Look, the reality is you may have clicked on this article out of frustration. “How could you defend him!”, you might be asking.
Padre fans have been suffering for 50 years. We’ve won our division a grand total of 5 times. Less than 30% of our seasons ended in a winning record. We’re the only franchise without a no hitter. Ya, we’re sensitive.
I’ve been a frequent critic of Green. Ive been displeased with his early yanking of starting pitchers. I can’t stand that Ian Kinsler touches the diamond... ever. I haven’t loved the handling of the bullpen at times.
That being said, he’s pushed all the “right” buttons recently and things haven’t worked out. There’s also been clear direction handed down by the organization that he’s had to follow. Just the other day, he talked about how difficult it is to have Chris Paddack on a hard pitch count, but they’re 100% aligned that it’s best for him long term.
If anything, go blame Preller and the ownership group. Or, don’t BLAME anyone at all.
The reality is the Padres have gone from the worst drafting team in recent memory to one of the best. They suddenly have one of the best international systems in the game. They’re investing money, a lot of it. They were the laughing stock of baseball over the last decade. Now, they’re arguably the most young and exciting.
What does all this have to do with Andy Green? Look, Green came up playing in a much different world. Yes, he embraces sabermetrics... but he’s still old school In a lot of ways. He signed on to manage a group of misfits before eventually managing the youngest team in the Big Leagues. The signing of Manny Machado and emergence of Fernando Tatis Jr have placed incredible expectations on a team that nearly lost 100 games last year. Unrealistic, some might say.
Let’s get back to the here and now. He’s gotten to the point where he’s taking risks we wouldn’t normally see in today’s game. He brought Kirby Yates in for a 6 out save. It didn’t work, and he was criticized for putting in his best pitcher to try to save the day. Odd, but true. For a stretch, Luis Perdomo was the best pitcher in the bullpen. He threw him out there in the 8th and he gave up 3 runs. Criticized, of course. Starters can’t go more than 5-6 innings, stretching the bullpen thin and he gets called out for not extending them. Specifically, by me.
I could go on and on, but here’s the deal. Andy Green isn’t “the problem” here. In fact, there really isn’t a problem at all. Fans have waited a long time for something worth getting fired up about. They finally have it. However, the guy is in a really challenging situation that no manager would want to deal with. Hot talent lava with more restrictions than you could ever imagine. You don’t think he’d love to extend guys like Paddack? Of course he does. But he understands what he signed up for and won’t make excuses. That’s not him.
I’ve been vocal in my criticism of Andy Green. I’ve been downright frustrated with his decisions at times. Still, I believe he is both the present and the future. He will continue to evolve and grow as a manager, just as this young team will do. There are going to be peaks and valleys with this ball club, but calling for him to be fired is just silly. Don’t forget, Bruce Bochy had a 5 year stretch where fans said he was “too old” and players “weren’t hearing him.” Collective eye roll.
Say what you will, but these boys are fighting with him and for him everyday. Stay tuned folks, this team isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, Andy might just lead them to the playoffs.