After the San Diego Padres most recent home stand, manager Pat Murphy had some very interesting comments to the San Diego media. The Padres had just won their third straight against the Miami Marlins. The team went 6-3 on the home stand and seemed poised to make a playoff run. Or at least that is what some Padres fans believed.
Murphy took the podium and generally looked displeased. The team had just won three in a row, but the manager very adamantly said the team is working on getting better. They just won three in a row, but he still insists more from his players. Where is all this coming from?
His next quote is quite interesting. The Padres interim manager said “I think we are still a long way from being as good as we need to be in order to be the organization and the team year in and year out that we want to be.” This is right before the team is to go on a pivotal road trip. Padres owner Ron Fowler recently insisted the team is not selling any players, and the season is still within grasp. Realistically the team must consider moving its pending free agents. Most notably Justin Upton. Ian Kennedy and Will Venable are also likely to be moved.
So was Murphy being disrespectful and thumbing his nose at the front office with his comments? No. certainly not. He was just being realistic. This Padres team is missing some very key pieces. It starts with Wil Myers being out. His loss was particular devastating to the Padres. Since injuring his wrist on Mother’s Day in Arizona, the team just hasn’t had the same swagger to it. Losing Brandon Morrow early on also was huge for the team. He looked to be the most consistent pitcher, but yet the injury bug hit the right handed pitcher yet again.
That quote from Pat Murphy shows me that he has high hopes for this team and more importantly the organization. He is a realist and knows that this Padres team lacks certain key fundamentals to win successfully. The team is way too right handed and the defensive liabilities of the team do not match well with the pitching staff. Murphy is a baseball man, he knows good baseball when he sees it. The Padres are in no way, shape, or form showing a consistent effort. Murphy can’t be blamed for the play of this team he inherited.
Padres fans should appreciate his honesty and the fact he looks at the team realistically. So how is he doing as a manager? He has definitely done some unorthodox things like batting Matt Kemp lead-off and pulling starting pitchers early in their starts. A mostly college manager who only recently began to manage professional players, Murphy is surely still learning the managerial process.
Could he be the long-term answer as the Padres skipper? The team has been linked to Ozzie Guillen and Jason Varitek in the past. Guillen would bring a fiery attitude to the managerial position, but I don’t know if his antics would play well in the mostly laid-back city of San Diego. Varitek is an interesting option, but the Red Sox might want to pursue him after their abysmal 2015 season. It really remains to be seen if Murphy is the long-term answer. He has done well in his first go around as a Major League manager, but the team could go in any direction as they search for an identity.