Padres fire skipper Andy Green

The San Diego Padres on Saturday fired manager Andy Green, who was in his fourth season at the helm of the club.

Bench coach Rod Barajas was named interim manager.

"I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons," general manager A.J. Preller said in a statement.

"This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately."

Green finishes his tenure in San Diego with a 274-366 record. He had two seasons remaining on his contract.

The Padres (69-85) have eight games remaining, including Saturday night's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Barajas, who is in his first season on the major league staff, isn't thrilled with the team's performance.

"I'm sad. I'm disappointed where we're at right now," Barajas told reporters before Saturday's game. "When I signed up, I signed up to be the bench coach this year and be on a playoff team. Obviously things have changed and I was put in this position."

Barajas, 44, was formerly the franchise's Triple-A manager so he is familiar with how many of the players have developed over the past few years. The former big league catcher of 14 seasons said the team needs to get "back to who we are."

"I think what we've seen over the last two, three weeks isn't the Padres, isn't a real picture of what our character is like, and just about getting back to playing baseball, having fun, laughing in the clubhouse, the dugout," Barajas said. "We haven't been doing a lot of that.

"When you're playing free and you're enjoying your teammates, enjoying the game of baseball, usually you play better. That's the message."

The decision on Green comes after the Padres dropped eight of their past nine, including Friday night's 9-0 drubbing to the Diamondbacks in the first game of the series in San Diego. The Padres are 6-13 in September.

"Andy's class, dignity and leadership through a difficult developmental period for our team should be applauded," executive chairman Ron Fowler and general partner Peter Seidler said in a joint statement. "On behalf of the entire Padres organization, we wish Andy and the Green family the best."

--Field Level Media