The San Diego Padres officially confirmed the least well-kept secret in baseball, as manager Jayce Tingler was let go in the early afternoon of Wednesday, October 6.
Tingler finished runner-up in the NL Manager of the Year voting in 2020 after leading the Padres to their first postseason berth in 14 years. However, the Padres massively underperformed in 2021, and after reports that he had lost the respect of the clubhouse, he was relieved of his duties as manager. Tingler has been offered an opportunity to remain in the organization but has not made a public decision on whether he will take the position.
He finished with an overall record of 116-106 in his two years at the helm of the Padres, a winning percentage of .523, which only Jack McKeon topped as a Padre manager.
The Padres won the third-most games in baseball last year, but even then, there was some distance between Tingler and the clubhouse. After Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch, Tingler said that he would treat it as a “learning opportunity” rather than standing up for his young superstar. The Padres’ clubhouse troubles increased in 2021, reaching a boiling point when Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado were caught shouting profanities at each other in the dugout during a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
There were reports before the Padres penultimate game of the season that Tingler had already been fired coming from Jon Heyman, although the Padres disputed these as premature. However, neither the organization or A.J. Preller said that the reports were false at any point in time.
Preller decided to fire Tingler, and he will lead the search for a new manager. Whoever the new manager is, he will be appointed by Preller, and if the Padres underperform, Preller may be sent packing as well.
With a group of players that is very talented but also has a lot of personality, the Padres made the decision to go a different direction with their managerial position. No interviews have been conducted so far, but whoever receives the job will need to find a way to deal with the egos that are in the Padres’ clubhouse.