We all know Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton is fast. As a member of the Reds, he stole 277 bases across parts of six seasons and regularly made spectacular catches. Now a Royal, Hamilton continues to show off his speed. On Tuesday against the Mariners, he scored from second base on a sacrifice fly.
Hamilton led off the inning, reaching second base thanks to a fielding error by left fielder Domingo Santana. After Whit Merrifield grounded out, failing to advance Hamilton, Adalberto Mondesi lifted a fly ball to deep center field. Mallex Smith tracked the ball to the warning track and stumbled at the last moment, dropping to a knee as he caught the ball. Smith was slow to get up and Hamilton never stopped running. Third base coach Mike Jirschele waved Hamilton home and it turned out to be the right call as Hamilton slid head-first into home plate just ahead of the relay throw to score the game-tying run, knotting the game up at 2-2.
As expected, Hamilton hasn’t done much with the bat. He entered Tuesday’s action batting .281/.303/.281 in 33 plate appearances. When he does get on base, though, he’s electric.
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.