The Padres made headlines after dismissing Team President and CEO Mike Dee, in large part in response to the recent infractions of General Manager A.J. Preller. While I understand the decision, couldn’t they have also gone ahead and dismissed Ron Fowler too?
With the revelations about how Preller treated medical information during the past season, those infractions will impact the Padres for years into the future. With the firing of Dee – who is not exactly a longtime respected baseball executive – it does give the Padres a chance to help right wrongs in league circles.
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As it stands now, would you trust anything that A.J. Preller or Dee had told you at the upcoming Winter Meetings? “Yes, of course he is healthy” they would tell you.
Ron Fowler meanwhile made his own headlines this summer about how he dealt with some of those players. He berated Matt Kemp and James Shields in particular, two players who did nearly exactly what most people expected them to do while in San Diego. Fowler just didn’t like footing the bill and not seeing the overall team results. Why couldn’t he go too before he keeps embarrassing the team?
Dee was named the CEO and Team President, and early indications are that a new person would ensure that Preller reports directly to team ownership, not just the person that will fill a Dee like role as Team President. Essentially Preller will now be under much more scrutiny in how he does his job.
At this point, I think the Padres should not fire Preller as despite some of the misgivings, he does seem to have a clear direction and there has been a dramatic uptick in the Padres farm system in even the past year through some of these now tainted trades. More upheaval is not necessarily the answer, and the Padres can rectify by bringing in someone like Terry Ryan formerly of Minnesota or even Bud Black in a role as he will not be the new Braves manager as was widely expected. (Padres – please DO NOT look to Dave Stewart or Kevin Towers).
It will be a big move as the Padres look ahead to 2017 and some exciting prospects in the majors. Hunter Renfore energized the team and fan base in his two weeks or so in the majors and it is very exciting to see what he and Manuel Margot can do together in the Petco Park outfield over a full season. The Padres aren’t there yet, but with continued development and the right organizational moves up top might be a lot closer than many people think.