After another rough season on the field, the San Diego Padres are parting ways with president and CEO Mike Dee.
This season the Padres finished 68-94, putting them in last place and 23 games behind the division-winning Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West. It was the franchise’s sixth consecutive losing season, and the year was mired in controversy when general manager A.J. Preller, who was brought in under Dee, was suspended by Major League Baseball for failure to disclose medical records in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
A handful of other controversies over the years also emerged under Dee. To much backlash from fans, the team announced in 2014 that Bud Selig Hall of Fame Plaza would be commemorated at Petco Park, only to later reverse the decision. This May, the team found itself at the center of controversy when the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was unable to perform the “Star Spangled Banner” because the Padres played a recording by another singer, though the team later apologized for that mishap.
At the same time, some of the business decisions made while Dee was at the helm did work for the Padres. Petco Park played host to this year’s All-Star Game, and has recently attracted large non-baseball events such as a Billy Joel concert. Furthermore, the Padres have executed several Petco Park improvements under Dee’s watch, including upgrades to the left field area in 2015, followed by work in right field before the 2016 campaign.
Earlier this year, managing partner Peter Seidler made comments that indicated that Dee’s job was secure. Obviously that did not play out as expected, leaving many wonder what exactly led to the end of Dee’s tenure. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Rival officials suggested Dee’s departure may have resulted from the accumulation of internal issues, with the league-dealt discipline of Preller, who reported to Dee, perhaps being the tipping point. Sources with knowledge of the situation, however, emphasized Wednesday’s move was unrelated while declining to elaborate.
Preller was suspended without pay after an MLB investigation determined the Padres had withheld medical information from trade partners. The GM, who will return to the team Oct. 19, is not in jeopardy of losing his job, according to sources. Multiple high-ranking officials said the club will not be hiring a president of baseball operations, which would effectively demote Preller, though the Padres do intend to add a position charged with oversight of medical records.
It remains to be seen if Dee’s replacement will oversee both business and baseball operations.
Dee, who previously worked for the Padres from 1995-2002, rejoined the franchise in 2013 after leaving the Miami Dolphins.