The San Diego Padres entered the season as one of the favorites to win the World Series. They had the best rotation in baseball entering 2021, according to FanGraphs, and of course were led by two of the best players in baseball, Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr.
Fast forward to mid-September and Machado was seen chewing out Tatis in the midst of San Diego getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend and seeing their playoff hopes fade away. The Padres are now 3.5 games back of the second wild card spot with two weeks to play.
There are plenty of reasons why the team isn’t where they want to be. Injuries in the rotation, an offense not producing up to its expectations, and Tatis missing significant time due to a few shoulder subluxations are all viable reasons. However, one reason that can’t be denied is the man that A.J. Preller hired to lead this team in the dugout: Jayce Tingler.
San Diego Union-Tribune Padres beat writer, Kevin Acee, published a well-sourced article on Sunday about how people inside the Padres organization feel about Tingler as the team’s skipper—and it wasn’t pretty if you’re a fan of Tingler.
Here are the main snit bits that came out of Acee’s article:
- The team needs a “new voice” who “commands the respect of players such as Machado, Tatis, Eric Hosmer and others”
- “The sentiment Tingler was not the leader [the players] needed or wanted has been growing in some corners of the clubhouse for a while.”
- “There is a disconnect between the front office and clubhouse that stems, at least in part, from moves made and not made and one move that was attempted at the trade deadline.”
- “Multiple team sources said October will bring further changes to the coaching staff...”
- Preller will be the one who decided whether Tingler stays or goes
As you can tell, there was a ton of information that was reported. A lot of the information makes it clear that change at the managerial position needs to be made. I wasn’t initially on the ‘Fire Tingler’ bandwagon because facts are facts. He did lead the team to the postseason in his first year as the manager. He was able to win games earlier this season despite many key players, such as Tatis and Myers, being sidelined due to a COVID outbreak.
With that said, it’s now hard not to be in the ‘Fire Tingler’ camp considering the team’s recent play and reading how the clubhouse feels about him.
If there’s a disconnect between the players and management, that’s a problem because the players likely aren’t going to respond to any message that management tries to convey to them when struggles arise. The fact that players didn’t even want Tingler as the manager to begin with is troubling because that means Preller may have hired Tingler without talking to his players.
Ron Washington, who finished second to Tingler in the Padres managerial hunt before the 2020 season, would’ve been the manager that commanded the respect of veteran players in the clubhouse. Instead, Preller went with the man who had no big league managing experience. Therefore, you can see how some inside the clubhouse would’ve been frustrated with the decision, especially considering the Andy Green experiment failed right before Tingler was brought in.
Another interesting tidbit was that Acee’s sources said changes in the coaching staff will be made after the season. A new pitching coach will be brought in but will Wayne Kirby and Bobby Dickerson remain? It seems like Kirby is loved by the players but Dickerson seems to be more of a disciplinary-type coach who might get under the skin of some players.
I say that because Preller might have to listen to his players this offseason regarding coaching staff changes if he wants to try to improve his relationship with the clubhouse moving forward. Nonetheless, changes will be made.