The play of the San Diego Padres down the stretch has been abysmal.
Heads will roll.
Peter Seidler and the ownership group made an investment to win, and they are demanding results. The Padres are paying players fair market value. They are aggressive in acquiring players and committed to winning now. In the early part of the 2021 season, playoff baseball in San Diego seemed inevitable. The Padres were gathering the attention of baseball fans everywhere. There was a buzz about the team as the Padres moved into the national spotlight.
After the MLB All-Star break, the play of the team turned stagnant. There is no joy in the team and certainly no fight in the Padres.
So who or what is to blame for this?
Is Jayce Tingler responsible?
Injuries are a significant factor. You cannot ignore that fact. But, the Los Angeles Dodgers battled injury problems all year long and currently sit 46 games above the .500 mark. The Padres starting staff was decimated by injury. The team lost pitchers almost immediately as Adrian Morejon and Dinelson Lamet both went down. That put a strain on the bullpen, but the unit responded by being one of the best groups in all of baseball during the first half of the 2021 season. However, as Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, and Chris Paddack all succumbed to injuries, the unit started to struggle. To compound things, Drew Pomeranz went down and failed to return to the Padres’ pen.
All of this is a recipe for disaster, but the Padres were not pounded on a nightly basis by their opponents. The pitching staff, whoever was out there, was effective for the most part. The main issues came from the lack of offense and the general mood of the team. A once lively group turned into a bunch of sourpusses going through the motions, The pleasure of the game was zapped from this team, and with mainly the same roster as the first- half, that is a big concern.
Jayce Tingler recently spoke about the collapse of his club. He took some responsibility for it in this interview.
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) September 28, 2021
This interview Tuesday morning is very interesting. The manager admits he handled things wrong in 2021 and mentions something about the locker room that I found very interesting. “You never want things to be leaked, especially from anonymous sources or anything like that,” Jayce Tingler said in the interview. He was asked about the chemistry, and the skipper was referring to time in the clubhouse around the trade deadline.
What was this quote in reference to? What was the second-year manager trying to say?
Eric Hosmer was rumored to be on the trade block around the deadline, and it appears his name being thrown out there did not go over well in the locker room. That’s understandable as the veteran is viewed as a clubhouse leader. When players’ job security is questioned, their play tends to diminish. At this point, virtually anyone in the Padres locker room was put on notice. They could be moved at any time and pressure became a factor for the Friars.
Jayce Tingler admittingly has not handled these “off-field” issues well and that is a problem. But his tactics and constant learning on the job could very well cost the baseball manager his role with the Padres. The latest incident in which the Padres blew a three-run lead against the Dodgers on Wednesday night, cannot happen. Emilio Pagan was left in the game without any backup in the bullpen properly warming up. This mismanagement of the game is becoming a constant thing for the Padres. For Jayce Tingler, things have sadly gotten worse rather than better.
In fact, recent reports indicate that some players on the team have complained and are voicing their opinion about their manager. Things do not look well for Tingler. It appears he has lost control of the locker room entirely. He will need to fight for his job if he wants to retain it.
The play of the team in recent weeks is certainly not helping the cause of Jayce Tingler. The decision of retaining Tingler will fall upon A.J. Preller’s shoulder. Tingler is the man he brought in to perform and do the job. He hand-picked Tingler. If Preller pulls the plug on Tingler, then he would be admitting a certain amount of failure. That will be a difficult thing for Preller to do.
It may come down to these final games of the season for Jayce Tingler. He is under a microscope presently, and any little factor could push a decision one way or another. The current play of the team cannot continue. At this point, the franchise is moving backward, and that is something that will not be tolerated.