It was a suprise, but nevertheless, the San Diego Padres have a manager in Andy Green, a 38-year-old, who beat out two good finalists to win the managerial job.
Coming into the late stages of the week, San Deigo noted Rick Sofield, the Pittsburgh Pirates third-base coach, and Ron Gardenhire, who is a former Minnesota Twins manager, as finalists for the job. Suprisingly enough, Green came out of nowhere and was hired on October 29.
Green, who is now the manager of the Padres, was the third-base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are the National League West rivals of San Diego. He saw how talented the Padres were, adding stars such as Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, James Shields, and more. Green also saw the Padres struggle and miss the playoffs for the ninth straight season.
"Expectations were extraordinarily high here last year, right?" Green said. "The city was brimming with optimism it was going to get what it waited for a long time, a chance to be back in the playoffs and to compete for a World Series. That expectation didn't do anything to raise the performance level. I think we have to cultivate a culture of expectation that this day we get the most out of what we can do. We get better today. We commit to a process rather than, `Hey, we're going to end up in the World Series at the end of the season.'
"I'm all for goals, but printing out a T-shirt that says `World Series or bust' doesn't necessarily get a team to the World Series."
Green built up his resume with a 219-189 record over four seasons in the farm system for Arizona. He earned the Sourthern League Manager of the Year award in 2013 an 2014 and led the Rookie-League Missoula Osprey to a Pioneer League championship in 2012. The former shortstop impressed San Diego's general manager, A.J. Preller, from the start of the managerial hiring process.
"It was impressive in terms of his knowledge, his attention to detail, how prepared he was," Preller said. "I think you got a sense from him being on the field across from us, he was part of giving his team an advantage when we played against them.
"We feel like we have a club that there's some talent on the field, there's some guys that maybe didn't play as well as they've played in the past, and I think it's going to be an organization effort to try to figure out why and how and how do we turn that around. And on the field, it's going to be led by Andy."
Green played from 2004-2006 with the Diamondbacks and also made an appearence with the New York Mets in 2009. In between, the shortstop went over to Japan to play for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighers in 2007.
The Padres will look to rebound in 2016 after Bud Black managed the team to a 32-33 record before he was fired. Pat Murphy, who had no managerial experience, finished out the season with a 42-54 record, which gave San Diego an overall 74-88 record on the season even though they owned a club-record payroll. Murphy was fired immediatley after the last game of the regular season.
“I’m not a territorial guy,” said Green, the majors' latest rookie manager. “I want ideas from everywhere. I welcome them from inside and outside the coaching staff. Whatever we can do to be the absolute best we can be, that’s what we’re going to be committed to doing as an organization.
“We need to really believe that our tomorrow is brighter than our today.”