PHOENIX -- Padres vice president and assistant general manager A.J. Hinch spent the first game of this series against the D-backs in Chase Field's designated box for the visiting general manager.
It's a far different view than the one Hinch had over parts of the 2009-10 seasons when he was manager of the D-backs and had a perch on the top step of the home dugout here.
"I think you're always connected to the past," Hinch said Saturday. "I had a lot of fond memories here, both in the front office and managing. There's still a lot of familiarity here, but there's been a lot of change, too.
"Certainly, we've moved on and I've moved on and enjoy the new challenge in San Diego. I like it more when we beat them [D-backs]."
Hinch is in his second full season as the vice president and assistant general manager of the Padres. He spent one season as vice president of professional scouting.
With the D-backs, he led the team to a 58-75 finish in 2009 after replacing Bob Melvin. He was 31-48 in 2010 when he was dismissed as manager on July 1.
Hinch first joined the D-backs organization after the 2005 season. He spent time with the organization as the manager of Minor League operations before moving on to become director of player development and later vice president of player development.
Would Hinch ever consider the opportunity to manage again?
"In this game, you never really quite know what lies ahead," he said. "I get a little bit of my baseball fix in a lot of different areas now. I don't think you ever say never in this game. I don't lay awake at night wondering what's next.
"I'm very happy doing what I'm doing for the Padres. We have a lot of energy in this organization and I'm proud to contribute and be involved in many areas. I enjoy being a part of what we do to build a winner."
His current role allows Hinch to have a hand in a lot of different areas in the organization, which he said he enjoys.
"I'm enjoying touching a lot of areas, whether that's the Draft, player development, the Major League team and trades," he said. "I have a great passion for people. I get to assist [general manager Josh Byrnes] and help connect the dots.
"I'm lucky to be involved in many areas."