Josh Byrnes talks about his firing

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Byrnes interview with Darren Smith (MP3)

  • It's Byrnes birthday today.  This is not how expected to spend it.
  • Byrnes has had a sense for a while that changes were coming.  "We had to win to prevent change."
  • Byrnes met with Ron Fowler and Mike Dee at Fowler's house.  "It was a pretty brief conversation."  The reason given to him was "just results".  If the record had been reversed he'd still have a job.
  • Byrnes watched the Padres press conference yesterday announcing his firing to the public.
  • Byrnes doesn't think you should blueprint an organization with a philosophy.  He says he would define a team by their identity.  "Let's define ourselves with our identity.  Our identity starts with our payroll, where we fit on the payroll scale and how good are we right now.  And that's sort of page one of a blueprint. If we're on the same page, on page one, we have a chance to get to page two.  But if we're not on the same page on page one then the next step is not going to be productive."
  • He thinks it's fair to say that more was expected of the payroll that was given to Byrnes.  He thinks ownership was generous.  "As good as it is, it's still leaves you, whatever, 22 on a payroll scale.  So in context of 30 teams we're still not going to have a ton of money relative to the marketplace.  That's important to understand. That frames decisions on how far our money goes."
  • I'm actually sort of offended -Josh Byrnes
    Byrnes is offended by Mike Dee's accusation that he mislead ownership's expectations.  "I'm actually sort of offended by that one, because if there's anything I do and I've always done is I don't oversell."   There are 6 websites that run projected standings that put the Padres in a bandwidth of 80-84 wins.  He presented what needed to go right to get 10 more wins and what could go wrong that would lose them 10 more games. 
  • Byrnes showed ownership the models of teams that had increased their season wins by 18 games.
  • "It's a real balancing act of reality and optimism."
  • The results weren't what anyone wanted no matter where you set the expectations. He feels it's his role and his job to take total responsibility.
  • Bud Black's job status was brought up.  Everyone's position is talked about.  Baseball isn't a world of total job security.  It's a motivator for employees.
  • Byrnes' work environment changed when Dee took over.  They had moments where they saw things eye-to-eye and times where they didn't.
  • To compete with as a 21st ranked payroll you need to produce your own talent.  The Padres have been good not great at that.  A team has to be healthier than the Padres.  They've had the most DL days for 3 years in a row.  They have to be more sell high and buy low in transactions.   A team of this market size has to be quick and nimble.
  • He doesn't know if 2.5 years is enough time to be evaluated.  Sometimes deals don't show their value for 3 or 4 years.  It's a balance of short-term and long-term.
  • Byrnes would tell a perspective GM the following: "I think this is just an unbelievable city and not just because it's so beautiful and all the reasons people visit but as a place to live.  There's a heartbeat, there's a humanity to this city, the fans care and the media's great. It's a great place."  But the organization didn't work for him so he'd leave the criticism at that.
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