Both Padres and Blue Jays fire GMs


The San Diego Padres and the Toronto Blue Jays are ready to restructure. After both teams failed to make the postseason yet again, the higher-ups have decided to ax their general managers. The Padres chose to cut Kevin Towers, who has been with the organization since 1995, a tenure longer than any active GM. Not to be outdone, the Blue Jays gave J.P. Ricciardi the boot after his eight-year campaign.

Per the San Diego Union Tribune

Padres CEO Jeff Moorad thinks of Kevin Towers as “a gunslinger,” and, he added, “a masterful one, at that.” What he wants is someone who can put more of the “general” in general manager.

Strategic thinking is the crucial quality Moorad is seeking as he attempts to steer the Padres in a new direction following 14 years of Towers’ sometimes seat-of-the-pants stewardship. Moorad wants to rebuild his baseball operation from its foundation, to develop detailed short-, mid-and long-term plans, and he has decided that Towers is not the right fit for those responsibilities.

Moorad declined to discuss specific candidates, except to say that his search had not been internal. Arizona Vice President Jerry DiPoto, who joined the Diamondbacks during Moorad’s tenure in Phoenix, is considered a leading contender. Pat Gillick, who built World Series champions in Toronto and Philadelphia, has said he might leave semi-retirement at age 72 for the right situation “on the West Coast.”

Per the Toronto Star

The Jays issued a terse release at 10:38 a.m. announcing that Ricciardi has stepped down from his role that he had filled since Nov. 14, 2001, eight seasons without a post-season berth.

Replacing him will be 32-year-old Alex Anthopoulos, a native of Montreal. He joined the Jays in 2003 and was named an assistant GM under Ricciardi after the 2005 season. Anthopoulos attended McMaster University, majoring in economics, getting his first job in baseball with the Expos in 2000, in media relations.

Although both of these guys leave behind losing records, they did have their share of accomplishments. Towers guided the Padres to division titles in 1996 and ’98, and 2005 and ’06. In addition to the Padres posting four consecutive winning seasons from 2004-07, Towers was known for orchestrating seemingly impossible deals, such as the one that sent first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and pitcher Chris Young from Texas for Adam Eaton, Billy Killian and Akinori Otsuka. Still, let’s face it, he wasn’t given the resources later in his career to push his team past the Dodgers. Towers is respected for his talents and shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a job this offseason.

As for J.P Ricciardi, he won 86 games in his second season, 2003, 87 in 2006, and 86 in 2008. He also oversaw the development of draft choices and current fan favorites Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, and Ricky Romero. Nevertheless, the Blue Jays never once made the playoffs during Ricciardi’s eight seasons as GM. You know Roy Halladay isn’t too pleased about that.

It’s worth noting that Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston is probably on his way out as well. Apparently, many players on the team are asking for his immediate replacement. I like this, Toronto. You guys are ready to play ball once again.

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