In one interview request that comes as no surprise, the Padres have asked former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire to come to San Diego to interview for the vacant Padres spot. He certainly comes with a depth of experience that other rumored candidates cannot match up to.
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According to Dennis Lin, Gardenhire would fit into more of the old school approach which I have to wonder how that fits in with very new school General Manager A.J. Preller’s philosophy.
Now not too long ago our very own Keegan Tatum wrote that hiring Gardenhire would be a great fit as the new Padres manager. Ron was the 2010 AL Manager of the Year and for years led his Twins teams with smaller rosters to post-season success.
To me hiring Gardenhire would be like re-hiring Bud Black. Pretty similar demeanor and approach to the game, though of course Black was a pitcher while Gardenhire was a shortstop. I think the Padres would be better to go a little outside of the box with the managerial search. A.J. Preller did try the rookie big league manager approach with Pat Murphy and obviously was not satisfied with the approach.
Who Preller chooses will likely be a large part in shaping his legacy. After all, you can make one bad decision in a coach, but can you afford two? Look no further than what USC Athletic Director Pat Hayden is going through with two disastrous head coaching picks in Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. While Mike Dee is still singing high the praises of Preller what if 2016 doesn’t go any better than 2015?
He had this to say about what he was looking for:
“We’re betting on a person, we’re betting on a guy we feel like can be a leader, someone who can bring more on the relationship and culture side, more on the day-to-day leadership. The clubhouse, the communication, I think that’s going to be the biggest thing.”
I expect we should know who will lead the Padres by the end of October. Whether that be Gardenhire, Ron Washington, or someone else will shape the Padres for 2016 and years to come.