San Diego Padres exec calls his team ‘miserable failures’

James Shields

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The frustration in San Diego is palpable.

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, in a radio interview with the Mighty 1090 AM on Wednesday, labeled the team "miserable failures" on the win-loss front, calling its performance "embarrassing."

Fowler’s comments came less than 24 hours after the Padres absorbed a 16-4 beating from the Mariners, completing a 1-7 road trip.

The Padres, 20-33, are in last place in the National League West, 12½ games behind the Giants.

"It’s been embarrassing. I don’t know how else to put it," Fowler said. "Our performance on the road trip, 1-7, was pathetic.

"I’m a very competitive individual. I think I’ve won a lot more than lost in my life. This baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing."

The performance by our team (Tuesday), I can understand how (former owner Ray) Kroc would have grabbed the microphone. It’s that frustrating.

Ron Fowler

"The performance by our team (Tuesday), I can understand how (former owner Ray) Kroc would have grabbed the microphone. It’s that frustrating."

Fowler singled out right-hander James Shields, who allowed 10 runs in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday. Shields, who signed a four-year, $75 million free-agent contract with the Padres in February 2015, has been the subject of trade talks.

"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.

To have a starter like (James) Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him.

Ron Fowler

"It’s about as frustrating as it can get. In a normal environment, if you had performed as well as we have over the last three years, you’d probably be unemployed. But it’s baseball, with guaranteed contracts. We’ve got to get through it."

Fowler seemed to absolve first-year manager Andy Green and his coaching staff, but his comments likely will increase the scrutiny on the team’s principal decision-makers, team president Mike Dee and general manager A.J. Preller.

"It’s on the player, but the organization has to accept responsibility for probably having the wrong players," Fowler said. "We don’t have a team out there right now that is competing effectively. We’re doing everything we can going into the draft and looking at international signings to get some guys who can get us there.

We rolled the dice with him on some major-league signings, major-league trades. We collectively have to look at that and say it didn’t come together as well as we wanted.

Ron Fowler

"But in terms of the manager and coaching staff, we’ve got as good a group or a better group than I’ve seen. They’re doing what they need to do. Part of it is on the players. But our job is to get the right players who can be motivated and determined at game time. Right now, we’re not doing it. That’s what frustrating for all of us."

The Padres hold six of the top 85 picks in next week’s amateur draft and are expected to be a major player in the international signing period that begins on July 2.

Preller is in his second full season on a deal that reportedly expires in 2018. Fowler credited him with improving the farm system but reserved judgment on the GM’s tenure overall.

"We had hired A.J. because we knew we had to develop a farm system and we had to do far better at international than we had done," Fowler said. "This draft coming up and the international signing period will give us a far better view of A.J.

"I will say he has done a spectacular job of building the player-development area. I think the players we have in the farm system now as a group are stronger than they have been before.

"We rolled the dice with him on some major-league signings, major-league trades. We collectively have to look at that and say it didn’t come together as well as we wanted.

"I don’t think there is a brighter GM out there. I don’t think anyone works harder. But the results are not there, and I think A.J. would be the first one to tell you that."

Andy Green

 

 

 

 

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