I believe Byrnes had several years left on his Arizona contract when he was fired there, so it appears he'll be collecting checks from two teams as a former GM. I'm not sure if that's ever happened before.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: June 22, 2014 at 11:56 PM (#4733254)
Yeah, I expect both Amaro and Towers to be gone before the offseason begins. Although I see the Phils have snuck back within shouting distance of 500.

Hey, the Ms called up Montero, I missed that. So far so good (14 PAs).
   14. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: June 23, 2014 at 01:49 AM (#4733278)
I don't think Byrnes was hired by the current owners of the Padre organization. It would be foolish to fire a GM only a few years after hiring him but I don't think that's what has happened here.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: June 23, 2014 at 03:20 AM (#4733288)
That's a very good point. They took over in Aug 2012.
   16. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:39 AM (#4733329)
Was it Byrnes who came up with that hat for Torres to wear?
   17. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4733338)
Well, at least they didn't wait until today.

Would have totally ruined his birthday.
   18. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4733383)
It bears mentioning that in the executive world (and even the middle management world for that matter), getting fired is far from the worst thing that can happen. There's actually less stigma than there is in the wage-slave world (it's easier to spin in interviews as "there was an ownership change and they wanted to go in a different direction...") and, more importantly, you get severance.

Usually if a company fires a manager it's nothing personal. If it's personal the company will demote him, or transfer him to a job specifically designed to be useless. It's much more damaging to his reputation and resume than being fired is.
   19. alilisd Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4733386)
Impossible to tell from the outside, of course, but this appears to be driven by the bizzare and ugly on field performance of the offense. Walt's analysis is accurate, imo, but the team has under performed at the plate, nearly universally, in an extreme manner. It seems ownership is looking to appease the fans, and perhaps, as noted, bring in their own guy. Let us pray it is not Minaya.
   20. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:56 AM (#4733389)
It is possible the Padres, like the Rockies, operate in such an extreme run environment at home that it significantly handicaps them as they try to field a consistently competitive team.
   21. Davo Dozier Posted: June 23, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4733392)
This is terrible timing--their fire sale was to begin any minute.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 23, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4733395)
It is possible the Padres, like the Rockies, operate in such an extreme run environment at home that it significantly handicaps them as they try to field a consistently competitive team.

This seems unlikely. The guys sucking up the offense this year (Headley, Alonso, Gyorko, Denorfia, Cabrera) have all hit well in previous seasons, while playing in Petco. It's not a bunch of guys who are new to the team struggling.

Hell, the one new guy (Smith) is crushing the ball.
   23. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: June 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM (#4733569)
It seems Bud Black's days are numbered as well. If/when he gets canned, he'll be the first manager hired in the offseason.
   24. Moeball Posted: June 23, 2014 at 04:44 PM (#4733878)
With even smaller market teams able to lockup their homegrown stars, it's more important than ever to produce your own players.


That’s part of the problem. While the Angels sign Mike Trout to a long term extension, the Padres lock up Jedd Gyorko (the worst hitting player in the major leagues among regular everyday players) for a long time. The Padres seem incapable of either identifying quality talent to draft and invest in, or of developing it properly. The whole thing with Gyorko’s foot is a smokescreen; it wasn’t impacting him in the field. He just can’t hit and the team is embarrassed to be putting long term money into a position player who is being outhit by several pitchers.

had one major tradeable asset in Latos and no system to speak of it seems


This is one of the things I’ve always wondered about. For years Baseball America trumpeted how the Padres had one of the best farm systems around with all this talent in the pipeline. I haven’t seen anything come out of that system yet that I can get excited about. Not one player. So is the talent really there? If so, is it an organizational inability to develop the talent that’s the problem?

   25. alilisd Posted: June 23, 2014 at 05:02 PM (#4733910)
It is possible the Padres, like the Rockies, operate in such an extreme run environment at home that it significantly handicaps them as they try to field a consistently competitive team.


snapper makes a good point. The Padres do tend to look poor in unadjusted offensive numbers, but they were consistently competitive when they first moved to Petco. They are struggling to put a competitive team together because they've been handicapped first by interim ownership and then by MLB. John Moores stopped putting anything into the team once his divorce was underway, 2008. Then Moorad and his group were putting all their money into buying the team from Moores. Once they went to MLB to say they were ready to complete the purchase, the owners told Moorad to hit the road. The team, more or less, reverted back to Moores, who still wasn't going to put any money into them. Finally, the O'Malley-Seidler headed group came along and bought Moores out.

It was several years of ownership neglect, combined with getting ###### in the ass by Selig and Reinsdorf, which has been hampering this team.

Now that I've vented, I'd add the past two seasons have just been bizarre. 2013 was an injury plagued nightmare, and now, as snapper pointed out, even those who are healthy (and health is still not the team's strongpoint) are way, way under performing. I claim it's the Curse of the Garvey.
   26. puck Posted: June 23, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4733922)
Meanwhile, Dan O'Dowd just keeps rolling on.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: June 23, 2014 at 06:38 PM (#4734022)
the team has under performed at the plate, nearly universally, in an extreme manner. It seems ownership is looking to appease the fans

Sure but the unwritten rules clearly state that the progression is to fire the hitting coach, then fire the manager, then fire the GM.

Bob Gibson needs to fire one at the head of Padres ownership.

getting ###### in the ass by Selig and Reinsdorf

While it does the fans no good, I believe the sales price went from about $500 M to about $800 M with that switch. Moores would f himself in the ass for $300 M.
   28. TerpNats Posted: June 23, 2014 at 08:27 PM (#4734061)
If the Padres do conduct a fire sale, Huston Street would join the Angels by the trade deadline -- that is, if there was any semblance of a farm system in Anaheim.
   29. alilisd Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:32 PM (#4734133)
Walt, we've tried that progression before. Perhaps the new ownership is showing itself to be progressive. I'd still pay to see Hoot buzz them up and in.
   30. DFA Posted: June 24, 2014 at 02:25 AM (#4734158)
It is possible the Padres, like the Rockies, operate in such an extreme run environment at home that it significantly handicaps them as they try to field a consistently competitive team.


As a casual Mariner fan, I have wondered this as well. There was some talk that the run environment got into the heads of all the recent Mariner prospects (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc). Conversely, the Giants, Dodgers, A's and Rangers have had decent periods of being very competitive. I am sure there are others, but I am not sure the data would suggest the interesting hypothesis.
   31. alilisd Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM (#4734352)
There was some talk that the run environment got into the heads of all the recent Mariner prospects (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc).


That's been the talk in San Diego essentially since Petco opened. Veteran players were upset, fans claim it got in their heads. Prospects "failed to develop," fans claim the park got in their head. Only problem with the theory is Adrian Gonzalez tore up Petco. Khalil Greene hit really well, until Social Anxiety Disorder got in his head, but I've never heard any doctor say it was Petco which caused it. Chase Headley hit really well in 2012, then he didn't. Did the park get in his head, then leave, then come back? Gyorko hit 13 of his 23 HR at home last year, now he can't hit anything. Giles had a very nice decline phase of his career with Petco as his home park.

Good hitters will hit even if their home park is a pitcher's park. They may have to make up some ground on the road to do so, but if they have the mental toughness to compete and succeed in getting to the majors, they have the mental toughness to deal with a difficult home park.
   32. Moeball Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4734356)
It is possible the Padres, like the Rockies, operate in such an extreme run environment at home that it significantly handicaps them as they try to field a consistently competitive team.


As a casual Mariner fan, I have wondered this as well. There was some talk that the run environment got into the heads of all the recent Mariner prospects (Smoak, Ackley, Montero, etc).

The degree to which Petco has suppressed offense over the years truly has gotten into the heads of a lot of Padres players. The fences have been moved in multiple times and yet they still struggle to hit.

Some would say the Padres were too impatient with Anthony Rizzo in trading him so quickly to the Cubs after touting him as a can't miss prospect. But I watched all of Anthony Rizzo's games with the Padres when he first came up - he looked clueless at the plate and was putting up numbers so bad that pitchers were outhitting him. This is a common theme for the Padres. I believe that had the Padres kept him, his numbers would have improved - but only about to the level of Yonder Alonso, which is still not good enough to be a starting major league first baseman. Getting himself out of San Diego was the only way for Rizzo to get San Diego out of his head.
   33. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 24, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4734380)
This is one of the things I’ve always wondered about. For years Baseball America trumpeted how the Padres had one of the best farm systems around with all this talent in the pipeline. I haven’t seen anything come out of that system yet that I can get excited about. Not one player. So is the talent really there? If so, is it an organizational inability to develop the talent that’s the problem?


Some of the touted guys who flopped with the Padres around ten or fifteen years ago were benefiting from a lack of understanding about park factors.
   34. McCoy Posted: June 24, 2014 at 07:49 PM (#4734891)
Some would say the Padres were too impatient with Anthony Rizzo in trading him so quickly to the Cubs after touting him as a can't miss prospect. But I watched all of Anthony Rizzo's games with the Padres when he first came up - he looked clueless at the plate and was putting up numbers so bad that pitchers were outhitting him. This is a common theme for the Padres. I believe that had the Padres kept him, his numbers would have improved - but only about to the level of Yonder Alonso, which is still not good enough to be a starting major league first baseman. Getting himself out of San Diego was the only way for Rizzo to get San Diego out of his head.

There is almost no positional prospect in the last 40 years that has ever benefited by going to the Cubs. The Cubs since about Mark Grace have been the place where positional prospects go to die. If you're screwed up you have almost no chance of getting anything straight within the Cubs organization.

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