GMs Sacked: Kevin Towers

Yesterday, Kevin Towers was the longest standing General Manager in baseball in his 14th year with San Diego as their GM. Today that mantle belongs to someone else as Kevin Towers has been sacked as GM of the Padres.

It was not utterly unexpected given the new change in ownership and the record by the Padres over the past couple seasons, 99 losses last year and between 86 and 88 this year, and with a bleak outlook for the next couple seasons due to a severe lack of talent on the roster. However, much of this was due to extreme cost cutting measures put in place by the previous ownership preceding a successful sale of the club and its hard to fully blame Towers for the Padres results on the field.

Towers has even continued to make some shrewd trades, the hallmark of his tenure, just this season unloading Jake Peavy and his $56 million contract to the White Sox, actually getting value back for Peavy who was on the disabled list at the time and who several analysts believe will not even be worth the value of his contract in the coming seasons.

Under Towers, the Padres won the NL West in 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006. They also game oh so close to making the postseason in 2007, losing a heartbreaking 13-inning tiebreaker game at Colorado in which they had a two run lead in the bottom of the 13th. The Padres made the World Series in 1998, only to be swept by the Yankees. The team was 1107-1159 while Towers was GM.

Who is going to step into Towers role? Obviously the first speculation is going to point at Assistant GM Paul DePodesta, who certainly deserves another shot after being railroaded out of Los Angeles. For the few devout Padres fans out there, hope that they don’t go in the direction of Randy Smith, former GM (he was actually the GM before Towers) and current Director of International Scouting.




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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


16 Responses to “GMs Sacked: Kevin Towers”

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  1. Ezra says:

    Since July 28 the Padres are 36-23, fourth-best in the major leagues in that span.

    Gwynn was a nice pickup, so was Gregerson. The Mets should dump Minaya and sign Towers now. Or Towers to Oakland and Beane to the Mets?

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    • fan says:

      Is there any reason to think Beane is leaving Oakland? or that the Mets are interested?

      Or are you just a Mets fan?

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      • Bill says:

        Beane didn’t take the Red Sox job when it was offered to him, so I seriously doubt that he will take an offer from the Mets.

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  2. don says:

    het matt not be a grammar nazi but second to last paragraph it says “They also game oh so close to making the postseason in 2007″ *came

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    • WY says:

      Actually, I’ll be a grammar Nazi (or, more specifically, an apostrophe Nazi) for a moment and point out a couple of things:

      (1) “…and its hard to fully blame Towers for the Padres results on the field” should read “”…and it’s hard to fully blame Towers for the Padres’ results on the field.”

      (2) “Who is going to step into Towers role?” should read “Who is going to step into Towers’ role?”

      Apologies if this is out of line, but I see these kinds of basic errors quite often in Mr. Carruth’s writing and find them pretty distracting.

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  3. Mark says:

    So is Brian Sabean now the longest-tenured GM in baseball? Lord have mercy on our souls.

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  4. Scott says:

    Guess who is the Padres 4th highest paid player?

    Heath Bell at $1.255 million,

    5th?

    David freaking Eckstein at $850,000

    The Yankees 4th highest paid player? Derek Jeter at $20 million. Shoot, the Diamondbacks 4th highest paid player makes 5 times what Heath Bell makes (Brandon Webb, $6.5 million)

    Kevin Towers is a great GM, the blame is squarely on ownership for running a mid-market team with a brand new stadium on a minor league budget.

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  5. joser says:

    Ownership was in the middle of a messy divorce. It’s always the children who suffer.

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  6. PL says:

    Beane is a co-owner of the team and has repeatedly said he will not go to another team until he wins a championship with the A’s. He’s not going to the Mets, or anywhere.

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  7. Pete says:

    The Fathers are a mess. They did get out from under Peavy’s contract though, which is a plus. I think Towers is a shrewd guy so we’ll see how he does. He can’t be worse than Dayton Moore, right?

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  8. Lou Doench says:

    I’d take Towers in Cincy in a heartbeat. He’d fire Dusty Baker.

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  9. walkoffblast says:

    I would feel bad for Towers except this is probably a good thing for him. There are a lot of places that would be smart to hire him asap.

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  10. The Nicker says:

    Firing Towers and hiring Randy Smith would be one of the all-time boneheaded moves ever made by ownership in the history of baseball. Seriously, I can make that claim without even seeing future results.

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  11. JH says:

    I’ve got a lot of respect for Towers. He isn’t the smartest guy who’s been in charge of a baseball organization, but he’s got a truly enviable mixture of humility and confidence. He surrounded himself with smart people his entire career, including a wet behind the ears Theo Epstein who taught him that the stolen base was an overrated statistic. I’ve seen a lot of baseball execs speak, and Towers alone showed me that he was willing to admit when he didn’t understand something, listen to people smarter than him, and make good decisions on that basis.

    I really hope the Pads give DePodesta another shot at a GM job, but I also really, really hope Towers ends up at the helm of another team in the near future. Maybe when the Cubs finally get tired of Jim Hendry.

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    • JH says:

      One thing I missed: not only does Towers listen, he gives credit to people who teach him. In a 30-minute Q&A session he doled out praise to 5 or 6 different low-level staffers he’d brought in, each of whom had taught him something new about how to run a baseball team. It was really cool to watch.

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  12. fan says:

    Has anyone considered adding up a teams’ individual players’ 2009 dollar values and comparing it to the players’ actual 2009 salaries as a method to determine a GM’s ability?

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