Most of us are familiar with the “lightbulb” moment. Whether at a job, or in a personal relationship, something happens. After that, the thing that was unclear, or obscured, is obvious. Musically, it’s the “I Can See Clearly” concept. Sometimes, the concept isn’t a lightbulb, but more of a thunderstrike. From nowhere, but with a more searing vision of what was unknown before. I had a thunderstrike moment on recently, and it involves former Padres manager Jayce Tingler.
An incidental minor league player, Tingler was an outfielder with good zone command. I have about no knowledge on why he climbed the Padres system, or why he was chosen as the guy for the team in 2020 and 2021. Presumably, he’s still good at a reasonably large number of baseball things” Regardless what those things are, the Cubs probably have eight or ten players (merely a guess — that number could be very high or low) who could benefit in the future with a group session with Tingler. Or a deposed pitching coach. Good teachers don’t become bad teachers overnight.
Why Tingler, though? And why today?
The more I progress, the more I believe information is important. If you’re researching a topic with a laser-focus, but neglect to look into side-topics which might provide a level of depth or nuance, it’s probably worth a look. As much as I pay attention to the Cubs pipeline, being ignorant of the Brewers or Cardinals pipelines would be un-advisable. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen ramped up his performance when he looked into “Driveline-style technology,” which hadn’t been yet considered relevant for football players. (And some baseball people still don’t trust.) Or anything else that would help.
Max Bain, a Cubs pitching prospect, is going to have a podcast talking with his minor league associates (in or out of the Cubs system) about mental health. I’m zero percent involved, but 100 percent engaged. Learning stuff about what might make you better at understanding other stuff ought to be part of why we wake up.
Tingler’s Padres fizzled in 2021. I strongly doubt he was majority responsible for that failure. Sometimes things happen, but it sounds the clubhouse was somewhere between disarray and anarchy. While I wasn’t surprised Tingler was let go, he still likely has assets for an organization.
George Allen, when coaching in the NFL, would routinely sign players who had recently been released by an upcoming foe. That player might know things the advanced scouts didn’t. How severe is the key player’s injury? Should we prioritize attacking a specific reserve if they enter the game? If so, how? If the player was good, he’d get retained. If not, he’d served his purpose.
The Padres locker room went bad like sour milk. The Cubs and Padres talk trades regularly. The Padres figure to be active this offseason, trying to off-load chronic headaches. All the while, obscuring who the players are in the locker room that are toxic.
The Cubs should offer a low-six figure contract to Tingler to coach eight-to-10 specific low-level prospects, help the MLB team in spring training, and tell the Cubs executives which Padres players to avoid at all costs.
Which "I Can See Clearly Now" version is your favorite?
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Can’t stand the song