Green aims to change Padres' mindset

New San Diego manager seeks to emulate D-backs skipper Hale

February 28th, 2016

PEORIA, Ariz. -- When Chip Hale took over as manager of the D-backs last season, he knew the first thing he had to change was what was then a losing culture.

It's the same for Andy Green, a Hale acolyte and Arizona's third-base coach last season, who's now taking that same approach in his first year managing the Padres.

The Padres have had one winning season since 2007 and haven't been to the postseason since 2006. Green is their third manager in less than a year.

"Chip has been a profound influence in my life; I've never been shy about saying that," said Green, just as the Padres took the field for their fifth workout under the new manager at the Peoria Sports Complex on Sunday. "He was my first manager in professional baseball, he was a coach of mine in the big leagues, he managed me in Triple-A, and he hired me on a Major League staff for the first time.

"His work ethic is unmatched. He gets after it every single day. Those things I'll take from him, and there is a large dose of other things I'll take from other people."

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Hale was a third-base coach in the Majors under Bob Melvin with the D-backs and had the same position with the Mets under Terry Collins. Before managing Arizona, he spent three years as Melvin's bench coach in Oakland.

Add six seasons of managing in the Minor Leagues and Hale was ready to hit the ground managing. He quickly earned the respect of the players and turned around a team that lost 98 games in 2014 under Kirk Gibson by 15 wins.

Likewise, Green comes to San Diego with a similar goal if not the same level of experience. At 38, he managed four years in the D-backs' system and only has had that single big league season under Hale as a coach. Green could be a good one.

"Andy's going to be a great manager," Hale said Sunday after the D-backs finished their workout at nearby Salt River Fields. "I had him when he came out of Kentucky, and right away you could see he was interested in all aspects of the game. He was a leader on the field, like having another coach. And last year, he did a wonderful job for us.

"I think he communicates great with players. He knows the game as well as anybody."

With all that in mind, Green was hired by the Padres on Oct. 29 after an exhaustive search, and he is following behind a pair of well-liked managers in Bud Black and Pat Murphy. The Padres underperformed last season, losing 88 games and finishing 18 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West.

They were 32-33 and six games behind the Dodgers before the games of June 15 when management decided to pull the plug on Black after eight-plus seasons. The season spiraled downward after that.

Green came in knowing he had some work to do and fences to mend. He spent a lot of time in the offseason talking to many of the players. In the early going, they like what they're hearing.

"Andy's been great," said Tyson Ross, the right-hander Green quickly made an ally by naming him the Opening Day starter. "He's super organized and very intelligent. He's working hard out here and he's really challenging us. We've always had great people here in San Diego and it's always been a good vibe in the clubhouse. The fact of the matter is we weren't a winning ballclub. We have to overhaul the culture if we want any success here for the long term."

Green is a University of Kentucky graduate in finance and, like Black, is one of the rare big league managers with a college degree. His D-backs pedigree runs this deep: At Kentucky, Green was a teammate of Brandon Webb, one the top pitchers in club history, and the D-backs selected Green with their 24th-round pick in the 2004 Draft.

Green played for Hale in Rookie ball and then again as he bounced back and forth between the big leagues and Triple-A Tucson from 2004-06. Ultimately, Green played in only 140 Major Leagues games for the D-backs and Mets -- 136 of them for Arizona -- batting .200. He had 46 Major League hits. Similarly, Hale was a middle infielder who played in 333 games for the Twins and Dodgers, batting .277 with 159 hits.

Green began climbing his way up the D-backs' organizational ladder after retiring in 2009 as a player, managing two seasons of Rookie-level ball and two more at Double-A before Hale became the club's manager for the 2015 season and brought Green back to the Majors as his third-base coach.

Like Hale last year, Green has hit the ground running hard, trying to make the most of this opportunity. When asked specifically what it meant to change the Padres' culture, Green said:

"What I learned this offseason when I spent a lot of time with these guys is that inside of them there's a lot of really good ideas. You don't change culture by yourself or with one great speech on Feb. 24. Ultimately they forget that speech, but I told them to draw out the good things inside of them, to force them to take a measurement of leadership and ownership of this team.

"You change the culture when those guys who are out there stretching want to own the team, to be a part of something different, something that's bigger than themselves."