7/7/2014 10:18 P.M. ET
Years later, former teacher still influence for Ross
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
DENVER -- Michelle Lewis, the founder and director of Oakland's Northern Light School, says there is one thing you need to know about Padres' All-Star pitcher Tyson Ross.
"Tyson gives the best hugs," Lewis said Monday by phone from Oakland.
Lewis would certainly know, as she has been the recipient of plenty of them both when Ross attended the non-profit, private school from first grade through the sixth grade and since he left.
In fact, it was an email from Lewis on Sunday -- not long after Ross was named to his first All-Star team -- that really resonated with Ross, though that was hardly surprising, he said.
"The one that always puts a smile on my face," he said of emails received from Lewis. "Her emails are always filled with such emotion. To see someone who helped shape me into who I am today as a person still following me, believing in me and reaching out … it's special."
Lewis said she could still remember the reply Ross gave her as a first-grader when she asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
"He said he wanted to pitch for the A's," Lewis said.
Ross, of course, did. He was drafted by his hometown A's in 2008 and made his big league debut during the 2010 season.
Lewis, who founded the Northern Light School 25 years ago, remembers the day in November 2012 when the A's traded Ross to the Padres.
"The day he was traded I was so sad, I was so depressed -- I didn't want him to go," Lewis said. "But Vida Blue, who is a dear friend of the school, said, 'Michelle, he's going to the best pitching coach [Darren Balsley] for him.'
"It's true. Look at how he's turned it around."
Ross will not pitch in All-Star Game
DENVER -- Tyson Ross, who on Sunday was selected to his first National League All-Star team, will not play in the game, he confirmed Monday.
While slightly disappointed, Ross expressed no regret.
"It's unfortunate that I can't pitch in the All-Star Game, but I get to pitch for my guys on Sunday against a division opponent," Ross said of his final start of the first half against the Dodgers. "That's a big game for us.
"I'm here to pitch for my guys. That's my No. 1 priority: I'm a Padre. These [regular-season games] are the only ones that matter. I'm here for the other 24 guys in this locker room."
Ross will still attend the game in Minneapolis to take part in all of the events before and during All-Star week. Technically, the decision not to pitch was his, though these decisions are not typically debated all that long.
"That's a tough one for all managers, pitching coaches and clubs … as you're trying to win games," Padres manager Bud Black said. "I think all of us know the integrity of the schedule. His day falls on Sunday. It's tough to switch things around."
Black said he was hopeful that relievers Huston Street and/or Joaquin Benoit would get a look when it comes time to name replacements to the National League roster.
"If you're asking me, I think those guys [Street and Benoit] are very deserving," Black said. "I hope that Huston and Joaquin get strong consideration."
Padres interview Rangers exec Preller for GM
DENVER -- The Padres on Monday interviewed a fifth candidate for their vacant general manager job: Rangers assistant general manager A.J. Preller.
Preller is in his 10th season with the Rangers and has been one of general manager Jon Daniels' most trusted lieutenants. From 2010-13, he was in charge of the Rangers' professional, international and amateur scouting and helped rebuild the farm system.
Previously, the Padres interviewed former Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest, Dodgers vice president of amateur scouting Logan White, D-backs scouting director Ray Montgomery and Yankees assistant general manager Billy Eppler.
The Padres are also expected to interview Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen and the Major League Baseball senior vice president of baseball operations Kim Ng, possibly as early as this week.
Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler and team president and CEO Mike Dee have conducted the interviews. Dee said recently he expected the new GM to be on the job sometime after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The list of GM candidates could see additions and subtractions. So far, three candidates -- David Forst of the A's, Mike Chernoff of the Indians and Jason McLeod of the Cubs -- have declined interviews. Forst is an assistant GM, while Chernoff holds the same post with the Indians. McLeod, who previously worked for the Padres, is the Cubs' scouting director.
The Padres' senior vice president of baseball operations, Omar Minaya, has said he will not ask for an interview. Current Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch is a viable candidate for the job. He is handling the daily operations of the big league team.