When the San Diego Padres hired Jayce Tingler to become their manager they couldn’t have imagined how difficult his first season might be.
Many had never heard of him and were hoping for a big name with a lot of popular managers available such as Joe Maddon.
But the Padres took a chance on the 38-year-old Tingler even though he had very little managerial experience.
Part of the reason A.J. Preller love Tingler is because of his ability to relate and engage with players — along with his understanding of analytics, which is pretty much a must in today’s game.
While it was always going to be somewhat of a trial-by-fire for Tingler in 2020, having to navigate an unprecedented 60-game season is like being thrown in fire with gasoline poured all over you.
He’ll not only have to figure out how to navigate through this season and knowing when to push it or when to use his young players, but he’ll also have to be the leading the voice in the clubhouse to make sure players are keeping themselves and others safe from this virus.
His leadership on how he handles himself during the pandemic will go a long way in making sure players keep themselves free from this virus.
That in itself may be the hardest part of Tingler’s job in his first year as a big league manager.
While we all want baseball and to have some sort of live entertainment, we also don’t want anyone to get COVID-19 or potentially spread it to their families.
In the end, that comes down to everyone on a personal level, but I think Tingler’s example will go a long way to impacting the players on the team — specifically the younger players.
In some ways, this season will also be a good training course for Tingler. I don’t think he’ll be judged too harshly either way in a weird 2020 season.
There is no question this is like nothing we’ve seen before. It will be highly interesting to see how the first-time manager handles everything surround the 2020 season.