Interview with Randy Ready
Randy Ready: I always knew I would be back in the game in some capacity. I've always been a student of the game and played with a lot of players and managers that helped to teach me the game. I believe I can really help an organization develop players and most importantly develop a winning attitude.
MadFriars.com: After two season managing short season teams, what is the biggest difference with the Midwest League?
Randy Ready: The length of schedule and the mental toughness necessary for a full season as compared to a short season of 70 games. You have to deal with the ups and downs of the season over a much longer period, the opportunities to contribute and how you come back from failing.
MadFriars.com: How do you develop players, while still trying to win and compete? It seems very difficult with the constant roster shuffling?
Randy Ready: I think they go hand in hand. Preparation, consistency and routine all lead to winning. It also develops resiliency and the ability to compete.
MadFriars.com: The Padres have two teams below Fort Wayne, Eugene in the Northwest League and Peoria in the Arizona League (last year Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League). What is the process for selecting players before the season to make the team? How much is decided on what they did the previous year and what they did in Spring Training?
Randy Ready: Well it's a combination. You look at past performances, what they are doing in spring training, how did they improve in the off season; all of these factors go into making a decision.
MadFriars.com: Colt Morton, the Padres number 3 pick in the 2003 draft, struggled this year in Fort Wayne and is now back in Eugene. What does he need to improve on?
Randy Ready: Colt is a good guy, well liked in baseball. He defense is his strength and he has a lot of natural power. He needs to work on his plate consistency and more consistent contact. Sometimes it takes a guy longer than others to develop.
MadFriars.com: You have two highly thought of pitchers, Jared Wells and Sean Thompson. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Randy Ready: With Jared Wells its his competiveness, plus fastball and power slider. He needs to work on his in between start preparation, maintain his physique and stay away from peaks and valleys. Sean Thompson has a very good curveball and change up. His biggest need for improvement is to have better command of his fastball, which you need to have in order to move up.
MadFriars.com: Fernando Valenzuela and George Kottaras are playing better than they did in Eugene last year. What is the reason for the improvement in a more advanced league?
Randy Ready: From a hitting standpoint, you might get an opportunity to hit more because the pitches are more around the plate. Fernando is very cool under pressure and has really come through for us this year. George is very young and has a really sweet left handed stroke. He has been improving everyday. The big difference at this level is guys start setting realistic goals and putting in a more consistent work ethic.
MadFriars.com: What is the biggest difference between being a player and a manager?
Randy Ready: Sittin' in the front of the bus…Seriously, it's a lot of responsibility being in charge of 25 guys, responsible for everything that is happening on the field.. The Padres are a good organization in letting the manager and staff have input. I really try to be fair to everybody. I try to get across to my players the ACE system - Attitude, Concentration and Effort; if you do that good things will happen.
MadFriars.com: What are your responsibilities beyond the baseball field as a manager within the Padres organization?
Randy Ready: I prepare a daily report after each game by calling into the Padres offices in San Diego. Then there is also a lot of paperwork to be filled out and telephone calls on various players. It's really a lot of 12 hour days.
MadFriars.com: Finally, what are your goals? Is it like your players to get back to the majors?
Randy Ready: Absolutely. I'm a former major league player and believe my reputation speaks for itself. I think I can really teach the game and baseball needs baseball people in the game.
John Conniff can be reached at Conniff@sandiegosports.net