Green light for the Padres?


This week in sports news: the San Diego Padres have hired a new manager.  Andy Green was poached from his job as the Arizona Diamondbacks’ third base coach to be the new skipper of a perennially disappointing team.

On the surface, this is an exciting move that signals a new direction for the franchise. But let’s be real, bringing in a new manager won’t change the Padres’ historic misfortune. It’s not like he can play shortstop, or eat up the chunk of innings that the back of the rotation can’t stomach.

In reality, Green will probably make minor changes to the team’s practice habits or bring a new philosophy regarding sacrifice bunts and substitution tactics.

But the manager of a baseball team doesn’t turn double plays or hit three-run home runs. A manager merely decides which players in his clubhouse give him the best chance of doing those things.

Let’s remember that this is the first time since 2006 that the Padres have had a full-time manager not named Bud Black. During his tenure, Black did a fine job, but was unable to bring the Padres to the playoffs.

So to think that a new manager can magically improve this team is a foolish thought. Padres fans should be happy if the team shows any signs of life and simply demonstrates a competent ability to hit the baseball. In 2015, the Padres ranked 26 out of all 30 MLB teams in contact rate, a statistic which measures how often a team’s hitters make contact when at the plate.

As a lifelong fan of the Seattle Mariners, I’ve seen a lot of bad baseball in my day. But the thing that separates the Mariners and the Padres to me is the level of intrigue.

In recent years the Mariners have employed flashy superstars like Ichiro and Felix Hernandez. The Padres best hitter of the last decade was Adrian Gonzalez, known for his quiet, unassuming nature rather than for bat flips or juicy soundbites.

Even the Padres’ uniforms have become drab and uncreative, and now they don’t even have a manager with a cool alliterative name like Bud Black. So here’s to Andy Green, who continues the trend of Padres managers who are named after colors, but hopefully won’t continue the trend of not winning baseball games.