Derek Norris was one of the players brought to San Diego in the 2015 spending frenzy that put the city in a tizzy. He performed pretty well in 2015 and was one of the worst players in the MLB in 2016. At least for now, Norris plays for Nationals but he may be a trade chip in the near future.
Yesterday the Mighty 1090’s Darren Smith was talking about there being a more positive vibe in the Padres clubhouse this year after the departure of some of the team’s veterans. He said he expected to hear negative talk about Matt Kemp and he did. He heard only good things about James Shields. He didn’t hear anything about Melvin Upton Jr.
“The one that surprised me though, Derek Norris was not a well liked guy here. I had heard that Norris was not the preferred catcher of the Oakland A’s where he got traded from and was an All-Star.”
The Padres and the coaches were aware of Derek’s past but they considered him a risk they were willing to take. They thought they could work with him. It turned out that the Padres pitchers didn’t like him much either.
“Pitchers weren’t crazy about throwing to him and there was a term that was used that I can’t quite say on the radio.”
Norris apparently did not get along with other players, especially backup catcher Austin Hedges.
Norris was flat out bad to a number of players, bad to Hedges. Now whether that was just because of competition or perceived competition, who knows why? But he was bad with Hedges. He was bad with younger players. Starting pitchers really preferred not to throw to him.
As for the clubhouse today, everyone including Hedges, seems to be much happier with Norris gone. This somehow all remained pretty quiet and never leaked to the fan base as man, woman and child alike grew unkempt beards in tribute to him. Now I guess it’s time for all of us to shave.