The Chicago Tribune has a story contemplating what the ballpark of tomorrow may look and feel like. Holograms! Smart-everything! Virtual reality!
Even in the next few years, Santee anticipates noticeable changes at ballparks — video boards with 4K screens, for one. Another is virtual reality clubs that might allow fans to try to replicate that diving stop they just saw J.J. Hardy make, for example.
“You could walk into it and all three dimensions of the room would be part of the game,” Santee said. “You could be the guy in the outfield. One wall is the outfield, you’ve got fans on three sides. You go in there and you feel like you are completely part of the game.”
I love stuff like this. Sure, it may all be wrong, but future-gazing, even if wrong, is fun and a little uplifting even if it’s silly now and will look even sillier when the future one day comes. Plus, it reminds me of the old “World of Tomorrow” cartoons from the 40s and 50s. With the added bonus of there not being anywhere near the level of sick, twisted violence towards mothers-in-law.
But if you can get past that bit, have some laughs:
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.