SAN DIEGO – The Padres introduced their new manager and hinted about old uniform colors they’ll wear in 2020. It’s easy to predict which the team’s weary, patient fans are more excited about.
When Jayce Tingler was presented at a news conference on Thursday, he was wearing the club’s classic brown jersey, which is expected to return next season.
The 38-year-old is a first-time big league manager and takes over a team that last had a winning record in 2010. San Diego has not hired a manager with prior big league experience since Jack McKeon in 1988.
“I may not be perfect,” Tingler said of his lack of experience. “But I have managed a lot of games in my mind.”
Andy Green was fired Sept. 21 after going 274-366 in four seasons.
Padres general manager A.J. Preller’s relationship with Tingler dates to 2015 and their time together with the Texas Rangers.
“I think the easy thing to do sometimes when you make a decision and it doesn’t get the result you’re looking for is going 180 degrees in a different direction,” Preller said. “But we understood what we were looking for and type of person we were looking for.”
Ron Fowler, one of the Padres owners, said he thought the Padres “sucked” and were an “embarrassment” in during the season’s second half. They lost at least 90 games for the fourth straight year and finished 36 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West despite agreeing to a $300 million, 10-year contract with star infielder Manny Machado.
“We’ve got to win now,” Fowler said.
Tingler became the career hits leader at the University of Missouri and was a minor league outfielder for four seasons, never rising above Double-A. He spent the past 14 years with the Rangers, managing in the Dominican Winter League, Dominican Summer League and Arizona Rookie League. He also served as Texas’ minor league coordinator, assistant general manager and interim bench coach.
“Look I’m going to make mistakes and my guess is the players are going to make mistakes, so we already have common ground,” Tingler said. “The National League is going to be new to me and I’ll need to learn, need to grow.”
Tingler said not many managers in their initial job inherit a roster with talent such as Manny Machado, first baseman Eric Hosmer, closer Kirby Yates and an exciting young shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. Needs include starting pitching.
“It’s a players’ game, and if you don’t have the talent it is very hard,” co-owner Peter Seidler said. “And this hiring is just one piece of the puzzle. But I’m completely confident we got the right guy.”
San Diego has never won a World Series.
“I’ve been around a lot of very good baseball men, and I’m maybe a little bit new school and a lot of bit old school,” Tingler said. “I’m just really interested in working with a staff that can build relationships with players, push players and get the best out of them. If we’re able to do that and double down on some of those fundamentals, we have a chance to be ultra-successful here. I cannot wait to be a part of a group that brings a championship to the city of San Diego.”
Notes: San Diego declined a $2.5 million option on RHP Adam Warren, who gets a $500,000 buyout, and a $2 million option on LHP Aaron Loup, who gets a $200,000 buyout. Both will become free agents.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.