The San Diego Padres are a young team, but there are high expectations for the squad in 2019. With that, manager Andy Green has taken on some criticism of late. Is this justified or just frustration from the fan base?
As a major league manager, when you are handed a talented team to guide into the promised land- expectations are high.
For Andy Green, the manager of the San Diego Padres, he has never had the pleasure of running a team like the 2019 squad. The addition of Manny Machado put the Padres over the competitive edge in the National League. Machado, as well as Eric Hosmer, who was signed in the winter of 2018, bring a winning attitude to San Diego. There is now a feeling in the locker room that the team should win every game. They expect to win. With this mentality, there is some pressure that is starting to fall on the young manager.
2019 is a big year for the Padres and their skipper. We should see growth in this squad. Throughout this season, young players should emerge, and rookies should continue to develop. Not all players will improve though, and that should not be on the shoulders of Green. The law of averages dictates that even the highest rated prospect can fizzle out in time. The game of baseball is hard to play. Especially if you factor in the mental side of the game.
The Padres started 11-5, and immediately the expectations from the fan base were that this was a playoff team destined for greatness. Naturally, the fan base did overreact in the start of the season, but there is a lot of excitement for who the Padres could eventually be. After a six-game losing streak, reality set in for the youthful bunch and the pitchforks came out from the fans.
Fire Andy Green talk is currently happening. From the radio stations to the blogs, fans are calling out their manager. That is to be expected and entirely natural for a team that is looking to compete, but maybe 20 games into a 162 game season is a tad bit too early to criticize? The manager, like his team, is young and developing his style of play. He has a new lineup to tinker with and has done well to keep all the outfielders happy with ample playing time. You can argue about the second base position and the catching issue, but there is no easy answer when it comes to playing time. Good teams have this issue the Padres are currently dealing with. It is part of that winning process.
Humility is very much a thing in the game of baseball. Just as you think you figure it all out, the game will humble you. After a hot start in early April, the Padres got a taste of that with their play over the last week. That was to be expected. The club had to know that a bad stretch was coming. It is just part of the game. What can’t be recognized on a stat sheet or ESPN is how a manager prepares his team for the grind. How he prepares them for failure which is inevitable. Especially in a young team, this is difficult. As quickly as the team got “high” with their early play, it is important to recognize the “lows” of the game too.
Can this Padres team stay even-keeled over the next few months and position themselves for a playoff run? Once they get into that position and every game starts to count, then a critique of Green and his managerial style will be justified. Only then, can you truly “judge” his abilities when everything is on the line. At this point later in the year, he should have an idea of a daily lineup as starters will emerge. This current Padres team can get into position to compete in August and September. Whether or not they do is another thing.
Andy Green does not deserve a free pass. He will need to prove his worth over time. The manager has yet to do that, but Padre teams of the past were structured horribly and in all reality, had no chance to compete. This year is different. Fans do not expect miracles (or they shouldn’t), but they will expect for this young team to overcome growing pains and establish themselves in the NL West.
It is late April and far too early to discuss replacing a philosophy that has been in action for over three years. Another essential piece of information is that Andy Green was hand-picked by A.J. Preller for the job. Green represents what Preller envisions for the future. In a way, A.J. Preller is very much influential in the everyday lineup and what Andy Green has to work with. The life of a major league manager is tough. No matter what, you will always be criticized for your actions. Andy Green has learned this lesson and in time aims to prove that he is the right man for the job.