New Padres manager Andy Green can not wait to get started with this baseball season. At 38 years old, he has the chance to be the hero for the Padres…or at least hold the ship steady for a season or two until he can play hero. He is pouring himself into the job, even making a road trip to meet some of his veterans prior to Spring Training starting this week as reported by Bernie Wilson.
“I thought it was incredibly important to make a face-to-face connection with a number of our veteran guys,”
He seems big on connections – and you could argue that is easily one of the biggest reasons he was hired. While other managers boasted better overall records like Ron Gardenhire or Dusty Baker, some had Padres history on their side like Phil Nevin, Green brings both a fresh perspective on the Major League level and a proven track record of winning as a manager in the Minor Leagues. He was Southern League Manager of the Year in 2013 and 2014.
He visited Andrew Cashner, Wil Myers, Melvin Upton Jr.and Derek Norris among others. Earlier this year the Padres hosted a mini-camp for some of their roster additions and prospects so that could get familiar with the new coaching staff as well, which includes Mark McGwire as the bench coach for the Padres.
Green explained his rationale for the visit: “It was just, ‘Let’s get to know each other a little bit.’ The whole idea was, listen, not to come in and cast some dynamic vision for this season but find out who these guys are, get an understanding of them.”
The Padres are betting on Green after a 2015 season that failed miserably despite much bigger names on the field, and this year the Padres jettisoned familiar names like Jedd Gyorko and Ian Kennedy more than adding big names. Instead, they will count on an improving minor league system and strong picks in the upcoming MLB Amateur Draft in June to turn things around.
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Despite the fact that many predict the Padres to have a dismal season, Green doesn’t seem intimidated by the projections for 2016. He is pouring all he can into making this season a winning one and all that before Spring Training has even begun. We can only hope that for Green and the Padres the best is yet to come.