It turns out there’s a reason the San Diego Padres can’t win despite their star-studded roster.
“The Padres’ disastrous season can be traced back to a shaky organization and structural failures,” The Athletic wrote on Monday night about San Diego’s disappointing performance this season.
At the center of that failure is San Diego President A.J. Preller. A former scouting and developmental specialist with the Texas Rangers, Preller has made a name for himself in San Diego by aggressively acquiring players and developing prospects. Upon his arrival, he brought in big-name stars like Craig Kimbrel and Matt Kemp to challenge for the postseason, and when that didn’t work out, he sold them off to reacquire prospects, including Fernando Tatis, Jr. Manny Machado, Darvish Yu, Joe Musgrove, Juan Soto, Zander Bogaerts, and other big-name stars signed to extensions via free agency or trade. His aggressive trades and signings have earned him the nickname Madman.
The problem seems to be that his aggressiveness didn’t stop at the front office. The Athletic reported that Preller has been feuding with manager Bob Melvin. “As San Diego fell apart this season, Preller and Melvin had a falling out. The feud has become one of baseball’s worst-kept secrets.”
The outlet accused Preller of micromanaging (the practice of leaders micromanaging everything themselves) and “trying to be in charge of everything.” “His direct approach is both irritating and admirable,” said a former San Diego employee. “His direct approach is both irritating and admirable,” says a former San Diego employee, noting that the front office blames the coaching staff when results don’t go their way. 안전놀이터
It’s not surprising that the front office would be so hands-on with the manager. Melvin is a veteran manager with 20 seasons in the MLB and three manager of the year awards. However, the article notes that “current and former team officials said there were situations where Preller told players one thing and Melvin another. One player likened the situation to children suffering when a couple has a bad relationship.”
Melvin also seems to be taking a lot of the blame for San Diego’s struggles this season. In particular, the team has lost 11 games in extra innings despite having one of the best closers in the game in Josh Hader. But whether a managerial change will solve the problem remains a question mark. One former San Diego coach said, “Mr. Preller is looking for a coach to lead the superstars he’s assembled. And I don’t know who that is, if it’s not Melvin (with his charisma and experience).”
For now, Preller doesn’t appear to be in the driver’s seat. Owner Peter Sadler has repeatedly expressed his confidence in him. But if Preller’s organization is still “mad,” then a coaching change or player additions won’t be enough to bring San Diego its first championship.