Maybe the grass really is greener somewhere else. That is, if you ask former San Diego Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker.
In a recent interview on the Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, the current skipper of the Miami Marlins (who are finding some success in 2023) dished on 'toxic' staffs he was part of with other clubs as a means of praising his current situation.
Former San Diego Padres associate manager Skip Schumaker doesn't hold back in apparent criticism of the team
Now, we don't know for certain if Schumaker intended for these comments to be about the Padres, because he also spent time as the St. Louis Cardinals' bench coach last season. However, it seems reasonable to infer that these remarks were in relation to his time in San Diego, given that he spent four seasons there and witnessed a managerial change.
Schumaker's tenure in San Diego spanned both the last two seasons of Andy Green's stint as Padres skipper (2018-2019), as well as the two seasons (2020-2021) in which Jayce Tingler occupied that title. And given the team's overall lack of success in that time despite adding major talent like Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr., Joe Musgrove, Blake Snell, Yu Darvish and more, it's not a surprise that other factors went awry in their demise.
It's interesting (but predictable) that Schumaker cited 'ego' as a primary culprit for the permeation of this alleged toxic culture in San Diego. With so much star power in town, it makes sense that a lack of leadership would lead to clashing egos among both players and coaches. Obviously, chemistry is important in constructing a roster and a coaching staff, the latter of which Schumaker emphasized in this interview.
If these comments were really about the Padres, that's not a positive reflection on the organization. Fortunately, Bob Melvin appears to have brought some much-needed stability to San Diego. And though his ball club is underperforming in 2023, that seems to be an on-field issue rather than a culture conflict given Melvin's ability to rally the troops when necessary.