Blog Entry

Padres fire GM Towers

Posted on: October 2, 2009 10:18 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2009 2:48 am
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The San Diego Padres have fired Kevin Towers, the game's longest-tenured general manager, and will announce the move on Saturday, CBSSports.com has learned.

Towers, who was informed of the decision before Friday night's Padres-Giants game, was told by Moorad last month that the club "might begin a GM search." That was the first indication to Towers that his future with the club was in jeopardy. By Friday, that future was no more.

There is no indication yet whom Jeff Moorad, Padres chief executive officer, has in mind to replace Towers in what ranks as another jolt to a franchise that had become irrelevant during the waning months of former owner John Moores' administration and was only starting to recover.

One person with knowledge of the situation said he thinks Moorad has someone in mind and will work quickly to fill the void.

Among those who will be prominently linked to the vacancy will be Jerry DiPoto, director of player personnel for the Arizona, a person who worked closely with Moorad when Moorad was CEO in Arizona.

Others who could become candidates include Paul DePodesta, Padres special assistant for baseball operations; Jed Hoyer, Red Sox assistant GM; and Peter Woodfork, Diamondbacks' assistant general manager.

As for Towers, who has been in charge of the Padres since Nov. 17, 1995, if it is possible for a personnel move to be both surprising and not at the same time, this is it.

The decision comes as a Moorad-led ownership group gains control of the club from Moores. Major personnel moves typically are expected during a change in ownership.

Yet Towers, who is signed through 2010 and is due more than $1 million in salary next year, did some of his best work this season in quickly revamping a franchise gutted by a payroll purge into a club with good young players and a modicum of hope for the future.

A Padres' club that lost 99 games a year ago was 74-85 entering Friday's series opener with San Francisco.

Towers has overseen a dramatic player payroll ordered by Moores. The club hacked the payroll to $40 million this summer, from $73 million in 2008, and severed ties with franchise icon closer Trevor Hoffman in the process. Most recently, Towers dealt ace Jake Peavy to the Chicago White Sox at the July 31 trade deadline.

Following last season's crash-and-burn, Towers was given more room to work this spring and summer following club president Sandy Alderson's departure. Towers quickly made a flurry of moves that brought the Padres back to respectability far sooner than expected, acquiring such players as relievers Luke Gregerson (from St. Louis) and Edward Mujica (Cleveland), outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. (Milwaukee) and starters Sean Gallagher (Oakland) and Clayton Richard (White Sox).

With Towers essentially rebuilding the team on the fly, the Padres had gone 36-23 (.610) since July 28, a winning percentage that ranks fourth in the major leagues during that time and second in the NL.

It has been the brightest time since the Padres blew the NL West title in 2007 and lost a one-game playoff to the Colorado Rockies.

Before then, and long before the club's recent internal problems and payroll purge, Towers was the architect of the most successful period in Padres' history.

They won four of their five NL pennants under Towers, including the only back-to-back division titles in franchise history, in 2005 and 2006. They also won the 1998 NL pennant and appeared in only the club's second World Series ever with Towers in charge.

Yet Towers' long-term future under Moorad was never secure. Under Moorad in Arizona, the Diamondbacks interviewed Towers upon Joe Garagiola Jr.'s departure as GM in 2005 but hired Josh Byrnes instead.

With Towers out, Oakland's Billy Beane becomes the longest-tenured GM in the game.

And, Towers' dismissal is expected to be only the beginning of a housecleaning in the club's baseball operations department. Grady Fuson, vice-president of player development, is expected to be fired, though one source said Friday night he could remain in place until a new GM is named, at which time the GM likely would dismiss him. Bill Gayton, director of scouting, might be re-assigned as well.

Meantime, scout Chris Gwynn, who was a client of Moorad's when Moorad was an agent, is said to be well thought of and in line for a promotion -- possibly at least to the level of farm director.

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Comments

Since: Feb 7, 2009
Posted on: October 3, 2009 5:59 pm
 

Padres fire GM Towers

As another Padres fan, I feel I need to chime in also. Again, not really surprised this happen. I respect the years if service he has put in, but I am glad to see it over. It's time to move on, and the Padres are only going to improve and start winning! Dark horse in 2010!



Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2009 5:38 pm
 

Padres fire GM Towers

the only you ran into was a tab of acid and a bottle of scotch.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: October 3, 2009 2:56 pm
 

Moraad's style?

All I know is he left behind a gutted and not so competetive AZ Diamondbacks to go to San Diego. Came to AZ with big hopes and hoopla, did same when went to San Diego. And now he is gutting the Padres.

Is Moorad about winning or is he about making a buck? Those are two different things in professional sports. He can make a buck and not field winners. Ask the Bidwell's of AZ Cardinals fame.

Here in Phoenix we are basically rebuilding the D'Backs after Moraad's brief stay. Gotta wonder what will happen next season in San Diego.




Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2009 2:46 pm
 

Padres fire GM Towers

Who are those pitching reclamations???? Mark Pryor??? David Wells??? Wade Miller??? Andy Ashby???? Shawn Estes????

Those are in the past few years and they DID NOT work out.

Most of the pitchers they have used in the past few years were all young un-proven talent that is why they lost 99 games in 2008.

They had Peavy and Young on that team and still lost 99.

Can you name 2 of the starters currently????

Most GM's have a lack of resources unless you are Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, Omar Minaya, or Ned Coletti.

I think Moorad will be better than Moores as owners go.

Moores lied to us all back in 2002-2003 when he said the stadium would bring enough revenue to pay players to come to San Diego on a consistent basis.

I hear they may Bring Milton Bradley back, great idea since he is the cancer that caused troucle in Chicago this year. He can hit when his head is on straight.




Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: October 3, 2009 11:05 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

I'm in full agreement with you, lute70.  Given the absolute lack of resources KT's had to work with all this time, it's a wonder the Padres weren't competing more consistently with the Nationals, Royals, and Pirates as the worst team in the majors.  As far as pitching reclaimations go, no one in MLB can do it any better than Towers! 

Now I'll cede the point that drafting wise, his performance wasn't nearly so good, but I believe that was more of the Padres ownership being cheap and tying his hand more than his lack of talent assessment.   I think it also has to be recognized that how Petco's turned out as a pitcher's park has also put a burden on him to get talent that can hit in such a place, which is certainly no easy talent these days, given how many hitters are geared up to smack shots out of some of the bandboxes now in service.

Anyways, I think the Moorad's made a terrible mistake and we, the fans, will suffer as a result.   Good luck on your next endeavor KT; this fan certainly appreciated your work within the Padres organization!



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: October 3, 2009 10:51 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

Yeah your right, I'm sure you and Luchino sat down and had a beer together.   Yeah Im sure you guys are best friends.  Your an Idiot because you actually think that firing Towers was a smart move, and your a bigger douche cuz your trying to name drop on CBS sports.  Im the one that needs a life?

Pink hat?  Really?  Im not even sure what that means.

If you honestly think the Padres problems are because of towers, you really are an idiot and should stick to telling your fish stories.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2009 8:53 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

Sure you are not a Yankee fan? That's right Cubs fans are just as bad, they go off without thinking!!!!
Why do you have a pic of Youk? Are you a bandwagon Sox fan with a pink hat?



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2009 8:48 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

You are an idiot actually worse but it can't be said on here. You are all dumb. I was at the Red Sox game on friday night and Lucchino was cruising around giving employees envelopes, probably a bonus or some type of recognition. That is how a team should be run!

Get a life you loser!!!!!!

Don't go calling people idiots when you have no clue!



Since: May 12, 2009
Posted on: October 3, 2009 5:01 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

your an absolute idiot... you RAN into lucchino?  tell me your kidding, please tell me you dont think were all that dumb.

really.

your an idiot.



Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: October 3, 2009 12:18 am
 

Padres fire GM Towers

They should have fired him years ago, like back 2000!!!!!

Boorrad needs to get a real GM in there. The Padres had some decent teams a few years ago but thanks to the IDIOT owner Moores, they had to get rid of everyone.
Adrian Gonzalez will be the next to leave as he is getting too expensive for the Padres. This team is and will always be a farm system for the rest of baseball!!!!!

Moorad said he was going to lower season ticket prices in 2010, that is only true if you are a full season holder and only in certain sections. My partial plan is actually going up in price????? WHY??????

I can get season tickets to Dodgers or D-Backs for $4 and $5 respectively and will glad pay that for a decent team even though I don't like the Dodgers.

I just ran into Larry Lucchino at the Red Sox game tonight and thought about what he could do if he owned the Padres, but why would he? He is the President of a great team that has gone to the post season 6 out of 7 years.

I like Petco park but hate watching AA or AAA baseball there!!! I gladly drive an hour from my house to Anaheim to see a real owner put a real team on the field.

Good riddance to Kevin Towers, he should be bagging groceries!!!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com