As you know, Padres manager Bruce Bochy recently was considered for the Cubs vacancy before they settled on Lou Piniella. Now apparently the Giants have come calling. Just like last winter, when Kevin Towers interviewed for the GM opening in Arizona, the Padres have opened themselves to the risk of losing a key member of the management team (and the franchise, for that matter).
I’m fairly agnostic on whether Bochy stays or goes. Until we know who would assume the managerial role in his absence, it’s hard to make any kind of judgment — except in rare instances, I don’t subscribe to the “anything is better than what we’ve got” theory that seemed to be popular around these parts this past summer, e.g., in the days leading up to former hitting coach Dave Magadan’s dismissal.
What I will say is that I like the way the Padres, as an organization, are handling their management staff. Sandy Alderson, speaking of Bochy, had this to say on the latter’s potential departure:
He may very well not go to San Francisco. If he doesn’t and comes back to the Padres, my hope is we have a happier, more content and more motivated Padres employee than we would have otherwise.
There is only one way to (prove) to somebody that the grass is not greener, and that’s to allow somebody to roll around it a little while.
I honestly couldn’t be more pleased with this attitude. The stathead in me isn’t entirely comfortable acknowledging that these factors matter, but the level of trust that Alderson and company are showing in these guys is phenomenal, as is the level of confidence that what they are working to accomplish as an organization is worth sticking around for despite what might be happening elsewhere. If you’re even a little insecure about where you are or where you’re headed, you don’t give your employees that kind of freedom.
We’ll see how it all plays out, but right now I’m just happy that this organization seems to have some self-confidence and, dare I say, bravado. That hasn’t always been the case, and it’s a refreshing change.