CHICAGO — San Diego Padre Manager Larry Bowa said Saturday it's time to take slumping first baseman Steve Garvey out of the lineup.
Bowa said the former Dodger star will be replaced by John Kruk and Carmelo Martinez, who will platoon at first base. Bowa also said that Tim Flannery and Randy Ready will platoon at third base and that Kevin Mitchell will move from third to left field.
Ask for an explanation and Bowa points directly to the National League West standings, where the Padres, after Saturday's 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs, are in last place with a 6-19 record.
Bowa says it isn't all Garvey's fault. But Garvey, 38, is batting only .186, and Bowa says he would rather go with younger players.
After making his announcement, Bowa said: "Listen, the point I'm making is that it's not all Garvey's fault. But because of his age, I figure, let's go with it."
As expected, Garvey didn't pout.
"If I rant and rave," Garvey said, "it'd be easy for the kids (on the Padres) to see that and say, 'Look, Garv's down. We're really in trouble now.' ". . . That's the manager's discretion. Whatever he calls on me to do, I'll be ready to do . . . I'm here to do anything I can to help him (Bowa). I understand his position. We've been contemporaries and friends for years. But no one's more confident than I am that I will contribute again. I just can't give you the time and date."
Saturday, Garvey went 0 for 4, including a weak popup to right field with a runner on third and two out in the fourth inning. Garvey is 3 for 20 with 5 RBIs with runners in scoring position.
"He's not swinging the bat that good," Bowa said of Garvey, who is 1 for his last 12. "Sheesh. That (fourth-inning at-bat) was horrible."