Randy Smith has been with the Padres since 1993, except for short stints with the Tigers and Rockies. As people will tell you, he’s held just about every job in a baseball front office possible and had great success, especially in the 90’s. He was serving as senior adviser for baseball operations when he was fired yesterday. As the Union Tribune’s Dennis Lin tells us, Smith’s firing had nothing to do with Mike Dee’s firing.
“It’s A.J.’s prerogative,” Smith told the Union-Tribune. “He should have the people he’s comfortable with, and I’ve been around long enough to understand that. From my standpoint, after 25 years, I think the timing certainly wasn’t the norm.”
Smith is lamenting at the end of his comment that “this time of the year front-office vacancies aren’t exactly abundant.” I know one front office job that is available and it’s one of the few positions Smith hasn’t held, that’s the role of Padres President that Mike Dee was departed from. That sure would be something, if ownership installed him over A.J. Preller.
Besides the timing, the other thing that troubles me is that this would be A.J. Preller’s decision and he’s nearing the end of a 30 day suspension for his role in a medical records coverup.
With Preller currently suspended by MLB for withholding medical information from rival teams, assistant GMs Fred Uhlman Jr. and Josh Stein were among those who broke the news to Smith. It’s believed Monday’s move was planned before Preller’s 30-day ban began last month.
There’s are only two possibilities, Preller approved the decision before his suspension or he approved it during his suspension. The latter would obviously be another example of him not following the rules. If he approved it before his suspension then why did they plan the firing to happen three weeks out? Also if you waited this long, wouldn’t you want to double check to make sure that Preller hadn’t changed his mind? It would seem that you’d want to take action either before the suspension or after. Something about this just sounds fishy to me.