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Padres Press Conference to announce hire of A.J. Preller

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I'm going to attempt to Live Blog this Padres press conference that will, with any luck, announce the hire of A.J. Preller as their new General Manager.

4:04 - I'm just getting the MLB logo right now.  Nothing has happened yet.  The suspense is palpable.

4:05 - Oh it's on now. I had the volume down.  Preller got a haircut.  Mike Dee doesn't have hair but is introducing him.

4:07 - Dee says A.J.'s passion stood out to the hiring committee.  "He eats, sleeps and breaths baseball."  Preller is going to be able to bring impact level talent to the Padres organization.

4:07 - Mike Dee has turned over the mic to Preller.  He says the process was very thorough.  He's thanking his parents and ownership for believing in him.

4:09 - Southern California has the best baseball in the country.  He's hoping to give the fans something to be proud of in San Diego.  He feels like he's up to the challenge.

4:10 - Preller is going over his resume.  He started in the Commissioner's office and then went to work for the Dodgers. He was involved in pro and amateur scouting.  He has been working with the Texas Rangers for the last 10 years.

4:11 - He plans to wear lots of hats.  He's not just an analytics guy or a scouting guy.  He enjoys being on the field and the phone and talking to coaches and players.

4:12 - Frank Robinson was Preller's mentor.  He was always open with him.  That's how he wants to run the Padres Front Office.

4:13 - "The important thing is moving forward."  He wants to build a championship organization from top to bottom. He notes that the Padres have never won a World Series.  Preller says that ownership wants to win it all.

4:15 -  "We want to play on the big stage... the big stage is playing in the World Series."  Hard work and talent are the key, both on the field and in the Front Office.  It's the GM's job to set the club philosophy and the club's direction.

4:16 - Preller wants the club and the fans to know that there aren't "Kevin Towers guys" or "Jed Hoyer guys", there are only "Padres guys".

4:17 - He wants the Padres to be cutting edge.  He wants to hit on ideas that give competitive advantage.

4:18 - For Padres fans, it's not going to be smooth sailing at first, but they are going to have the hardest working group in baseball.

4:19 - He's looking forward to talking to the coaches and employees.

4:20 - Mike Dee is presenting Preller with a #14 jersey.  Preller is shorter than Mike Dee and taller than Ron Fowler like every other adult male.  I may have missed it but Preller hasn't smile yet to my knowledge, dude is all bizness.

4:21 - Dee says they did make some agreements about not stealing talent from Texas.

4:21 - Preller says he's had a very positive experience talking with Bud Black.

4:22 - Preller resting his head in his hand as Hacksaw asks a two part question.  Preller says that the pitching in San Diego is impressive.  "You never have enough talent."  He wants waves of talent and players.

4:23 - International scouting is a big part of the game.  The Padres are going to focus on that among other things.

4:24 - He earned the nickname "Maverick".  He says that it's because he's been creative and done things differently trying to get a competitive advantage.

4:25 - Ron Fowler says Preller has an encyclopedic knowledge of baseball.  He has a winning attitude and an energy that came through their discussions.  They are convinced he can compete with the big market clubs.

4:27 - Preller doesn't want to put a time frame on the team's success.  You need to find a competitive window.

4:28 - Preller says that he'd like to see the team play for a 2nd wild card this season.

4:29 - Fowler says that Dee flew from Texas to San Diego with Preller after he made put in his notice.

4:31 - The fact that the Padres have never won a World Series attracted Preller to the job.  He likes the challenge and intrigued him.  He came out of the first interview with a postive feeling about the ownership group.

4:33 - Preller describes himself as having passion for the game.  He's smiling now.  He wouldn't describe himself as "ruthless".

4:34 - Preller says the Rangers went to the World Series in 2010 with a $55 million payroll.  He has confidence in the ownership in bringing in an "impact piece" when necessary to put them over the top.

4:37 - Fowler describes Preller as having an "old soul".  They interviewed young people because they were available.

4:38 - The Padres fans are familiar with the injury bug.  Preller says he doesn't have a ton of answers, but that it is a problem in the league.  It's going to be a challenge to find an answer that will give the team a competitive advantage.  To win they'll need to keep the team on the field.

4:39 - Press conference ends.