XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview (MP3) with Darren Smith
It was amazing how good the Padres were against the Giants this year (12-6), but it all balanced out because the Rockies were just as good against the Padres (6-12).
Hoyer just agreed with the pitching coach Darren Balsley on a contract a half hour ago. Ted Simmons is not going to come back as a bench coach. He hopes he'll get a managing job. Rick Renteria will move from first base to the new bench coach. Dave Roberts will be the new first base coach and he's a perfect fit for the job. The Blue Jays asked for permission to talk to Renteria. Kevin Towers has not asked for permission to talk to any coaches yet, but Hoyer wouldn't be surprised if he did.
- Hoyer thought about the Padres facing Roy Halladay. The Padres did a good job against him earlier in the year, but Hoyer couldn't say that they'd be able to do much against him today.
- As some time passes Hoyer will appreciate the Padres performance this year, but right now it still stings not getting into the playoffs. Winning 2 of 3 from San Francisco was more than he expected.
"We didn't lose the season on Sunday. We lost the season much earlier by not hitting and playing poorly over the course of 40 games. Obviously Sunday was hard but that's not what caused it."
The silver lining was that they performed well over the weekend.
- Two games stand out to Hoyer as games that lead to the downfall of the Padres. Last Thursday's game against the Cubs was one. The Latos/Enright game in Arizona was the other. Latos was incredible and the offense was hitting balls all over the field but couldn't score. Then two errors lead to the defeat. That brought the losing streak from 6 to 7 games in a row.
- Hoyer knew at some point that the Padres would lose 5 or 6 games in a row. He thought they'd get to 95-96 wins in a best case scenario. Being 27 games over .500 was unbelievable. "At some point we were going to have a losing streak because everyone does." He thought there would be a "market correction" but never thought it'd be 10 games.
- Hoyer wishes that he and Buddy would have put Tim Stauffer back into the rotation earlier. That's the one thing that keeps him up at night. It could have brought them 2 or 3 more wins. They waited longer than they should have. They waited until the rosters expanded.
The Padres struggled all year getting on base in the 1 and 2 spot in the line up. They ranked 27 or 28th getting on base in those positions. It really hurt the run scoring. Hoyer thinks very highly of David Eckstein, he had a really good year but he didn't say if he'll be coming back next year.
They were as careful as they could be with Mat Latos. They tried to give him as much rest as they could. The only challenge with getting him up to a full season is age and maturity. Next year they will be careful again and then the year after they'll be able to take the shackles off.
90 wins gets you into the playoffs most years. In a lot of ways it was a successful season, but hearing "congrats on a good season" rings hollow since they didn't make the playoffs. It makes them hungrier for next season. They have a lot of positives to build on but the goal is to make the playoffs. You don't get graded on a curve, you either make the playoffs or not. He feels like the Padres fell short in that regard.
Ryan Ludwick is a really good player who struggled in the new environment. He put too much pressure on himself. He thinks that Ludwick will be moved to left field because Hoyer likes Will Venable's glove in right field.
When it comes to using statistics to evaluate players, Hoyer likes to have as much information as possible. He relies on numbers and scouting reports heavily.
Hoyer plans to sit down with Adrian Gonzalez's agent in the next few weeks. He won't make any comments until he talks to him. A lot has changed since last off season. In Boston they let players play out their contracts to try and win. Any decision they make will be to remain competitive. Mark Teixeira is a compariable player to Gonzalez.
"If that's his [Adrian Gonzalez] goal to make Howard/Teixeira money then I've made that clear - that's obviously not something the Padres can do, but I'm going to sit down with John [Boggs] and he may have changed his tune since last winter."
Hoyer isn't sure if the competitive team and good group of guys have swayed his thinking. "I feel it's very likely he'll be on the team." Hoyer thought Adrian had a legitimate chance of being MVP this year if they made the post season. Hoyer doesn't agree that Adrian isn't a good fit for Petco Park. As a power hitter that goes the opposite way he's as close to ideal.
Hoyer can't comment on Free Agent players. Petco Park will attract pitchers and he'll be able to sell it to them. Hoyer wishes that they had bigger crowds at the end of year, but he has to build a team that is exciting and that fans want to embrace.
"I sort of put it on our shoulders, it's our responsibility to build a team that makes San Diego want to fill the ballpark."
He wants to create an electric environment like the last weekend in San Francisco.
Jon Garland had a great year. They'll talk about exercising his option over the next two weeks. He felt that he performed exactly as they hoped.
Jeff Moorad's ownership group hasn't taken a penny of the profits. They are investing the money back into the team. Hopefully in the future the Padres will have more cable money coming in. The payroll will be higher next year than this year. Budget meetings will start in a few weeks. The payroll will start with a 4.
Anthony Gwynn and Will Venable worked with HoF'er Tony Gwynn over the winter. He's a great resource to have.
Gwynn had a good season defensively. The team missed him in the outfield when he was injured. He struggled offensively. He's a reason for the success of the pitching staff.
Hoyer is opposed to changing the dimensions of Petco Park. It's hard to build a team without a big payroll in a hitters park. Hoyer guesses that people love offense, but he thinks that by building a more athletic team it will lead to more scoring and excitement.
The team will absolutely be active in the off season. You can make a mistake by bringing back the exact same people and expecting to recreate the magic. Large parts of this team will be back, but the team has deficiencies that caused them not to make the playoffs.
"There's a reason we didn't make the playoffs. We obviously weren't quite good enough. Offensively we need to find a way to score more runs... clearly. We need to add a couple starting pitchers. We're going to be active. If you're not active then you are falling behind."