In the postgame press conference, Jayce Tingler indicated that providing a winner for the City of San Diego was a motivating factor for the Padres.
While the Padres season didn’t end the way they had envisioned, many good things came from the shortened season. Fernando Tatis Jr. remained healthy, which hampered his rookie season. He became a superstar at the age of 21, hitting 17 home runs with 45 RBI in 59 games. He’ll be an NL MVP finalist, but his slump at the end of the year may have hurt his chances to beat Braves’ Freddie Freeman.
The Friars made the postseason for the first time since 2006, advancing to the NLDS against the rival Dodgers. Had their top two starters not been injured, we might be looking at a different ending. And first-year manager Jayce Tingler, while he had some early learning moments, generally did a good job leading this group of guys.
He also knows how important the Padres are to the City of San Diego.
“The thing that we’re probably most proud of… is we had a little bit of spark in the City of San Diego. I know it was super motivating for the group of players to bring a winner to the city. That united us.”
That’s pretty cool to hear, considering the Padres are the only major sports team left in town. As noted, the Friars haven’t had much to look forward to in quite some time, with only two winning seasons coming after 2006. A generally young team, the Padres figure to be in the mix for the NL West for the foreseeable future.
General Manager AJ Preller will have to get his ducks in a row this offseason, but for the most part, this same group of guys will return next year. Make a few modifications where needed, and give me a full 162-schedule right now. And as Tatis said, we’re just getting this thing started.