Tingler 'trying to keep things in perspective'

April 1st, 2020

SAN DIEGO -- In a different world, Jayce Tingler would have managed a week of baseball games by now. He'd probably already have the lineup card from his first victory framed somewhere in his Petco Park office. His bags would be packed for his first road trip as the Padres' skipper.

But this is 2020, and the baseball season -- like the world as a whole -- has been anything but normal. Tingler's managerial debut remains on hold, as the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of the season indefinitely.

That can't be easy on someone as detail-oriented as Tingler, who greatly prefers to be on the go. He's spent the past dozen years aiming for this gig, and suddenly there isn't much clarity regarding when he gets to jump in.

Tingler recently made the rounds in the local media for the first time since he returned from Arizona. He struck an important tone for the situation, stressing unity while putting baseball into perspective.

"I try not to let my head go to what would've been normal," Tingler told Ben and Woods in a radio interview on 97.3 The Fan. "We're where we are. The truth is: There's a lot of people in pain, struggling with health issues, financial issues. We're just on such uncharted waters.

"Obviously baseball's way down on the priority list. At the same time ... I'm guessing most people are craving for the day where we're back to a little bit of normalcy and get to watch a ballgame."

In that regard, Tingler stressed that he feels he still has an important job to do at the helm of the Padres.

"Obviously the health concerns are bigger than baseball right now," Tingler told broadcaster Jesse Agler during an interview on Padres Social Hour Tuesday night. "But it's our responsibility that we've got to be prepared for if and when that day happens. It's going to be a responsibility when we do get that green light. There's a group of Americans that, quite frankly, aren't into baseball. But there's also a big group that I'm guessing are dying for a sense of normalcy and would love to sit down for three hours and watch a game. Even though we don't have that target date, we don't have that line, we've got to do the best we can at preparing for that."

Tingler noted that he and the Padres staff are doing their best to keep tabs on a group of players who are spread, quite literally, across the world. Some remained in Arizona. Some have since come to San Diego. Others have returned to their offseason homes.

Tingler says his primary objective is making sure his players are healthy. As for what would have been his first week on the job, Tingler hasn’t spent much time dwelling on what could've been.

"It's just the reality, and honestly I didn't sulk too long because I know people that are affected a lot heavier, personally," Tingler told The Fan. "When you break it down it's selfish of myself. ‘So what, you didn't get your regular Opening Day?’ Well that's going to happen. ... Just understand that there are people really affected by this, both health and financial, so I'm just trying to keep things in perspective. I feel confident that people, in general, we're resilient."

As Tingler said, his first Opening Day will come eventually. Until then, a dose of that resiliency will come in handy.