The Swinging Friar: The Hits Keep Coming
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The Swinging Friar: The Hits Keep Coming

The fans are barely out of downtown after last night’s finale, yet hitting coach, Randy Ready, is already gone. The Padres announced today Ready would not be returning to the Padres for 2012.

It’s unfortunate. Petco Park was built to allow the Padres to compete with a less than enviable payroll. It was designed so that even mediocre (read: cheap) pitchers could excel. The offense was of little concern because, hey, the Padres can’t afford offense anyway. However, the club seems strangely surprised by the lack of offense every season. This year’s victim was Randy Ready.

Here’s where the Padres ranked in runs scored since Petco Park opened:

2004: 8th
2005: 13th
2006: 13th
2007: 9th
2008: 16th
2009: 15th
2010: 12th
2011: 15th

Two finishes better than 12th out of 16 NL teams in eight years. This seems more like what the Padres had planned for when building Petco rather than a failure of any one hitting coach.

In the two and a half years as the Padres hitting coach, Ready oversaw the continued development of Adrian Gonzalez, the increased efficiency of Chase Headley, the temporary resurgence of Yorvit Torrealba, and the turn around of Cameron Maybin. For his part the Padres showed him the door. Unfortunately, the organization failed to evaluate Ready, or any other hitting coach, in a manner that suited the club’s unique style.

The fact is, Ready helped the Padres to a rather respectable 195-208 record in his time with the club. Excluding this season his record is even better at 124-117.

The Padres seem to have, at the hitting coach position, the same syndrome the Marlins have at manager. The can’t-get-a-new-one-quick-enough syndrome. With the club’s commitment to spend more on winning, one can only hope they will show some commitment at the hitting coach position.