“I'm not disappointed; I'm embarrassed. It's not disgusting; it's embarrassing,” Towers was saying. “I know what the external expectations were when we cut payroll. But I can't see how a group of young guys playing with heart and tons of fight at the beginning of the year don't even look like the same group the last three weeks.
“I look at the situation like the economy – from euphoria to paranoia. At first I saw some fight in guys. Even when we lost a ballgame, I saw battle. But, other than Adrian (Gonzalez) and Heath (Bell), there haven't been many positives. I can't believe they even pitch to Adrian.”
I can't believe they pitch to Aid either.
“I'm embarrassed for myself,” he said. “This is my ballclub. I'm as much to blame as anybody else. I don't want to see everything lost over what we've built over a long time. I've been a part of this organization for 25 years. Just three weeks ago I'm walking by our place at the beach and people are fired up about the Padres. Now they say we're horrible. It hurts.
“I'm not in this game for a paycheck. I take it personally. I feel like I'm a player. What drives me is winning.”
Already there are players speaking off the record:
So what's a GM to do? Friday, Towers called up relievers Joe Thatcher and Greg Burke from Triple-A Portland, released pitcher Duaner Sanchez, sent reliever Edwin Moreno back to Portland and claimed shortstop Josh Wilson off waivers from Arizona.
“That's like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet wound,” said one Padre, who shall remain anonymous.