Sunday, August 10, 2014

Padres Hire A.J. Preller

The San Diego Padres have hired A.J. Preller to be their fourth general manager since 2009. The Padres interviewed eight candidates during a month in which Fred Uhlman Jr, A.J. Hinch, and Omar Minaya filled in as general manager on an interim basis:

GM Interviews

Candidate Interviewed First InterviewSecond Interview Hired
Kim Ng 7/11/2014 7/24/2014 No
Ray Montgomery 7/2/2014 No  No
Logan White 6/30/2014 No No
A.J. Preller7/7/20147/21/2014Yes
Mike Hazen 7/8/2014 7/22/2014 No
Billy Eppler 7/3/2014 7/24/2014 No
Larry Beinfest 6/27/2014 No No
Josh Stein 7/9/2014 No No

Mike Dee and ownership eventually settled on A.J. Preller, signing him to a 5-year contract. Preller had spent time in various positions with the Dodgers, Phillies, and most recently: the Rangers. The 37-year old was the assistant general manager under former fraternity brother and Rangers' general manager Jon Daniels before being hired by the Padres. Preller's main area of expertise is the international market, meaning that San Diego will continue its push to acquire more international talent, a search that has yielded Odrisamer Despaigne and Rymer Liriano in recent years. With this push, it is conceivable that the Padres could sign one of Yasmani Tomas, Rusney Castillo, or Jeong Choi this offseason.

In the front office shuffle, scouting director Chad McDonald and interim general manager A.J. Hinch left the team once the hiring of Preller was announced. Hinch was one of six executives to turn down an interview with the Padres, a group consisting of David Forst, Omar Minaya, Jason McLeod, Mike Chernoff, and Michael Girsch. One of the first challenges that Preller will be faced with as general manager is filling the positions left open by Hinch and McDonald. According to Will Carroll, he already has a list of executives that he is targeting to join the front office.

During Preller's tenure as the Rangers' director of international and professional scouting, he was suspended by MLB when it was discovered that he was negotiating with a player who was lying about his age. Mike Dee told fans that the team spoke with major league baseball about the suspension, and was told it should not be an issue. It can be drawn from this incident that Preller is at times overly aggressive and ambitious, which can be a bad thing at times. The Cornell graduate has shown some of this ambition while mentioning the potential for a championship during his initial press conference.

Preller's weakness appears to be evaluating talent on a major league level, through trades and free agency. It stems from inexperience, not incompetence. Interestingly enough, trading seems to have been the biggest strength of the Padres' front office under Josh Byrnes, bringing in players such as Seth Smith, Huston Street, Tyson Ross, and Ian Kennedy for little to nothing in return.

All in all, Preller is quite the character. It seems that winning is what the ownership wants, and that they are willing to spend money to win. Preller will try and make that goal reality over the next five seasons, hopefully reaching a world series.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Angels Acquire Huston Street

In the last five days, the Padres have shipped out two of their biggest trade chips in Chase Headley (to be talked about in the next post) and Huston Street to American League teams trying to win. Street and minor league relief prospect Trevor Gott were sent to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for four minor league players. Headley was sent with cash to the New York Yankees for infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitching prospect Rafael De Paula. The deals were completed by the the interim general managers: AJ Hinch, Fred Uhlman Jr, and Omar Minaya.

The Huston Street trade brought four top prospects to the Padres, depleting what was already the league's worst farm system. Street has a 1.06 ERA and has completed 24 of 25 save opportunities for the Padres this year, arguably putting up the best season of any reliever in the major leagues. He was first acquired by the recently-fired Josh Byrnes from the Rockies in exchange for failed prospect Nick Schmidt. In two and a half seasons for San Diego, Street performed as an elite reliever. He strung together 80 saves in his San Diego tenure, posting a 2.03 ERA but struggling with injury. He saw three stints on the disabled list in his first two seasons as a Padre. Trevor Gott, also sent to Los Angeles, was the Padres' sixth round selection in the 2013 draft. In his minor league career, he has seen time exclusively as a reliever, putting together a 3.04 ERA in 71 games. He was recently promoted to double-A, where he had struggled to the point of a 6.7 BB/9 rate in his first 11 appearances.

The biggest part of the return was minor league infielder Taylor Lindsey. Originally drafted in the first round by the Angels in 2010, Lindsey has consistently hit across the minor leagues, flashing a career .781 OPS. This season, the 22-year old has hit .247 with 8 home runs while almost exclusively playing second base for the Angels' AAA affiliate. In AA last season, he hit .274 with 17 home runs, showing power potential. With Chase Headley out of the picture, Lindsey could be the future second baseman with Jedd Gyorko sliding to third. Lindsey could hit .270 with 15-20 home runs in the major leagues some day.

Another major component of the trade is top relief prospect R.J. Alvarez. The 23-year old flamethrower sits at 95 miles an hour with his fastball, and has a plus slider. Alvarez has struck out 39 batters in 28 innings (12.5 k/9), and has allowed just one earned run (0.32 ERA) this season in AA. The former third round pick projects to be a late inning reliever, who could possibly close. There is a chance that Alvarez alone could provide more value in the grand scheme of things than Street would have in the next season and a half.

The next prospect that was netted in the trade is a high upside pick-up. Jose Rondon could end up being the best player involved in the trade. The 20-year old shortstop was initially signed out of Venezuela by the Angels. Rondon has so far slashed .327/.362/.418 and stole eight bases in a pitcher-friendly California League (A) this season, and hit .300 over the course of his minor league career. Rondon appears to be an excellent contact hitter with little power (though some could develop), plus speed, and above average defensive skills. With Trea Turner, Franchy Cordero, Diego Goris, Jose Rondon, Josh Van Meter, and Everth Cabrera, San Diego has a potentially above average shortstop at every organizational level.

The final prospect that San Diego acquired for Street was Elliot Morris. The 2013 4th round pick was one of the last players to be discussed in the trade, and probably has the least upside. In his minor league career, Morris has appeared in 29 games (19 starts) and flaunted a 3.34 ERA in 118.2 innings over parts of two minor league seasons. Morris projects to be a mid-to-back-end of the rotation starter.

Ultimately, both the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Angels won this trade. Street allows the Angels to possibly win the division and make the playoffs without having to possibly play against Felix Hernandez in a one game showdown. The Padres get four pieces that will provide significantly more value in the long run than 1.5 seasons of Huston Street. The Padres received a much better return for Street than they did Chase Headley.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Padres Mock Draft

With the draft rapidly approaching, I will be posting this Padres' mock draft and doing a shadow draft for the Padres.

#13 SS Trea Turner, NC State

Trea Turner, Tyler Beede, Brandon Finnegan, Aaron Nola, Bradley Zimmer, and Michael Conforto are likely targets for San Diego at pick #13. The team will not be selecting injured pitchers Erick Fedde or Jeff Hoffman, but instead seem to be targeting college position players. Trea Turner is a very polished player with top notch speed and a virtual lock to stay at shortstop. Even though he isn't a power hitter, at 6'2 and 170 pounds, Turner still could grow into his frame. If he falls to San Diego, I think that they would snatch him up. He hits quite a few balls into the gap and will have very good stolen base numbers. 


#51 RHP Erick Fedde, UNLV

Erick Fedde was at one point a potential top five draft pick, but required Tommy John surgery early in the season. He hit 93 on the radar gun and flashed a plus slider before the injury. The 6'4 right hander will not be selected (only healthy options) in the first round by San Diego, but he could be selected as high as pick #9 (one of Toronto's two first round selections) or fall to the second or third round. The draft this year is very hard to predict, but if Fedde slides to 51, he'd be hard to pass up.

#86 OF Greg Allen, SDSU

Teams have a tendency to draft players located in their region. Greg Allen is a speedster (Allen and Turner at the top of a lineup could be 150+ steals) with good contact but little to no power. He reminds me quite a bit of Mallex Smith, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. SDSU starter Michael Cederoth could also be a fit here.

#117 RHP AJ Vanegas, Stanford

A young and talented right handed pitcher, Stanford senior AJ Vanegas has twice declined signing with the teams that drafted him (San Diego - 7th round, Oakland - 19th round). His career at Stanford has been a cesspool of inconsistency and injury. The 6'3 right hander may have seen more time as a reliever than a starter, but could be an interesting project to take with a fourth round pick.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Padres Acquire Troy Patton
The San Diego Padres made a move today that was two months overdue, sending catcher Nick Hundley and cash considerations to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for reliever Troy Patton. The team also purchased the contract of right handed pitcher Billy Buckner from El Paso to start today's game against the Cubs. The Orioles were in the market for a catcher after losing starter Matt Wieters to a significant injury involving his right elbow; one that could theoretically lead to Tommy John surgery and the end to his season. San Diego lost two rotation arms to elbow soreness (Andrew Cashner and Robbie Erlin), forcing Tim Stauffer, Donn Roach, and Billy Buckner to make starts. Roach and Stauffer acted as long relievers, a role that has opened up for Patton.

Troy Patton, 28, was recently activated from the restricted list after being suspended for Adderall usage in the offseason. Patton has been plagued by such mishaps, including an arrest for driving under the influence and the original positive test for Adderall. Over the span of his last three seasons, Patton has strung together impressive numbers as a reliever. Averaging 47 innings a season, Patton posted a 3.05 ERA and a 3.42 K/BB ratio with the Orioles. Patton should fill the role that Tony Sipp and Patrick Schuster could not in the Padres bullpen, as the second left handed reliever to Alex Torres.

Nick Hundley, 30, has spent most of the last seven seasons playing for the Padres, finishing his San Diego career with a .238 average and 47 home runs after being selected in the second round of the 2005 draft. He was given over 200 plate appearances in each of the last six seasons, never putting together a good enough performance to warrant him being a valuable commodity. Hundley was viewed as a below average receiver that had a slightly above average arm to start the season, but he made tremendous strides as a receiver and in his pitch framing ability through the first two months. He is currently regarded as an average receiver.

Patton and Hundley both help out their respective teams, and changes of scenery could be a good thing for both players involved in the trade. The deal fills two distinct needs and subtracts from two distinct surpluses, meaning that it might be the definition of a win-win.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Padres to Call Up Jace Peterson

The San Diego Padres have purchased the contract of shortstop Jace Peterson from the San Antonio Missions (AA) and transfered starting pitcher Josh Johnson (Tommy John) to the 60-day disabled list. The need for an infielder was made last night, when third baseman Chase Headley suffered a calf strain. That particular injury forced Headley himself to miss almost all of spring training. 

Peterson, 23, was hitting .311 with a home run and four steals for San Antonio this season. Peterson was drafted 58th overall in 2011 as compensation for losing starting pitcher Kevin Correia to free agency in the previous offseason. He has ranked around #6 or #7 on most lists of San Diego's top prospects. 

The young infielder profiles as an excellent athlete with good contact and plate discipline skills. On top of this, Peterson is an above average base-runner. He stole 71 bases per 162 games as a minor leaguer. Baseball America wrote that he was the best defensive infielder in San Diego's minor league system. If he gets off to a hot start, he should see time hitting 2nd in the line-up.

The offense may have lost something in Headley (.186 with 2 home runs), they may have added more with the addition of Jace Peterson and a returning Cameron Maybin

Friday, March 28, 2014

Minor Moves: Sipp, Schuster, Moore, Francoeur
On Monday, the San Diego Padres informed several players (including Patrick Schuster, Tony Sipp, and Ryan Jackson) that they would not make the major league team and announced several corresponding transactions. The team waived Rule V pick Patrick Schuster, acquired catcher Adam Moore for cash considerations or a player to be named later from the Royals, and signed outfielder Jeff Francoeur to a minor league contract.

These moves do have some interesting effects on the dynamics of the team:
  • Tony Sipp did not opt out of his contract after being informed that he would not make the team, but he could still leave if he finds himself with an opportunity to join a major league bullpen or if he chooses to leave on June 1st.
  • Patrick Schuster was claimed off waivers by the Royals, who proceeded to return him to Arizona. The move was designed to create a reason to designate outfielder Carlos Peguero for assignment and try to sneak him through waivers after major league rosters are set.
  • The addition of Adam Moore provides depth at catcher in two scenarios:
    • Rene Rivera does not make the team and is waived and claimed.
    • Rene Rivera makes the team, and is not the catcher at El Paso.
      • This could be if the team carries three catchers or if the team places Yasmani Grandal on the disabled list to start the season.
  • Jeff "Frenchy" Francoeur, a minor league signing, carries minimal risk. The 30-year old hit just .204 with three home runs in 245 at bats last season, but he has a plus plus arm and a career .264/.306/.419 line while averaging 18 home runs over every 162 games. He will provide valuable depth in the minor leagues, and with Carlos Quentin's spotty injury history, we could see him in San Diego at some point this season.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Training Battle: Left-Handed Specialist

The San Diego Padres have position battles raging this spring, but one of the most interesting is the bullpen slot for a second left-handed reliever after new acquisition Alex Torres. The top candidates are minor league signing Tony Sipp and offseason acquisition Patrick Schuster (who I had the pleasure of interviewing), but veteran Eric Stults is also a dark horse candidate for the job.
Patrick Schuster

Patrick Schuster, 23, has a 3.00 ERA in three innings of spring play, but he has also allowed six hits and only struck out one in that time. While playing in the California League (A+) last season, he posted a 1.83 ERA in 45 innings as a reliever. The young southpaw was drafted first overall in the Rule V draft and traded to San Diego in exchange for right-handed pitcher Anthony Bass. His Rule V status gives him a slight advantage over Sipp. If Schuster wins the job, it will allow San Diego to keep both Sipp and Schuster, while they would lose Schuster (he would have to be offered back to the Diamondbacks) if Sipp won the job.
Tony Sipp
Tony Sipp, 30, has a career 3.84 ERA in five seasons with the Diamondbacks and Indians. Sipp signed a minor league deal with two opt out clauses (March 26th and June 1st) and an invitation to spring training late this offseason. At one point (prior to the signing) it occurred to me that Sipp could be a fit for San Diego, but I changed my mind after viewing his splits:

vs RHB
vs LHB

Sipp has only been marginally better against left-handed hitters than against right handed hitters. Sipp may have had the better spring training so far (four innings and no earned runs) but he still has proven to be a slightly below average bullpen arm in his career, while Schuster has potential to be an above average left-handed specialist. 

Another interesting scenario would be if Burch Smith won the fifth spot in the rotation. In that situation, Eric Stults (who is out of options) would be displaced and possibly compete for a spot in the bullpen. San Diego seems to value Stults highly, and he would be an intriguing addition to a bullpen battle that is already very competitive. Stults would provide Bud Black with another option (Tim Stauffer) out of the bullpen for long relief in the case of a meltdown or injury. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Why the Padres Need to Sign: Aledmys Diaz

The San Diego Padres allowed Cuban defectors Odrisamer Despaigne and Aledmys Diaz to hold showcases for several major league teams and their scouts in the Dominican Republic at San Diego's international complex. Both players were recently cleared to sign with a major league team and would not be subjected to the Collective Bargaining Agreement's policies on amateur international free agents, since both players are 23 or older and have played three or more years in a recognized foreign league.

Both of these players are expected to require significant monetary commitments, possibly upwards of thirty million dollars over four to six seasons. Outfielder Yasiel Puig (42 million) and infielder Alexander Guerrero (28 million) are excellent comparisons for a contract. Aledmys Diaz makes quite a bit of sense for the San Diego Padres.

According to beat writer Jeff Saunders at the Union Tribune, the Padres are interested in Diaz and are significantly more active on the international front than it appears from the outside. The organization has certainly put a large emphasis on the international market in recent years, so this could be the type of splash that brings the Padres to international relevance.

Aledmys Diaz had his professional debut delayed one season after lying about his age (claiming to be a year older!) in order to sign a contract that wasn't subjected to the CBA's policies. He is currently just 23 years old, and boasts an excellent track record in the Serie Nacional de BĂ©isbol (Cuban National Series), hitting .313 with 12 home runs in his age 21 season. Diaz is younger, significantly less expensive, and has a higher ceiling than current third baseman Chase Headley.

Some scouts have mentioned that they expect Diaz will need to be moved over to second base (Jedd Gyorko would move to third base in this scenario), so he could use some time in the minors to learn the position. If the Padres were to sign Diaz, they could keep him in El Paso for until early July, and if Chase Headley gets off to a good start, the team could trade him and have an immediate replacement without taking away from the team's overall talent. 

The money works out in this situation as well, because a half-season of Headley (5.25 million) and a full season of Diaz (est. 4 million) would allow the Padres to save money. If the Padres traded Headley in this scenario, it wouldn't necessarily have to be for prospects. A Justin Upton for Chase Headley trade was rumored to be on the table a year ago, and a similar deal could be made involving another established major league talent, especially if Headley gets off to a good start. Possible candidates for acquisition in a Headley trade could be outfielders Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Starling Marte

This signing could create excellent leverage in negotiations with Headley as well as provide a back-up plan if San Diego does not want to trade him at the deadline. Diaz would put an impressive cherry on top of an offseason that has already brought in Josh Johnson, Alex Torres, Joaquin Benoit, Seth Smith, Tony Sipp, Xavier Nady, and many others to San Diego.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Padres, Rays Announce Seven-Player Trade

The San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays announced a seven-player trade on Wednesday morning. The Padres packaged three prospects with utility infielder Logan Forsythe and reliever Brad Boxberger and sent them to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for left-handed pitcher Alex Torres and prospect Jesse Hahn. The deal fills holes for the Rays and the Padres, with both teams dealing from positions of strength to fill a need.

Interestingly enough, the Padres often make trades involving a package of players for less players of higher quality, or vice versa.
 The Jake Peavy (4 for 1), Adrian Gonzalez (4 for 1), Mat Latos (4 for 1) and Jason Bartlett (4 for 1) trades come to mind. Of those four trades, the results were somewhat balanced.

The Rays netted some excellent pitching depth by adding right-handed pitchers Matt Lollis, Matt Andriese, and Brad Boxberger, while also bolstering their infield depth by adding the versatile duo of Maxx Tissenbaum and Logan Forsythe. 

Logan Forsythe was once rated as one of the top prospects in the Padres organization, behind fellow third baseman James Darnell, who recently signed a minor league contract with the Rays. Forsythe has served a critical role for San Diego, providing depth at shortstop, second base, third base, left field, and right field. Forsythe has excellent on base skills and hits well against left-handed pitchers. Forsythe should fill a utility infielder role. He is slightly above average defensively at second and third base, a tick below average at shortstop, and can play left and right field if needed. Forsythe will surprise you with the clutch home run every so often, but I wouldn't expect more than 15 annually if he were to play full-time. Forsythe is coming off the worst season of his career, having posted a .214/.281/.332 slash after posting a .273/.343/.390 slash in 2012.

Middle reliever Brad Boxberger came to the Padres in the Mat Latos trade. This is the second time that Boxberger has been traded to a new organization as part of a package. Boxberger was nearly designated for assignment earlier this offseason, but was kept in favor of Brad Brach, who was eventually traded to the Orioles for reliever Devin Jones. Boxberger has set-up man potential, and should be a key cog in the Rays bullpen, which recently added new closer Grant Balfour back to the mix on a two year contract. Boxberger has a career ERA of 2.72 in almost 50 innings with San Diego, but also had a 5.6 bb/9. The 24-year old should provide a cheap bullpen option to a low-spending team that can put up some good numbers. The Rays did not have a shortage of left-handed relievers, so they could afford to trade a lefty and get back a righty.

Maxx Tissenbaum was an 11th round pick in the 2012 draft by San Diego out of Stony Brook University. The 22-year old posted a slash line of .277/.365/.359 in Fort Wayne last season. In his time with the Padres, he has seen time at first, second, third, shortstop, and even catcher. Tissenbaum's best comparison is ironically Logan Forsythe, or in other words, a serviceable utility player with good on base skills.

Matt Lollis was once touted as a top prospect in the Padres organization, before falling into a spiral of irrelevancy. A conversion to a relief pitcher put the 6'9 right hander back on the map, as he looks like a potential middle reliever down the road. This December, Lollis was specifically left off the 40-man roster and therefore exposed in the rule 5 draft. Lollis was not taken, but has found a new home with the Tampa Bay Rays. He should start the season at the AA level.

Matt Andriese was an excellent pickup for the Rays. Andriese, a former third round pick, would have been blocked by the excess of starting pitchers in the upper minors for San Diego. At this point, it was looking like the right hander would be forced into the bullpen in order to get some major league experience. It is quite a bit more likely that Andriese ends up getting a shot in Tampa Bay's rotation than he would have in San Diego's. Andriese is most likely a mid-rotation starter, and should provide excellent depth for a Tampa Bay pitching staff. With a good spring, he could make the starting rotation.

On the San Diego side of things, the Padres got quality instead of quantity, adding left handed pitcher Alex Torres and right handed pitcher Jesse Hahn to a Padres team that was in need of a left handed reliever for the bullpen and had a plethora of young pitchers and middle infield depth.

Alex Torres is easily the key to this trade for the Padres in the short term. Torres should open camp as a bridge in the 7th inning to the pricey combination of Joaquin Benoit and Huston Street. The southpaw has experience as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but has never started a b game in the major leagues. The Padres organization stated that they would be open to using him as a starting pitcher. Last season, Torres was fantastic out of the bullpen, posting a 1.71 ERA as a rookie. Torres will not be eligible for free agency until 2020, but he is out of options, meaning he cannot be sent down to the minor leagues.

Jesse Hahn is a high upside pitcher who could start next season at the Double-A level. Hahn was rated as the Rays' 6th best prospect according to Baseball Prospectus, and is arguably better than any of the prospects that the Padres sent packing. He is a little bit on the older side (24), but he has excellent potential. Last season at the single-A level, he posted a 2.09 ERA. In his minor league career (2 seasons), he has allowed one home run in 121 innings. He also brings a 3.70 k/bb ratio to the table. He has been electric in the minor leagues, but he has also had some injury risk.

The Padres acquired the two best players in the trade, but the Rays may have the edge when considering the overall talent. It was certainly a quality for quantity trade that should work out exceptionally well for both teams.

This move essentially finishes the offseason for the Padres, putting together a very impressive cast to try and reach the playoffs. With health, they
should be hard to beat. Alex Torres and Joaquin Benoit represent major upgrades to a San Diego bullpen that recently saw Luke Gregerson and Joe Thatcher head to new cities.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Tribute to Jerry Coleman

Last Sunday, a baseball legend and a war hero was lost. Jerry Coleman (September 14th, 1924 to January 5th, 2014) passed away due to complications from a fall in his home. Coleman had a nine year career with the New York Yankees and a five year military career. He served in World War II and the Korean War. He was the only major league player to see live combat in both wars. 

Coleman was born into a poor family located in Northern California during The Great Depression. His father was an abusive and violent alcoholic. After several years of suffering his abuse, Coleman's mother divorced his father and moved away with Coleman and his sister. Eventually his father tracked them down and shot Coleman's mother four times. She survived the shooting but was no longer able to work. After high school, Jerry Coleman signed with the New York Yankees as an amateur free agent.  

Coleman's career was delayed by three years of military service, before starting in 1949 after serving in World War II as a Marine Aviator. Once he started his baseball career, it took off. He finished third in Rookie of the Year voting and put up 1.6 defensive WAR at second base in his first major league season. The majority of Coleman's value as a player came from his outstanding defensive abilities. In his second year, he was an all-star and the World Series MVP, hitting .287 and putting up another 1.1 defensive wins above replacement. 

His 1951 season was another typical Jerry Coleman year, putting up exceptional defense and average offense. In 1952 and 1953, Coleman abandoned major league baseball to fight for his country as a pilot in the Korean War. He gave away his prime years as a baseball player in order to serve his country in Korea. In 1954, when he came back, but he was no longer the player he once was. An injury hampered his performance and derailed his career. For the next three seasons, Coleman was regulated to a bench role on the Yankees, leading to his retirement. In Coleman's career with the Yankees, he won four championships.

Coleman's player career may have ended in 1957, but his baseball career lived on. In 1958, he joined the Yankees front office, where he stayed for the next three seasons, before being part of a front office purge by new general manager Roy Hamey. He began his broadcasting career shortly thereafter.

Coleman conducted pregame interviews for CBS from 1960-1963 before becoming a broadcaster for the Yankees for the next seven seasons. After his Angels career, he joined the California Angels for two seasons. In 1972, Jerry Coleman started his career as the recently created Padres play-by-play man, a position that he would hold until his passing, with the exception of 1980, where he managed a Padres' team owned by Ray Kroc that included future Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Rollie Fingers, and Dave Winfield. He won 73 games in his managing career, before returning to the broadcast booth in 1981.

Over the next 40 seasons, Jerry Coleman was the voice of the Padres. He introduced "colemanisms" such as, "Oh Doctor!" and "You can hang a star on that baby!" to the Padres' broadcast booth. Coleman was a constant in the often-changing world of Padres fans, a world that recently saw three different ownership groups and two different general managers in just the last year and a half. 

In September 2012, the Padres revealed a statue in PETCO Park of Jerry Coleman. The only other statue in PETCO Park is Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Last Sunday, the baseball world lost one of the greats.