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09/24/08 10:29 PM ET
Towers not surprised Joyner resigned
GM calls hitting coach's departure a 'difference in philosophy'
By Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Two days after Padres hitting coach Wally Joyner tendered his resignation, Padres general manager Kevin Towers said he was not surprised by Joyner's decision. It was clear to Towers that if Joyner did not buy into the organization's philosophy, Joyner's employment would not be a tenable situation after this season anyway because "you can't afford to have a break in the link." "We don't want to confuse the players, we've all got to be tugging the same way on the same rope in order to be successful," Towers said. "If that's what we're preaching and teaching in the Minor Leagues, it has to be consistent with what we do at the big league level. "I respect his decision if that's the way he felt. If he felt that strongly about it, I couldn't see where he could be effective in his position believing what we believe." Towers refused to speculate on the job safety of anybody else on the coaching staff, saying that will be announced at the end of the season. Towers said the organization was hoping for "a little bump" when it hired Joyner in the middle of last season after letting Merv Rettenmund go, and he feels Joyner provided such a boost. This season, however, the Padres rank last in the Majors in runs (3.94 per game), 28th in batting average (.250) and 26th in on-base plus slugging (.709) entering Wednesday night's game at Dodger Stadium, but Towers refused to place the blame on Joyner for his club's struggles at the plate. "No doubt, that he's certainly passionate about his position and gave everything he had to this job," Towers said. "I think we all should be held accountable. How much you put that on the players, how much you put on the hitting coach, how much you put that on the general manager, we've all had our struggles. I certainly don't blame Wally Joyner for where we're at. I think this was more a difference in philosophy." Towers said it would be "helpful" to hire somebody familiar with the Padres' philosophy as the next hitting coach, possibly somebody already in the system. "We need to be very thorough in the offseason identifying the right people who will follow through with kind of the game plan, what we want to be taught at the big league level with what we're doing at the Minor League level," Towers said. "Hopefully, the results are positive ones."
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.