SAN DIEGO — Before the last-place Padres took the field Tuesday night, infielder Tim Flannery said: "I don't think this team will be together next year. They'll be a lot of new faces."
Flannery's assessment appears to be accurate, and the concern among many of his teammates is warranted.
The Padres are planning to make some major personnel changes.
Ask the bosses.
"We will absolutely not go through another season like this," owner Joan Kroc said. "There have to be some drastic changes. . . . You can only look to the players. The players are being paid to perform. I feel for the fans. My heart aches for them."
Padre president Ballard Smith made a rare appearance on the field before San Diego's 7-1 victory against the Montreal Expos Tuesday night at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. He chatted with Manager Steve Boros.
He spoke about what a frustrating season it has been.
"There are a bunch of players more concerned about themselves than the team," Smith said. "There should be a lot of apprehension (among the players). If you look at the last 2 1/2 years, we've basically played at the same level. It's not working. I don't know why it's not working. The talent is as good as that on any team in the National League West. But you need talent and chemistry. We have some talent. We don't have the chemistry.
"I'm not going to go through another year like this. We're prepared to make moves at any time we think we can improve the ballclub."
Smith said the Padres will bring up "in the neighborhood of a half dozen" players from the Padres Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas at the beginning of September.
Pitchers Ed Vosberg, Jimmy Jones and Ray Hayward, catcher Benito Santiago and first baseman Tim Pyznarski will be among those called up.
"We're bringing them up to play," Smith said. "They deserve a chance. Going through the farm system is the one way you'll be successful."
If Las Vegas wasn't leading the Southern division of the Pacific Coast League in the second half of the season, Smith said the players would be brought up sooner.
Are there any trades in the works?
Any number of teams involved in pennant races might benefit greatly from acquiring a Garry Templeton or Terry Kennedy, two of the Padre starters most frequently mentioned in trade rumors.
"I don't think wholesale changes would be contemplated right now," Boros said. "But they might be by Sept. 1. We have to wait and see how the club does on this homestand."
What does Trader Jack have to say?
"I've had a few feels from teams involved in the races," said Padre General Manager Jack McKeon, who is as coy as he can be candid.
"When players start feeling that way (wondering if they'll be traded), it tells me they are concerned that they're not playing up to their capabilities. If I wasn't doing the job, I'd be concerned."
Templeton said: "They possibly could trade me (soon). I'll be a 5- and 10-year man (five years with the Padres and 10 years in the majors) after this year. I don't know if they're looking at that or not."
A 5-and-10 player can veto a trade.
"Making changes is something you have to look at," Templeton said. "We're 13 games back. August is usually when they do something in terms of trades or bringing in young players."
Kennedy said he "would rather stay in San Diego, but they keep talking about it (a trade). It would be easier on me if I was traded right after the season. That way, I could make plans. If they trade me right before spring training, that would really rag me."
Any preferences as to where he would want to be traded?
"There is one place I'm sure not to go," Kennedy said. "That's Seattle."
Manager of the Mariners is former Padre Manager Dick Williams, whose sudden departure on the opening day of spring training is still the cause of much discussion among the Padres.
Flannery said the team has never gotten untracked since that eventful day in Yuma.
"We found out that Steve was our manager on the first day of training camp," Flannery said. "That was kind of weird. We have never put it together to this day. We're always a hit or a play away.
"They (management) have questions they have to find answers for. They have to make changes and they can't wait until the first day of spring training. Not like last year."
McKeon, a former manager and strong supporter of Boros, thinks the role of the manager can be overrated.
"The manager is the manager," McKeon said. "We made a change on the third day (first day) of spring training. What the hell does that do? It comes down to how the players perform."
Smith said the Padres will assess their managerial situation at the end of the season. Boros has a one-year contract.
"It's premature to talk that (his status) now," Boros said. "We'll talk at the end of the season. . . . I like managing. There's nothing more I'd rather do than manage right now. But I'm not like Steve Garvey. I don't have a two-year plan."