Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler blames players for team’s shortcomings

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Grass is green, water is blue, and a team executive is pinning blame on the players for his team’s shortcomings. Per Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler blamed the players — since shipped out — for the team’s shortcomings.

The Padres addressed ticket holders in a “town hall” type of meeting at Petco Park on Wednesday night. Fowler said, “I’ll be damned if we’re going to pay high-priced talent to sit on their butts and not perform.” He continued, discussing the Padres’ recent flurry of moves, “We made a conscious decision to ship them out because we want people that are prepared to improve. If you’re making a lot of money and you think you’re already there, you’re not going to get better.”

Fowler then criticized outfielder Matt Kemp‘s recent column in The Players’ Tribune in which he took responsibility for not living up to expectations. Kemp wrote, “[…] I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I had begun to lose some of my love for the game. In so many ways, I got sidetracked from what I loved most about playing the game of baseball — having fun. I let a big contract, the Hollywood lifestyle, injuries and bad relationships tarnish the reputation I had worked so hard to establish. Sadly, I gained a reputation for being selfish, lazy and a bad teammate.”

Fowler said, “They had a bad attitude. You saw Kemp’s letter. Talk about a bunch of B.S.” He added, “Most of ’em are gone, thank God.”

It was only two months ago that Fowler publicly criticized James Shields, just days before the club traded him to the White Sox.

Unsurprisingly, Fowler didn’t seem to have any criticism for those responsible for bringing the players to the Padres in the first place. He only said, “That was a bad experiment. The chemistry wasn’t there. But we took a run at it.”

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.