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SBD/August 7, 2014/Franchises
New Padres GM A.J. Preller Brings Stability, Optimism To Struggling Franchise
Published August 7, 2014
REASONS FOR HOPE: In San Diego, Nick Canepa writes this was "a terribly important hire" and the Padres "found all available rocks and turned them over." In the end, Preller "won." The "way Fowler talks about him" is reminiscent of what Chargers President Dean Spanos said of GM Tom Telesco, who "looks every bit the right hire." Fowler said of Preller, "He looks at the world differently, and that's how you have to look at it here. You can't look at it like the Yankees and Dodgers." Asked why Byrnes was fired so early, Fowler said, "We wanted to have the best shot of looking at the (potential GM) pool without having to deal with five other teams" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/7). Also in San Diego, Tom Krasovic notes in an era of "parity fostered by increased revenue sharing, the Padres have managed to be irrelevant six of the last seven seasons." But there is "opportunity here." Preller's new bosses "funded an Opening Day payroll that ranked 21st of 30." While that is "not spectacular, it's a big improvement over recent years dating to the 2008 divorce between team owner John Moores and his wife, Becky." In payroll, the Padres "were 17-20 in their first three years at Petco." Expect them to be "close to that range going forward." That is "enough to make things interesting, if you're smart" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/7).
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: In Dallas, Evan Grant writes losing Preller will "force Rangers management to enlarge their 'circle of trust,' and bring in an outside voice, even if the 'outside voice,' comes from within the organization." Since losing the '11 World Series, the "only aspect of the organization that hasn't seen significant change is the decision-making inner circle." The "natural order of things works like this: When a team has great success, the less fortunate try to poach talent." The Rangers for seven years have "done an exceptional job of resisting that natural order by locking executives to long-term deals and keeping a clubby inner circle." But the front office, like "every other component of the organization, is being forced to evolve" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 8/7).