SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler criticized his team in a radio interview on Wednesday, saying its recent performances have been "embarrassing" and "pathetic."
Fowler's comments to The Mighty 1090 came a day after James Shields lasted 2 2/3 innings in a 16-4 loss at Seattle.
"It's been embarrassing. I don't know how else to put it," Fowler said. "Our performance on the road trip, 1-7, was pathetic. I'm a very competitive individual. I think I've won a lot more than I've lost in my life. This baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing."
Fowler even mentioned the night in 1974 when then-owner Ray Kroc grabbed the public-address microphone and said he'd "never seen such stupid ballplaying in my life."
"It's that frustrating," Fowler said.
Fowler cited Shields, who allowed 10 runs Tuesday.
"To have a starter like Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him," Fowler said. "It's about as frustrating as it can get. But we've got to get through. ... But in a normal environment, if you had performed as well as we have over the last three years, you'd probably be unemployed. But it's baseball, with guaranteed contracts, and we've got to get beyond it."
Fowler is part of the ownership group that took over in August 2012. The Padres finished 76-86 that season. In the last three years, they've lost 86, 85 and 88 games. The ownership group includes Peter and Tom Seidler, nephews of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.
The Padres went into Wednesday night's game against Seattle last in the NL West at 20-33, 12 games behind San Francisco.
"We thought we'd be at least a .500 baseball team and we're anything but," Fowler said. "I'd like to break through .400 and stay above .400 in terms of winning percentage. It's very frustrating."
The Padres have had six straight losing seasons. They haven't been to the playoffs since 2006.