Dear Mr. Moorad and Mr. Garfinkle:
I originally intended on sending you a formal letter to discuss some ideas from a fan's perspective but now that I know Mr. Garfinkle is a Gaslamp Baller why not do it here where all Padre fans can give their two cents. Further impetus for this letter was fueled by a post at The Sacrifice Bunt this morning discussing some of their ideas. Here are a few of my thoughts:
Uniforms (In agreement w/ The Sacrifice Bunt):
This seems like a superficial and frivolous request as aesthetics should be secondary to winning but I think it goes much deeper than the surface. As a franchise that lacks a winning tradition and very few recognizable stars through its history there should be a constant, something that fans can hang their hat on as it relates to their fanhood. A Padre is brown and while not the coolest color in the rainbow......ok.....even the rainbow left brown out of the equation......the point is that brown is a unique color in MLB (as is sand) and we should accept it and embrace it. The uniforms aren't bad right now with the exception of the color scheme and you could always look to the '69s for a solid style. Everyone also seems to love the '84s although I would use those as a throwback. The point is that there are franchises out there that have only made the most minor of changes over time......they are also the teams with solid traditions (I need not name teams here). A Padre wears brown. Let's embrace our history rather than run from it.
The Seats minus the fans:
When watching a game on TV there is a message that is quite explicit being communicated over the airwaves: There is nothing going on here......stay away......save your money! The view from my living room shows empty seats all up and down the left field line so I recommend creating some buzz. Upgrade as many people as you can after the 1st inning so it creates the illusion that there are a lot of people there eagerly watching the young, up and coming Padres of the future. Create the illusion (in the short term) that Petco is the place to be. Too dishonest and costly of a ploy? OK....no upgrades. Give the Reserved Field Level tickets away for free during the week.
- Get more military guys down here, for free ( they'll take their fond memories around the world and if they leave SD at a time when the team is playing good baseball they may be lifetime fans---perhaps subscribers to a future cable television package?).
- Get more of the African-American community here, for free (Baseball is dying in inner cities. We have three young African-Americans on the roster in Blanks, Venable, Gwynn.....our #1 draft pick in Donavan Tate....and the Greatest Padre of them all, Mr. Gwynn. Get young kids in here for free and let them meet these guys----perhaps future fans who will look back in fondness and gladly pay as adults)
- Get more of the Latin community here, for free (I think you guys already do this but I thought I'd mention it considering the # of Venezuelans on the roster----let the town meet these guys)
This list could continue to go on with every demographic of people living San Diego but I think the point is that the seats are open (grossly open) so why not try something that will create life long fans.
With all due respect The San Diego Padres have the worst park name in Major League Baseball. I'm not going to ask you to do the noble thing and shun corporate dollars that are thrown at you but I think giving a name to the field would make San Diego look slightly less stupid (Jack Murphy Field at Qualcom Stadium). Jack Murphy brought the Padres to San Diego so I don't see why we can't name it Jack Murphy Field at Petco Park.....that's just me....but anything would be an improvement over seeing only the name Petco in bright lights. How about something to do with Ted Williams, a PCL Padre? Something that gives a sense of history and tradition.
You will take a giant step backwards if the 2009 group does not get signed. With Peavy gone, money is there: this is both perception and reality. Show that there is a commitment to drafting, developing, and playing dynamic young talent in San Diego. This must be done to show that there is a genuine commitment to building a World Series contender....not a competitive team.....a World Series contender. If you do that you will satisfy your fledgling fan base as well add all of the bandwagon types we saw in 1998. If you win they will come.
I could probably say a few more things but now it's time for my fellow Padre fans to have their say. I appreciate your acknowledgement of the fans here at Gaslamp Ball and hope that some of our ideas might help to give you a sense of what the fans in San Diego expect and hope for.
A Padre Fan since 1986