Towers went out like the class act he is

SAN DIEGO — There’s no crying in baseball and even though Kevin Towers sounded for a time like he was about to choke back a few tears on Saturday, he held his own.

“It took 47 years for them to get me, but they finally did today,” KT, the now former Padres general manager, said after reciting a litany of jobs in and out of baseball he had kept without being cut, fired or released until the grim reaper finally arrived.

When John Moores purchased the Padres in 1995, he stated bluntly that there was going to be stability on the field and in the front office on his watch. And he has held true to his word. In 15 years there have only been two managers and and a pair of GMs. For 11 of them — 1996-2006 — Towers and Bruce Bochy were together. And for the past three, it’s been Towers and Bud Black.

“That’s incredible, considering this day and age of baseball,” Black said.

Now Moores, who still owns 66 percent of the franchise, is phasing out. He’s handed the reins to Jeff Moorad, the most recent of six chief executives or club presidents who have held that job under his watch. Moorad, though, is the only one who heads a group that now owns a third of the team and is in line to buy it all during the next four seasons.

“It’s never a good time to make a move like this,” said Moorad, who disclosed that Moores certainly was part of the decision to change GMs. “I’m hoping that KT and I will remain good friends.”

Change is an essential part of life, a notion that Towers endorsed as he went out as the class act he is. New owners come in and they want their own people. Moorad has a vision of the future of Padres baseball operations that Towers isn’t evidently a part of. And he made the move full-knowing that he must pay Towers $1.4 million next season, perhaps just to sit around.

To Towers’ credit, he has no desire to rest on his laurels. He wants to take three weeks off and then see what’s out there in 2010. The Blue Jays just parted ways with J.P. Ricciardi.  Surely there will be other GM posts that will open after another curtain falls on another season Sunday. Towers said he’s already heard from more than a half-dozen GMs who want him to work as an area scout for their clubs next season.

“I want to stay in the game,” Towers said. “There will be a job. I’m 47 years old. I don’t expect to sit around.”

For now, Towers said he’ll hang around PETCO Park and say good bye to the Padres players in the clubhouse on Sunday. Moorad has set up a meeting in the club’s offices for Towers to address the staff on Monday. Until the time Towers is hired elsewhere, he’ll be able to maintain a ballpark office.

Being the gamer and the veteran he is, Towers said on Saturday he wasn’t quite sure if that was a good idea.

“I told them to use me if I can help them with anything,” Towers said. “But they need to move forward and turn the page.”

Another page of Padres history was turned on Saturday. And the guy who’s page was turned couldn’t have handled the situation with any more aplomb.

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