San Diego Padres: FoB Sits Down With Friars HOF’er Randy Jones
By Tim Ryder
FoB Interview with San Diego Padres legend Randy Jones
You were traded from the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets in 1980, one of the first handful of moves made by (then GM) Frank Cashen after he was hired by the Mets. What was it like leaving San Diego and what was it like adjusting to life in New York?
RJ: I loved it! I had no problems whatsoever. I enjoyed my time there, I just wish I would have been healthy. I knew when I accepted the trade that (Frank) Cashen was rolling the dice, and so was I. I’d already snapped a nerve in my arm three times.
Then I went out there and did it again both years I was in New York. It was very, very frustrating. Mentally and physically I was the same pitcher, I was just out of bullets. I just couldn’t stay healthy. It was frustrating and I wish we could have played a little better.
I got to New York, they were rebuilding and trying to get better. I had just come from a situation like that in San Diego. Overall, I had a great time. I have no complaints, I just wish I would have been healthy.
You were there through the 1982 season. Could you tell something big was brewing in Queens, leading up to the Mets 1986 World Series championship?
RJ: I thought so. I liked the direction they were going. Ownership was willing to spend some money and invest and develop a system. I think the desire to win at that time was a little stronger in New York than it was in San Diego.
San Diego is a little laid-back and I think that’s been a nemesis of-sorts for professional sports teams in the city. No more being laid-back, let’s win a championship!
It looks like that’s what (San Diego Padres GM) A.J. Preller has in mind.
RJ: That’s correct. I’m excited about it. I’m going out to Spring Training on Monday. Gonna put the uniform on, work with the guys for about three weeks. I’m looking forward to working with the guys, seeing how they interact.
There are so many young pitchers. Any plans for what you’re going to speak to them about?
RJ: I’ll talk to them about the mental part of the game. Setting guys up, that part of the game. I’ll try to get my message across but they speak a different language these days with all of the new stats.
Do you pay a lot of attention to advanced stats?
RJ: I’m not really big on the stats. I take a look at a guy in person, give him the eye test. I’ll tell you if he can play or not, or if he can pitch. That’s the way it should be.