Bob Nightengale wrote in his Sunday notebook today that “if the Padres don’t reach the postseason, Bob Melvin could take the fall with bench coach Ryan Flaherty a strong candidate to succeed him.”
This doesn’t seem to be actual reporting from Nightengale—just speculation. Melvin could take the fall. It doesn’t mean he will.
However if he does end up being the scapegoat, that’s not fair to Melvin. Sure, he has made mistakes in his time as the Padres skipper but at the end of the day he’s not the one in the batters box making $30 million a year. He’s not the one who constructed this roster. All he can do is manage the guys he was given by AJ Preller.
Melvin was a tremendous manager last year when he led the Padres to the NLCS but suddenly forgot how to manage this year because the team’s under .500? I don’t think so.
As for Flaherty being a favorite if Melvin goes, that also doesn’t make sense. Sure he is a former major leaguer and has been with the organization for years but why not have one of the other former managers on the staff (Mike Shildt, Matt Williams) become the manager over a guy who’s only managed on an interim basis (he did so last season)?
Although hiring Flaherty wouldn’t make sense to most fans, the fact that it’s Preller hiring him wouldn’t be a huge shock. Preller didn’t allow Flaherty to interview for the Mets bench coach job so he obviously has thought a lot of him for a while now.
Preller also has a history of hiring his guys. He tried it with Andy Green. It failed. He tried it with Jayce Tingler. It failed. Why would Flaherty work?