Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'Time Out' for thoughts from Todd Kaufmann

By Todd Kaufmann
Beat Writer for Planet Padres

Sometimes we all need to stop and reflect to gain perspective on things. Here are some thoughts from one of our writers.

I’ve been a Padre fan for a long time, I was a Jr. Padre when I was a kid and ever since then the blood of a Padre fan has always been within me. I’ve seen a few NLCS Championship runs, one before my time but still watched some of the highlights, I’ve seen a World Series sweep at the hands of the Yankees and I’m still waiting for San Diego’s time to celebrate a World Championship. A part of me thinks that I may never see one in this lifetime, but who would have ever thought I would see my hometown team (Fresno State) make an improbable run through the College World Series and win the National Championship. When people say anything can happen, I truly believe that ANYTHING can happen.

For the past few months, I’ve read a lot of the articles in the San Diego Union Tribune, I’ve read the readers comments and they’ve made me do nothing but laugh at those so called “fans” jumping off the bandwagon faster than Manny Ramirez turning down a 1-year $25MM offer from the Dodgers. I hear everything from “[Sandy] Alderson needs to go,” to “[Kevin] Towers is an idiot,” but I’ve yet to hear those same people suggest a name to replace either of those two guys. Why is that? I hear all these fans talk about the players they want to bring, they want to play GM and they have a list of players they think would be a good fit in San Diego, players that might bring this franchise a World Championship, yet I haven’t heard who they think should replace Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers. So I’ll pose the question to you fans, who do you want as the new General Manager of the San Diego Padres? Let’s not forget that a General Manager is only as good as his owner allows him to be.

Kevin Towers is the same guy that brought in Heath Bell, a guy most of us said “who,” about when first heard his name, a guy who has turned into one of the premier setup men in baseball and the Padres’ heir to long time closer Trevor Hoffman. How about the trade Towers made to bring in both Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez? How about pitchers Cla Meredith, another unknown that has made himself into a household name? Remember Akinori Otsuka, yes he didn’t have a great final year with San Diego, but he was a brilliant setup man for Trevor the first few years with San Diego, then was used in a brilliant trade that brought Young and Gonzalez to San Diego.

My point to all of this is, you fans are a lot more critical than I think you should be. So before you throw Towers under the bus, how about remembering he’s can only make the moves that’s allowed by Padres’ ownership. I know we all can’t wait for Moore’s to be completely gone from the Padres, but with a new owner coming in, maybe he allows Kevin Towers to really show what he can do as a General Manager. But, if you’re so set on running him out of town, how about giving us a name or names that you want to replace him. That’s one thing I’ve still yet to see from all of the negative comments. The Padres will never have an $80 - $90MM payroll, so with that being said, there’s only so much you can do to put a productive, and winning, team on the field. Want a perfect example, how about the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s not about how much you spend, it’s how you use the money you have. In my opinion, Kevin Towers has done a better job with what he’s been given than a lot of GM’s could.

So, for all of you who have jumped off the bandwagon and said you’ll no longer buy tickets and support this franchise, we’ll see you when the Padres start winning again, because I’m sure you’ll start coming back like you had never left. Such is the life of a sports fan.

Play Ball !!!


wrveres said...

Ricciardi will probably be available soon, i'd toss his name in the mix. Walt Jockety was recently available, Cincy grabbed him up. Ed Wade, the guy who built the Phillies, was recently available.

Names that could be had now ..DePodesta would be an obvious choice. Grady Fuson would also be an excellent choice for GM .. Terry Ryan is available .. and there are all kinds of up and comers.

Todd Kaufmann said...

wrveres, I appreciate you doing something I haven't seen a lot of, though Ed Wade could be an interesting name, I think if Towers does depart, by his choice or not, De Podesta will probably be the next in line. He's a young guy with a brilliant baseball mind and a guy I think would do quite well in the GM role for the Padres.

Thanks again

Todd Kaufmann