Mulligan Anyone?

Major Garrett

Andy Green’s middle name is Mulligan.

That makes sense. As Padres manager, he’s had three.

Three seasons and three mulligans.

For those who do not play golf, allow me to explain.

In golf, a mulligan is a really bad shot. It usually flies out of bounds or lands in a water hazard. Frequently it is a tee shot and is so unplayable you just pretend it didn’t happen. As your playing partners either split their sides in laughter or examine their cuticles to spare you further humiliation, you tee up another ball as if nothing ever happened. Really poor golfers like me lean on mulligans. They keep your spirits high – or prevent them from disintegrating into bottomless despair.

Speaking of bottomless despair, Green has, in three consecutive seasons, managed the Padres to more than 90 loses (94 in 2016, 91 in 2017 and 94 and counting as of this writing). That puts him In historic Padres territory. As we all know, when it comes to Padre history, most of it is bad. There have been 19 Padre managers (slightly more than the number of uniform changes). Only one other manager in Padre history, supervised three straight seasons of 90 losses or more. He was the first Padres manager and his name was Preston Gomez (John McNamara came close, losing 102 games in 1975, 91 in 1975 and 89 in 1976). Gomez’s Padre managerial record (180 wins and 316 losses for a.363 winning percentage) is infamous not only because the Padres were tragically inept, but because of something known as the Curse of Clay Kirby.

As you might be aware, the Padres are the only team in MLB history without a no-hitter. Kirby was throwing one in 1970. He had a no-hitter going through 8 innings in a home game against the New York Mets. Gomez pitch-hit for Kirby in the bottom of the 8th because the Padres were losing 1-0 (the Mets having scored in the 1st on a walk, two stolen bases and a fielder’s

choice). The Padres lost the no-hitter and the game 3-0 and the curse has persisted. Thank you Preston.

Now. Back to Mulligan.

Andy Mulligan Green has had three seasons Padre management is essentially forgetting. Andy Mulligan Green is not on the hot seat. No one in baseball circles expects him to be fired.

As someone who lives in Washington that is astonishing when you consider last year the Nationals front office fired manager Dusty Baker after he WON 95 games or more for two straight seasons. The Nationals fire a two-time 95+ winner and the Padres keep a three-time 90+ loser?

Talk about Mulligans.

Andy Mulligan Green is forgiven because…because….because.

Why is Andy Mulligan Green forgiven?

Oh, that’s right. The roster has been inept. Not enough talent. When the talent arrives Andy Mulligan Green will mold it into greatness. This is the theory. After all, Andy Mulligan Green won in the low minor leagues (The Missoula Ospreys were champions of the Pioneer League in 2012 and Green was Southern League manager of the year in 2013 and 2014 helming the Mobile BayBears) before the Padres picked him from obscurity in 2015 as their new skipper. Back then Andy Mulligan Green was touted as a younger version of Joe Maddon, a seer with wit and zen-like patience suitable for young players with bright futures.

Still waiting.

I’m not suggesting the Padres should fire Andy Mulligan Green. But I do have some basic questions.

  1. Who has gotten better playing for Andy Mulligan Green? My only answer is Hunter Renfroe. Will Myers? No. Eric Hosmer? No. Austin Hedges? No. Manuel Margot? Travis Jankowski? No. Carlos Asuaje? No. Jose Pirela? No. Any Padre starting pitcher?  Other than Tyson Ross, No. (Many like Luis Perdomo and Brian Mitchell) have gotten worse. How about basic execution in terms of bunting, stealing bases, hitting cutoff men and executing pickoffs? Lots of fans watch more games than I do, but I haven’t seen it. The box scores keep telling the same story – loss after loss, stranded runner after stranded runner, strikeout after strikeout and blowup inning after blowup inning.

I have read all about the hot lava of talent on the verge of erupting. I am very excited about it. So are most MLB writers. I also know the Padres have had fine managers who won when the talent was good and lost when it was putrid. Bruce Bochy is a Hall of Famer with three World Series rings with the Giants (a franchise with big bucks and high expectations). Bud Black is winning in Colorado and won when he had talent in San Diego.

Managers cannot play for the players. But they can guide them, inspire them and lead them. Excellent players have come to Andy Mulligan Green’s clubhouse and flattened out. Young players with potential have too (Renfroe being the one exception).

Yet Andy Mulligan Green is safe from scrutiny. Why? What is his resume? What are his results? What is his system? How does he hold himself accountable? How does he pretend these results – laughingstock loses and the dissipation of existing and promising talent – are acceptable? How does the Padres front office?

I know why I need Mulligans.

Do the Padres know why they need Andy Mulligan Green?

Hope so.

Do you have a Padres or Clairemont question for Major…. Heck, maybe even a White House question? Send us an email to: we’ll forward them.

Major Garrett was born and raised in Clairemont, is Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News, host of “The Takeout” podcast and author of the upcoming book “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride: The Thrills, Chills, Screams and Occasional Blackouts of His Extraordinary First Year in Office.”  

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