Randy Ready: I think that to be considered for a major league job and to go through the process with a major league interview is an advantage and another feather in the cap.
Yes, it is unfortunate that I make my home here in San Diego, am a former player here for four years. It is too bad it didn't work out, but I am confident in what I can offer not only at A-ball level but also being a former major leaguer and can contribute at the major league level. I think at some point I will get that opportunity.
This will be your third year in a row in Fort Wayne, talk about returning to the Wizards.
Randy Ready: With Mike Nutter and his staff and the community in Fort Wayne, Indiana – if you ask anyone who has been through our minor league teams, and anyone who has been through Fort Wayne, it is probably the place to be as far as the minor leagues are concerned. That is an advantage to go back with Mike and knowing the league, being comfortable with Mike and his team and the whole operation.
Mike, talk to us a little bit about having Randy Ready back in Fort Wayne this year.
Mike Nutter: My buddy. We talk once a week right now and at the end of the conversation he always jokes, ‘So Mike, are we going to be able to get along this year?' I couldn't be happier to have him back.
As a friend, when I heard he was up for the third base job with the Padres, I was happy for him. And when it didn't happen I was hoping he would be willing to come back. I believe he will be a big league coach or manager one day.
Randy couldn't be more approachable or more accessible. He is so great relating to people and he is as good at it as I have ever seen. Randy has the ability to sell these guys – when many would love to be in Lake Elsinore – the program of playing in Fort Wayne.
With Grady Fuson in charge, the talk has been about getting the organizational philosophies working towards the common goals.
Randy Ready: That is the way you are going to run the system – any business. You have to get everyone on the same page. I don't think that has been a problem in the past. I think overall it is just going to be a big advantage as far as development is concerned for the San Diego Padres' organization.
Have there been any specific changes that you have seen?
Randy Ready: We will have meetings and will get everything in order. I think everybody is looking forward to the Championship upcoming season. I don't see anything but good things happening. We have always moved a lot of players and maybe that is one of the ingredients that Grady might see – the continuity within the club. Then you have some success in the postseason this year.
Promotions are part of the business, though. I remember some of the wonderful people in the front office there mentioning how many moves were made over the last two years.
Randy Ready: That is part of the business. Guys have opportunity due to injury or promotions to help the club. It is no secret with Elsinore being so close to the major league club – the parent club – they want that team to perform. At times, if I have guys that are playing well in Fort Wayne and they are deserving of a promotion then they are going to move.
What are your feelings on new pitching coach Tom Bradley?
Randy Ready: He was in the Midwest League last year with Toronto. I have had a couple of conversations with him before and after the holidays. He is anxious to get started. He is very knowledgeable. Any time you can get a former major leaguer to be in your minor league system to help develop, that is to your advantage.
What are you thinking heading into this year?
Randy Ready: There is always a new enthusiasm as far as overall excitement this time of year. We go into spring training, get our 25 guys and go start our season. We have been in the playoffs the last couple of years and really haven't gotten out of the playoffs. It is tough. It is that time of year where everyone's expectations are high as we look forward to a great 2006 Championship season.
As an inside tip, Mike Nutter also mentioned that the team is finalizing plans to have a Randy Ready Bobblehead day at the stadium.