Presiding over this patchwork is former Yankee Second Baseman Jerry Coleman, who left the Padres' broadcast booth to manage for the first time in his life. Coleman didn't broadcast by the book. Some Colemanisms, in fact, are legend. For example, " Rollie Fingers is throwing up in the bullpen." This spring, on a cold day in Arizona, Coleman told his players, "O.K., gang, I want you to warm up real good because it's stiff out there."
Coleman isn't in an enviable place for a rookie manager. He is leading a 12-year-old franchise with no one in the minors who can help right now and with troubles on the field and at the plate. (The team batting average of .248 is 11th in the league.) With Winfield apparently on his way out, the situation doesn't promise to get easier. And Coleman's not the only rookie. Ballard Smith, 34, took over as club president last year, bringing to the job all his experience as a district attorney in Pennsylvania. "I'm just asking for a chance," he says. "I've got a handle on the direction we should be going in. Player development's the way to do it. I don't think we're going into the re-entry draft this fall. I think we're smarter to spend that money in other areas."
Kroc, too, is looking to the future with optimism. He has this dream. "We'll get a new general manager," the former free-spender says. "And he'll fill up the farm clubs. And we'll be like...the Baltimore Orioles!"