San Diego Padres’ owner Ron Fowler again spoke very candidly about his team.
Say what you want about the San Diego Padres’ owner Ron Fowler- but he is passionate.
The franchise that has been under much scrutiny in recent years has an owner who is not afraid to speak his mind. A few seasons ago, Fowler went on local radio and publically trashed ace pitcher James Shields. The pitcher was not happy. Fowler may have ruffled the feathers of Shields, but he was not lying in his assessment of the pitcher.
“To have a starter like (James) Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him,” Fowler said about James Shields that day in 2016. The pitcher was dealt soon after that to the Chicago White Sox. Fowler is, after all, the owner of the team. He signs the payroll checks.
On Monday, Fowler’s latest candid comments took place at an SD Social Summit event held by the Padres. The owner spoke to the invited crowd and first said that only five of the men of the 25 man roster met expectations in 2019. He mentioned Kirby Yates, Chris Paddack and Greg Garcia by name, but did not mention the other two players that met his standards. “We did suck this year,” Fowler admitted to the crowd. That is certainly refreshing. The fans appreciated the fact that he was brutally honest with them.
He went on speaking to the crowd with no holds barred- “I’ve run out of patience some time ago,” Fowler quipped when asked about Wil Myers and Austin Hedges. The owner mentioned that he was not pleased with Eric Hosmer at first base either and blamed “instant gratification” for the problems with the Padres’ hitters.
Hedges and Myers continued to draw the ire of the owner.
When asked about Myers, Fowler mentioned that the Padres would “eat” around $10 million of his annual salary to ship him out of town. These comments are a bit of a shocking thing to say in public. I am sure there is displeasure with Myers, but all your cards are shown with a reaction like this in an open forum. Fowler also seemed upset with any talk about Austin Hedges potentially winning a Gold Glove.
The owner went as far as to mention that “heads will roll” if the team does not succeed soon.
Ron Fowler said nothing too extreme. But he did not pull any punches either. The players will get word of these comments. How they take them is entirely up to them. Individual players will be highly motivated by stirring criticism like this. But at the same time, not all people are created the same. Motivation comes in different ways. It will be interesting to see if these candid comments come with some transactions. We do know that the Padres will be busy this winter.