October 16, 2012
The Year Baseball Went Missing in San Diego
The Padres had a strange 2012, even by their standards. The strangeness wasn't limited to on-field action. Ongoing ownership and television contract issues often overshadowed how the team performed in games.
It's all a bit convoluted, so we'll go over some background information before looking at the 2012 timeline and what effect the events of this year will have on the franchise and the city of San Diego in the short- and long-term.
In October 2009, Moorad fired Kevin Towers, who had served as Padres general manager since being hired to replace Randy Smith in November 1995. At the time of his dismissal, Towers was the longest-tenured general manager in baseball. Moorad indicated that although the decision to part ways with the popular and successful Towers was not easy, it was necessary to move forward with the new owner's vision for the franchise:
We're interested in approaching the business in all aspects with a strategic mindset, one that involves the idea of putting our thoughts and plans together, both short and long term.
Moorad hired former Red Sox assistant general manager Jed Hoyer three weeks later to help bring that vision to fruition. Hoyer was the Padres GM for two years and two days, before he left to join the Cubs in the same capacity under his former boss in Boston, Theo Epstein.
During his abbreviated tenure with the Padres, Hoyer made many positive moves. The most notable move was his December 2010 trade of hometown hero Adrian Gonzalez—whose contract would expire at the end of 2011 and whose price on the free market would be too steep for the financially-challenged Padres—to the Red Sox for Reymond Fuentes, Casey Kelly, Eric Patterson, and Anthony Rizzo.