SAN DIEGO (AP) — A front-office shakeup had no impact on the San Diego Padres' performance.
After the team announced general manager Josh Byrnes was fired minutes before the first pitch with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, the Padres put up another punchless performance in a 2-1 loss against Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Although Padres President and CEO Mike Dee said there were a number of factors that figured into the firing, Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler made it clear that the ownership group was not happy with the product on the field.
"When you invest 50 percent more money over the last two years, in terms of payroll, you expect better performance," Fowler said. "We gave baseball ops a clean slate as far as who did they want, what did they want to do. For my perspective, we are standing here as a consequence of that not working."
Byrnes' offseason moves included free agent signings of starting pitcher Josh Johnson, who has yet to pitch for San Diego since straining his right forearm in spring training, reliever Joaquin Benoit and outfielder Seth Smith.
"We were led to believe, and I think it's fair to say we believed, based upon the investment that we made, the additions we made in the offseason, the addition of certain players during the offseason, that would put us over the top," Dee said. "We felt confident that we would be in a position to compete for postseason baseball."
Dee added that manager Bud Black has been told that his job is safe at least through the end of the season.
Until the club hires a new general manager, senior vice president for baseball operations Omar Minaya and assistant general managers A.J. Hinch and Fred Uhlman, Jr. will assume the GM duties.
Minaya was the general manager of the New York Mets from 2005-10.
Byrnes was hired by the Padres as their senior vice president for baseball operations in December 2010 after he was let go as general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he was in the middle of an eight-year deal. He was promoted 10 months later to GM and was given a five-year contract.
Under Byrnes, the Padres payroll increased nearly $40 million to $89,881,696 on opening this season — 23rd overall — but the team has made little progress.