It only took Tingler two years to find himself in this spot and has thus become the third Padres manager hired and fired under President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, A.J. Preller. This news isn’t all bad for the former skipper but with a vacant spot open for the managerial position, it’s time for the front office to step up and deliver.
Tingler’s Time in San Diego
Hired after another unsuccessful season led by former Padres manager Andy Green, hopes were high that Tingler would be able to right the ship and develop a playoff team. He was thrown into the fire immediately when the coronavirus struck the United States and MLB right as the season was set to kickoff. The spread of this virus caused all four major American sports to be canceled and moved to the middle of summer because every league needed to develop new guidelines that would keep players and staff safe at all times. When sports did resume, it was announced that MLB would be playing a shortened 60-game season to determine standings and playoff matchups.
It was obviously tough for even the most veteran of managers but being the new guy in town and dealing with a pandemic put Tingler right behind the eight ball. Some may have expected him to fail given it was his first year at the helm yet he stood tall in the face of adversity and was able to produce something the Padres hadn’t seen in fourteen consecutive seasons: a playoff berth. Yes, you read that correctly. He helped guide this team to a 37-23 record which was good for second place in the NL West and the first Wild Card spot.
The new playoff format saw the Cardinals/Padres Wild Card matchup being played in a best of three series as opposed to one game taking place with the winner moving on. What’s surprising here is that they didn’t have a majority of the stars they acquired in the 2020 offseason and were still able to make it to the NLDS. If this didn’t show Tingler’s ability to lead a ball club let alone lead them to the playoffs in his first season then I’m not sure what would have. They, unfortunately, were unable to advance past the ever-intimidating Los Angeles Dodgers as they got swept three games to none but regardless, Tingler proved he was the right man for the job.
Fast forward to 2021, the Padres now had a starting rotation that was made up of Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet. With three big names now competing on the same team, it seemed inevitable that the Padres would make the playoffs and potentially advance to the World Series. Boy, were we wrong on that one. Instead of continuing a playoff run, their season was a constant rollercoaster of success or failure mashed together with injuries to a majority of the pitching staff and some fielders. This ultimately led to other NL teams closing the gap on taking over San Diego’s Wild Card spot and they eventually missed the playoffs when St. Louis went on a seventeen-game winning streak to edge out the Friars.
Tingler’s Next Steps and Candidates For Manager
As I mentioned before, even though he was relieved of his duties as manager Tingler was offered a position within the organization. If I had to assume then I would say he was given a position as a special advisor to the team which still bodes well for the continuation of helping to oversee the Padres. I think this is the best position for him to be in because he could have another chance to learn how to run a team properly in hopes of reviving his managerial career at some point.
To go along with the organization’s decision to move away from Tingler, many, including players, felt that 2019 and 2020 could have turned out differently had it been directed by an experienced manager. A.J. Preller himself said that he had done a great job stepping into such a large role but that the organization’s goals for the future did not include him controlling the team. Rumors have already begun swarming as to who could potentially be the next manager to step into the vacant managerial spot.
Ron Washington, current third base coach for the Atlanta Braves and former manager of the Texas Rangers, was discussed as an option given he was the runner-up for the position in 2019. Bruce Bochy, former Padres manager from 1995-2006 and three-time World Series champion as a manager for the San Francisco Giants, could be looking at a reunion with his old ball club after taking a two-year break. A final option to grab Buck Showalter, a manager who helped develop Manny Machado for the majority of his career, would also be a nice addition in this situation.
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