Padres fans touting Mike Shildt hire puts them further away from Dodgers' excellence

Come on now, Padres fans. You're better than this.
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs
San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The San Diego Padres, one year removed from an NLCS appearance, experienced so much internal turmoil throughout 2023 that manager Bob Melvin was forced out and countless roster questions (not the good kind) are engulfing the offseason discussion.

So, first order of business was finding a new manager. Sure, they're probably losing guys like Blake Snell and Josh Hader, but this team still has an All-Star core capable of making run if surrounded by the right pieces. Hell, they took down the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2022 NLDS pretty handily.

But how bad were things in San Diego that the fanbase is celebrating the hire of Mike Shildt as next manager? Is this really something worth taking to social media to gloat about?

Shildt has four years of managerial experience. He was swiftly ousted from the Cardinals' organization after a 90-win season and loss to the Dodgers in the NL Wild Card Game. He took St. Louis to the NLCS in 2019, too. After his dismissal, he couldn't find another job as manager until two years later. And here we are.

Somehow, Padres fans are trying to dub Shildt more of a "baseball guy" than Melvin, who was apparently spineless? Whatever you say, we guess.

Padres fans touting Mike Shildt hire puts them further away from Dodgers' excellence

This kind of volatility, as evidenced during AJ Preller's reign, is far from sustainable. The Padres have just two playoff appearances since the 2007 season, and Preller is on his fifth full-time manager. Eight people have now managed the Padres since 2014, including Dave Roberts, who was 0-1 in his one-game stint succeeding Bud Black. He then left for the Dodgers, and the rest is history.

Might want that one back? Since Andrew Friedman hired Roberts in 2016, LA has made the playoffs every season, appeared in the World Series three times, and won a championship. The Dodgers have had two managers over the same span the Padres have had five.

But back to Shildt. Can Padres fans really not see this was kind of the last-resort hire for the organization? Shildt was already a member of the coaching staff and had the most MLB managerial experience of the others interviewed, including former player Adrian González, Phil Nevin, Ryan Flaherty and Benji Gil.

Based on what it looks like from the perspective of an average fan reading about the topic, Preller reached the end of the line, seemingly saw no better option, and went with Shildt as the offseason started to heat up and more momentous moves needed to be made.

If the true "baseball guy with a SPINE" was right under their nose all along, what was the point of waiting a month to make the hire? Finding the next great manager felt like the more appropriate move rather than settling on the guy with one short stint as a skipper where he ultimately wasn't wanted.