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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tony Gwynn Has Interest in Managing Padres, Minor Leagues

First Barry Bonds shows interest in managing minor leaguers, now Tony Gwynn? I was on my way to Dodger Stadium early last Friday to get some interviews, listening to Double X Sports 1090 — the Padres’ station. They were running the Padres BP show (you can listen here), and they had quite the star-studded cast: hit king Pete Rose, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, Cy Younger Randy Jones, and host Darren Smith. Despite being a BP show which would seem boring, it was easily some of the most enjoyable radio I’ve ever heard — just like listening to a bunch of baseball greats sitting around talking at a bar. At one point Tony was asked by Rose if his ambition is to be a big league manager. Tony’s response was clear: “No.” Rose followed up, “You mean if they offer you the job next month you’d turn it down?” Gwynn responded, “I didn’t say that [laughing loudly].” Now that wouldn’t be much of a stretch considering Gwynn already manages San Diego State’s baseball team. Check this though — attention MLB GMs: Tony Gwynn might be lookin for something new:

“I’ve [managed San Diego State] for six years, I’d like to continue to do it for a while, but I can’t lie to you — one day you’d like to move from that to something else. To me, the minor leagues seem more intriguing than the big leagues. I feel like you can make the biggest difference teaching guys how to do things right.”

Hmm, why does that sound so familiar? Gwynn also added that he was criticized throughout his career for remaining on the Padres even with their losing teams, but he said he did things that made him comfortable and even sacrificed money to be comfortable because that was important to him, much like coaching at San Diego State. He also said that he’d like some of the college rules to change, such as allowing players to have more than two hours to practice a day in the off-season. Gwynn said it’s hard to get better playing college baseball with the restrictions they place on kids. Perhaps that’s a motivating factor in Tony having interest in moving on somewhere else.

As for the issue at hand, I’m guessing Gwynn would be a fine manager because he seems nice and easy to work with, had a great work ethic as a player that he could pass down to kids, and there’s no doubting the knowledge he would be able to impart to youngsters — especially on hitting. I don’t think Bud Black should be fired. Is it really his fault Jim Edmonds blew, the team let Cameron go, and Chris Young got hurt? They did fine with him last year it seemed. That all being said, Tony Gwynn would be a natural fit as their manager, or hitting coach at the least.

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