A.J. Preller is new to Encinitas, so welcome to our endless summer.
Preller is somewhat new to the Padres and he’s not interested in an endless bummer.
It’s been a tsunami of activity for Preller, and yep, we miss manager Bud Black, too.
Preller canned Rancho Santa Fe’s Black, upset that the Padres were playing, well, like the Padres.
An organization that produced four straight losing seasons was again residing on the wrong side of the ledger. So Preller, in his first full year as general manager, pulled the plug on Black on Monday morning, after Sunday’s heartbreaking loss to the Dodgers.
So Monday night Cardiff’s Dave Roberts was the manager.
Of course if it’s Tuesday it must be Pat Murphy and are you confused as this scribbler?
Probably not, but the ol’ saying about seeing something new at the ballpark every day couldn’t ring more true.
But three managers in three days?
The Padres lost all three games so maybe this carousel of coaches idea won’t stick. It appears Murphy will — at least through the end of a season, which started with so much promise but morphed into the bizarre.
“We want take ourselves to another level,’’ said Murphy, after making his Major League debut. “My role — it’s a collective effort — is I will try to do whatever I can to try and make a difference. I’m confident in what I saw in just the first glimpse that it will be a struggle. But I’m confident that we can move the needle.’’
If not, Preller has shown he’s not averse to moving on. If Murphy doesn’t shine in the next three months, Preller could be on his fourth manager before the curtain rises for 2016.
But before getting there, let’s figure out what we got here.
Murphy, 56, earned his stripes at the college level, before landing in the Padres’ organization. After stints at Notre Dame and Arizona State, he became a Padre and was the Triple-A manager the past three years.
He’s never coached or managed in the majors and that obviously doesn’t bother Preller.
“I think it’s about people,’’ he said. “I don’t think it matters what level you’re talking about, it’s about people and being genuine.
“Any time you take over you have to rely on your staff, for sure, and your players. They’re professionals, they know how to act. This is something I think everybody will jump on board and try to keep things going in the right direction.’’
Although the Padres’ compass is hardly pointed toward greatness. Instead the Padres are closer to National League West cellar than they are to first place and you sure Murphy is the right guy, A.J.?
“I don’t think it’s necessary for us to win ‘X’ amount of games or anything like that,’’ Preller said. “We just have to find a way to play better baseball and try to get the most out of everybody on this club, for us to find out what this is team is all about.’’
We respect Preller, but the Padres’ blemishes are no mystery. Not sure how Murphy will fix issues at shortstop and second base, how he makes Wil Myers’ wrist feel better and Brandon Morrow’s shoulder to stop from revolting.
He must also coax Matt Kemp into being Matt Kemp, and with Kemp slugging his first Petco Park home run this season on the first day of Murphy’s watch, that’s encouraging.
Murphy is good at that, giving out “atta-boys” with vengeance. But there’s also bark in his arsenal, so like with any new critter, put your hand to his gums to see if he bites.
“We were looking for a guy who’s able to connect with young guys, somebody who’s not afraid to challenge somebody…that can hopefully get some veteran players to play as they’ve played in the past,’’ Preller said.
Can Murphy lay down the law to do just that?
The summer will reveal if Preller’s bold move transforms into the equivalent of a smooth ride on a forgiving wave.
Of if waving bye to Black was a premature change in a season just finding its sea legs.
Contact Jay Paris at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at jparis_sports.