Bochy situation strange from the start

Now that it appears Bruce Bochy is going to become manager of the San Francisco Giants, the Padres' handling of the situation looks even stranger.

Chief executive officer Sandy Alderson had said Bochy would manage the Padres next year if he wanted to. But Alderson also granted Bochy permission to talk to other teams about managerial vacancies -- if he wished.

To make matters stranger, Bochy said he was likely to talk to other teams -- and, not too surprisingly, was wooed by the Giants.

Confused?

Almost everyone in San Diego is.

What happened between the Padres and Bochy, whom Padres owner John Moores only last spring identified as the "Padres manager for as long as I own the team"?

No one knows. In fact, no one knows that anything happened. It could be that Alderson simply wants to get away from multiyear contracts. Bochy was scheduled to make $1.9 million in 2007 in the final year of a contract that has had a series of extensions.

One thing is certain: When Bochy, Alderson and general manager Kevin Towers met Oct. 11 in north San Diego County, the manager was told another extension would not be forthcoming.

Alderson had a history of working on one-year contracts in Oakland. "He felt it kept people hungry and motivated," said a former employee of Alderson with the A's.

Last winter, Alderson granted Towers permission to talk to Arizona. Towers interviewed with the Diamondbacks but has remained with the Padres.

Said Towers of Bochy's situation: "We said, 'It shouldn't be looked at as any of us are trying to force you out the door. It's something that if you want to pursue and talk to clubs, you can.'"

But couldn't the Padres just as easily have told Bochy to focus on 2007?


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