PADRES UPDATE : NOTEBOOK : Pat Dobson Isn’t Worried About Future in Baseball
It was a year ago when pitching coach Pat Dobson left the Padres for the Kansas City Royals. He was supposed to be the savior, resurrecting the career of reliever Mark Davis.
He also was going to be the manager in waiting.
Neither happened, and today, Dobson finds himself unemployed.
Dobson drove non-stop for 22 hours from Kansas City to his Ft. Myers, Fla., home, arriving Tuesday morning after his abrupt departure from the Royals.
Dobson was informed Monday morning by Herk Robinson, Royal general manager, that Dobson would not be returning for the 1992 season. He told Dobson that he could resign immediately and still would be paid the remainder of the season. Dobson immediately accepted, cleared out his apartment, and was gone.
“I just had to go,” said Dobson, speaking publicly Tuesday for the first time since his dismissal. “I couldn’t handle it anymore. Things were going right, and it made things unpleasant.
“That’s why I just drove non-stop for 1,400 miles. I had a lot of soup packs and heaters (cigarettes), but I didn’t even want to stop and think about the place.”
Although the Royals’ pitching staff had dramatically improved the second half of the season, and the team was playing fairly well, Dobson found himself in an awkward predicament.
John Schuerholz, the Royals general manager who hired Dobson, left shortly thereafter for the Atlanta Braves. Manager John Wathan was fired in May. Suddenly, Dobson was on the outside.
“If you’re an outsider, they treat you like crap,” Dobson said. “If you’re not an ex-Royal, you just don’t fit into their organization.
“It was tough too because Hal (McRae, Royal manager) inherited me. And since I was the other guy who was up for the job, it made things a little awkward. It just wasn’t a comfortable feeling.”
Dobson, who left the Padres with a year left on his contract last season to accept the Royals job, now will throw his hat into the managerial candidacy ring. There are expected to be at least four managerial openings in the off season. The New York Mets, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Chicago Cubs all might make changes.
“I have three or four irons in the fire,” Dobson said. “I think something will work out. Let’s put it this way, I’m not worried about working next year.”
Would he consider working as a triple-A manager next year to put himself in line for a big-league opening?
“Hey, it’s proven with some of the recent hires that you don’t have to manage in the minor leagues to manage in the big leagues,” Dobson said. “I blew two winters managing in the Senior League to prove I can manage, so people already know I’m capable.
“I’d just like to have that chance.”
The Padres opened their 1991 Instructional League Tuesday with a workout in Phoenix, Ariz. The Padres are fielding a team with 32 players, including pitcher Robbie Beckett, the Padres’ No. 1 pick in the 1990 draft. Beckett was 2-14 with an 8.23 ERA at Class-A Charleston this past season.