Josh Byrnes in hope-filled Spring Training. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
This week will forever be remembered as the week the world lost Tony Gwynn.
His impact will outlast the statue that stands outside Petco Park, and some great pieces have already been written about his impact here at Friars On Base and throughout the web.
Yet a week that started with two losses to the Mariners, following news of Tony’s death turned around upon returning to San Diego. They then won the next two against the Mariners – including the second consecutive great game turned in by rookie Jesse Hahn. No hits this time, but we will take 7 innings of one-run ball any day.
Then the weekend series began against the Dodgers. They battled in Game 1, but besides Seth Smith two monster home runs, had nothing to show for it. Then came the 9th inning, as they clawed their way back with multiple hits and won the game on a sacrifice fly. It was the Padres largest 9th inning comeback in 4 years.
Saturday and Sunday they returned to their low offensive ways and only managed 3 runs in 2 games for two losses.
The shocker came Sunday morning – as news outlets reported that GM Josh Byrnes was ousted.
For a team that is planning a fire sale, I wonder if this is the best timing? Would you want to take over a team that just traded off it’s best assets? It seems like the fire sale should wait until after the new GM is in place, but that surely will not be until after the trade deadline. Sure, Omar Minaya will run things for now, as he was a successful GM with the Expos and Mets. Unless they have someone in mind already for the spot, it will take time and is likely why they canned Byrnes now and not later. In fact I think it’s fair to say that Byrnes probably would have been fired earlier in the week if not for the tragic passing of Tony Gwynn.
Bud Black‘s job is safe for now. I believe he will be with the team through the end of the season, but not long after that. A new GM will have “his guy” undoubtedly to bring in and run this team in his likeness throughout the future. Wonder if Billy Beane is getting bored winning in Oakland and wants to return to his San Diego roots? Will Tony La Russa oust GM Kevin Towers in Arizona and will he return to the club he led to several division titles in the mid-2000’s? Lots of questions to answer in the next month plus until July 31st. Unfortunately most of the excitement will be in the front office and not on the field.
Player of the Week:
Tony Gwynn. Mr. Padre Forever.
Standings: 14.5 GB the Giants