Let’s Look Back At Suggestions From 2012

Back on the deceased, original version of The Vocal Minority, I posted in response to the rumors that the Padres finally had settled on (or were soon to settle on) new ownership. The idea was, after the disaster that had been the Moores divorce/Jeff Moorad/post-divorce Moores debacle(s), that Padres ownership needed to make a clean break and start fresh. It’s been 4 years and 10 days since “The Suggestion Box” went up, and #FireMikeDee day seems like a good time to take a look and see how the O’Malley/Seidler/Fowler group and their CEO Mike Dee have done with what I consider to be the most important parts.

  • Hire/retain good baseball people and let them do their jobs.

Hooboy. The idea here is that the business folks should stay on the business side, and the baseball people should stay on the baseball side. I wouldn’t imagine AJ Preller visiting Wayne Partello’s office to tell him which emojis the team should chain together in one of those “cool dad” tweets we’ve come to know and love from @Padres. 💩 is 🚮. So, why is baseball operations reporting to Mike Dee? They have hired some very, VERY good baseball people with extremely notable track records. Management’s “hands-on” nature has been noted, both by local media and to Padres Public itself. The U-T’s Jeff Sanders has stated more than once that the idea of a Matt Kemp trade was being kicked around before AJ Preller came on board. This reeks of upper management looking for an attainable “name” to market, and has turned into a…well, I’ll let Chris of The Sacrifice Bunt tell you:

  • Intelligent acquisitions
Photo credit: U-T San Diego

Photo credit: U-T San Diego

  • Focus on draft and development

Well, we know how that went last year. The Padres jettisoned a lot of young players/prospects as part of a winter spree that was super fun, and incredibly misguided. The stagnant Padres franchise needed to hit the reset button several years ago. Instead, Dee blamed Josh Byrnes for selling him a bill of goods (which is an odd story for Dee to go with because it makes him look…incompetent. There was plenty of evidence to justifiably fire Byrnes.), and they’ve since gone with the current “building, not rebuilding” line. The jury is still out on AJ Preller’s tenure, one which deserves more time to play out. Looking at Ron Fowler and Mike Dee, you have to say they’ve failed up to this point. With a bullheaded, transparent, marketing-focused refusal to rebuild (or today, acknowledge the beginning of a rebuild), the Padres franchise has been set back. The farm system was emptied, valuable trade pieces were retained and have since essentially lost most of the value they once had.

Positives? We do have Wil Myers. That’s pretty awesome. The Kimbrel trade with Boston was a great one. And the club is supposedly going to spend roughly “a fuckload” on J2 signings next month. It’s going to be a little while until we can grade out this draft and signing period, but it’s hard not to feel a little good about it.

When Mike Dee fired Josh Byrnes, he spoke of being held accountable for poor results. He spoke of the team being in a better place, but how there was a need for more long-term vision. He also said they’re going to let their actions speak louder than words going forward. If these are the standards the organization has set, ownership needs to take a look and see if they are being upheld.

 

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  • ballybunion

    The mistake was making Fowler the owner’s rep. He’s a local guy, and the Seidlers/O’Malleys needed time to settle in, but “hire/retain good baseball people and let them do their jobs” was the Dodger formula, not Fowler’s. I suppose, if we’re supposin’ here, that Fowler knew he had a short time period in charge and wanted to make a splash by accelerating the game plan.

    Fowler’s error was hiring an egotist as CEO, one who has churned the front office and placed people without experience in some positions, but with loyalty to him. That is going to make the solution harder to implement. I believe the baseball operations is in good hands, but the rest of the front office looks to be headed for interesting times.