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Padres fire general manager Josh Byrnes

Jun 22, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT

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From the Padres’ official team blog on MLB.com:

After a disappointing start to the 2014 season, in which the team lost 43 of its first 75 games, the Padres announced today that Executive Vice President/General Manager Josh Byrnes has been relieved of his duties.

“This ownership group is committed to fielding a team that consistently competes for postseason play,” said club president and CEO Mike Dee in a written statement Sunday. “Thus far this season, the results on the field have been mixed at best and clearly have not lived up to expectations. After a lengthy evaluation of every facet of our baseball operations, we have decided to make this change today.

“The search for a new General Manager begins immediately,” continued Dee’s statement. “We are looking for someone who can define, direct and lead this franchise’s baseball philosophy for years to come.”

Byrnes was promoted to general manager in October 2011. San Diego was 184-215 on his watch. Omar Minaya, Fred Uhlman, and A.J. Hinch will act as an interim GM committee until a replacement is named.

  1. pastabelly - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Theo Epstein will hire him (and then all of them will get fired).

  2. jya87 - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Seems like their rotation has been a mess ever since Peavy left. Hope the Pads’ GM can field a more competitive team.

    • tuberippin - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      I don’t know about that. There were a lot of factors in play. Chris Young’s arm started to betray him, and he’s only just now gotten back to a decent level. That rotation was trending down with or without Peavy.

      The Mat Latos to Cincy trade is arguably his biggest failure, but even then, the guys he acquired were major talents. Yonder Alonso was supposed to push Joey Votto for the 1B job, but once he went to San Diego he fell apart. Yasmani Grandal was of course involved in Biogenesis and has yet to bounce back, and Edinson Volquez remains arguably the most frustrating pitcher in the major leagues (other than maybe Francisco Liriano).

      He also traded for Carlos Quentin, but I guess that was just to fill the Padres’ long-time need for an All-Star outfielder who is perpetually injured.

      The Anthony Rizzo for Andrew Cashner trade is looking like a win-win for both teams. Byrnes also picked up Tyson Ross for a song from Oakland and picked up Ian Kennedy for almost nothing from Arizona. Neither is outstanding, but they’ve made up for the loss of top pitching prospect Casey Kelly to Tommy John surgery and Cory Luebke to Tommy John surgery in successive years.

      In summation, the hitting prospects Byrnes traded for never panned out, and that really hurt a team that has long been troubled on offense. Even guys that had been there before Byrnes came to town have been pretty awful (hat tip to Chase Headley and Nick Hundley, shouts to Cam Maybin for finding new ways to hit the DL every year) and the prospects that have come through the pipeline have been even worse (Jedd Gyorko, Donavan Tate, Kyle Blanks).

      Worst move by Byrnes were his failures with a small budget in free agency. Signed a ton of cast-offs and washed-up guys like Jeff Suppan, Josh Johnson, and Jason Marquis.

      • smoothaswilkes - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:28 PM

        this

  3. icanspeel - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    He had some good trades, but overall is responsible for the lineup put on the field. Padres haven’t progressed over the last few years, so a change was needed.

  4. clydeserra - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    seems like weird timing. right before the deadline

    • icanspeel - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      Would you want a GM on the hotseat handling your deadline trades? I suspect he might have been fired a week ago had it not been for Tony Gwynn’s passing.

      • tuberippin - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        “Would you want a GM on the hotseat handling your deadline trades?”

        Because now they have Omar Minaya handling trades.

      • gloccamorra - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:45 PM

        Minaya will be one of three, temporarily. There probably won’t be much trading until the off-season, after they’ve gotten a permanent GM. Trading your closer (Street), 3B (Headley), and the two most productive OF (Smith & Denorfia) before the new guy takes over is beyond dumb, and the new owners are not dumb.

        Forget Fowler and Dee, the O’Malley family is majority owner, with former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley as dad, uncle and mentor, with a lot of baseball contacts and relationships to draw on. They probably already have somebody lined up more to their liking than Byrnes, a Jeff Moorad hire, but will wait a decent interval before making an announcement.

    • mja2001 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      At this point in the season, when your 150 AB or more players average the following:

      .286
      .253
      .222
      .210
      .204
      .200
      .162

      “Well, THERE’S your problem!” :)

      The pitching is all that keeps my Padres alive. The front office has no commitment to the fans. They don’t want October baseball in San Diego, not if it costs them more money to field a better offense.

      The “Padre” way is to get a few good arms at a bargain, and roll the dice with questionable offensive talent that every 7 years MIGHT get you a wild card birth, or even a division. But of course that’s only if they all happen to peak the same year. I’m so sick of this pattern since I was a kid. It’s Flea-Market talent strategy. AND, if they do find a steal of a deal… they flip the talent back onto the market for a profit after 1-2 years, just in time for OTHER teams to make a run for October.

      Every. Single. Year. “Welcome to San Diego, home of the NL’s FUTURE all-stars, AFTER we trade them away.”

      I can always tell a bad season is coming when even the management of Padres baseball call it “… a rebuilding year.” Padre fans already know EVERY year is a rebuilding year. So, when they feel the need to remind us of that, we can take odds on it being a .350 or .400 year. At least when they say, “We’ll make a run for October,” we MIGHT have a .500 club that season.

      Bless Buddy Black for doing so much with what that front office gives him every year.

      With that being said, I’ll be making the drive from Phoenix to Petco Park on Thursday June 26th to say goodbye to Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn, at 19:19 hours.

      The front office could learn a lot about work ethic, and commitment to being the best by watching Tony’s old interviews, and instructional videos.

  5. Old Gator - Jun 22, 2014 at 4:50 PM

    “Show them my head. It will be worth it.”
    – Danton

  6. rjwiesner - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Its amazing with the technology and statistics at their disposal how a gm can screw it all up.

    • mazblast - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      This happens to a lot of GMs, but in particular to the “hot, young” type who start believing the press clippings bestowed upon them by press hacks eager to (a) have access to Mr. Young and Hip and (b) make a name for themselves by being “FIRST!!!”

      • Balladeer - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

        This is such a dumb comment on so many levels.

      • don444 - Jun 23, 2014 at 2:59 AM

        Sorry moron, you missed badly.

    • dan1111 - Jun 23, 2014 at 1:51 AM

      It’s a highly competitive business with a thin margin for error (especially for small market teams). Some teams have to lose, even if all 30 are well-run.

      I don’t think Byrnes was so terrible. He made some questionable moves, but there was a lot of bad luck involved, as well.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

    Well Omar Minaya will certainly right the ship.

    • mazblast - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:49 PM

      Seeing that name had me cringing in fear–and I’m not even a Padres (or Mets) fan.

  8. mikhelb - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    I wonder if the frailes will hire another ex-worker of Theo, Epstein’s boys dismantled the team. When Hoyer took over the reins, the Padres had a very good season (2010), their last winning season, and soon after the season was over, he traded their best player to Theo who needed a 1B but was unable to get Adrián until his boy Hoyer went to San Diego, González’s price was very high until Jed accepted to give him the 1B for small change that has contributed nothing so far, and Rizzo, whom he took with them when Theo and Hoyer went to the Cubs holding their hands.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:52 PM

      I smell a conspiracy! But Byrnes was part of the Boston Mafia too, along with CEO Mike Dee, a Larry Lucchino protege. The entangling alliances must be more complicated!

    • jwbiii - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Some might suggest that Andrew Cashner has been pretty darn good. In any case, if another team wants him, and plenty would, he’ll cost significantly more than the waiver wire price ($25k), don’t you think?

  9. Caught Looking - Jun 22, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    “Omar Minaya, Fred Uhlman, and A.J. Hinch will act as an interim GM committee until a replacement is named”

    And they think this trio will do better? There’s not much to work with here.

  10. chill1184 - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    “Omar Minaya, Fred Uhlman, and A.J. Hinch will act as an interim GM committee until a replacement is named”

    While there are teams I would wish Omar Minaya on the Padres aren’t one of them. (pours beer for Padres fans)

    • mazblast - Jun 22, 2014 at 7:51 PM

      Amen. My brother lives in SD, and I can only imagine what colorful language he’ll use if Minaya gets the gig. I’d call and ask him right now, but he and his too-good-for-him girlfriend are on the road from the second stop of a three-Midwestern-home-games-in-five-days trip. They live a rough life.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Do. Not. Be. Alarmed. Minaya was a Jeff Moorad hire, just before MLB refused to approve Moorad as majority owner. The trio is just a place holder group until the new majority owners, the O’Malley family, place their guy. Minaya and Hinch (another Moorad pick from Arizona) might be gone themselves soon after a new GM takes over.

  11. xpensivewinos - Jun 22, 2014 at 8:26 PM

    First off, who in their right mind thought this team was going to compete? If the Padres themselves really believe that, they’re even more delusional than I gave them credit for.

    This team is awful from top to bottom and the results are exactly what anyone in their right mind expected. Even if the offense was a little better, they’re still brutal. The entire team is nothing but a collection of crap.

    Seriously, did anyone really think these guys would be doing anything other than battling with Arizona to see who finished last in the NL West?

    • Balladeer - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Lay off the sauce, bro.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      Lots of people thought it was a dark horse team, due to the pitching and defense. Your “awful from top to bottom” assessment is way off. The pitching staff is 8th of 30 teams, and the bullpen has the second lowest ERA in the majors. The defense has been slightly above league average, but the hitters, though, have a track record, and the performance this year of key players is inexplicably far below their norms.

      They’ve scored nearly 60 fewer runs than the Mets! If they scored the same number of runs as the Mets (25th of 30 teams), they’d be a .500 team instead of 12 games under. If they just scored the National League average, their record would be 40-36, 5-1/2 games behind the Giants, only 1 game out of the wildcard. Good pitching will make a team competitive, but it has to score runs.

      • icanspeel - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:30 PM

        Exactly, and another funny stat for the Padres is they are 24-4 when they score 4 runs or more.. Pitching would hold it down with some support.

      • jwbiii - Jun 22, 2014 at 11:05 PM

        The Padres play in an extreme pitchers’ park. A good Padres team will have mediocre raw offense numbers, a lousy one will have decent pitching numbers.

  12. gbrim - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    USA Today columnist Nightengale says the Padres have Kevin Towers on their radar to bring back. As a DBacks fan, I am hoping it happens. If I was a Padres fan I would probably cancel my season tickets and burn my Padres gear if that were to come to pass. What in Towers’ tenure in Arizona makes them think he is good at developing a small market team? Not to mention his last few years in SD. Nice guy, probably would be a good neighbor. Never would want him as a general manager again… Ever…..

  13. navyeoddavee9 - Jun 22, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    Rumor is Padres are eying Towers, to return, if so, just one big circle, makes no sense

  14. wahoo21 - Jun 22, 2014 at 10:24 PM

    Its about time they canned byrnes….he was terrible and he is the one that gave bud black that mess of a roster. Now if they would get rid of plantier and powell and hire a real hitting coach they might be headed in the right direction.

    The name I would expect to hear as a dark horse is Mark Loretta….mark my words….he will be a GM in the major leagues.

    • gloccamorra - Jun 23, 2014 at 12:23 AM

      You may be right, but I’d think he’s the prime candidate for manager if Black gets the heave-ho after his end-of-the-season guarantee runs out. Black is contracted for next year, but that’s not worth much – they just ate 2-1/2 years of Byrnes’ contract.

  15. ericxchavoya - Jun 27, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    RIP Tony Gwynn! San Diego love

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