It has been over twenty-fours since the organization relieved former General Manager Josh Byrnes of his duties with the San Diego Padres. The death of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn most certainly had an impact on its timing, but it did not shock fans or Padres’ players when it finally happened due to the team’s performance so far this year.
Following yesterday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the finale of the three games series, Padres’ players got a chance to reflect on the Byrnes firing. While most players were definitely saddened by it, they were not entirely shocked either. As many players commonly state to the media, “it’s a business and it is part of the game.”
Pitcher Andrew Cashner who was brought over in a trade that sent Anthony Rizzo to the Chicago Cubs, added, It’s sad to see Josh go. He gave me an opportunity to start here and I’m grateful for that. But it’s out of my control.”
Though many view Byrnes acquisition of Cashner as one of his successes, there are other who see this trade the other way. While Cashner has certainly put up excellent numbers this season despite a 2-6 record, he was placed on the DL for the second time this season with arm problems. With the Padres’ offensive struggles this season, Rizzo, who hit is 16th home run of this season tonight, would have been a nice addition to a struggling lineup.
Third baseman Chase Headley added, “When a team performs this way, changes are gonna be made. It was out there, it was kind of hanging over your head and you’re wondering. Just to come out of that with reassurance and not be wondering if something else is coming with that, I think that gives everybody a little peace of mind. Nobody’s walking on eggshells now, kind of wondering what’s coming next.”
Since the start of the season, Headley has been at the forefront of trade talks. His anemic offensive numbers and hefty contract will make it difficult for the new GM to get anything in return. However, the firing of Byrnes should open up the eyes of those players who are underperforming. Ron Fowler and Mike Dee are looking to change those problems immediately and establish their style of baseball in San Diego, so it will be interesting to see what will happened to the current roster.
Some will question whether Byrnes really got a fair chance since he was hired on by Jeff Moorad and his group, but the Padres’ new management certainly made a statement to both the fans and the players that they will not accept losing.