Padres President Tom Garfinkel spoke to more than a hundred South County officials, business owners and residents the other day as evidenced by this article in the San Diego Source.
Since the SD Source is a subscription only online news site, I'll walk you through what I learned.
Little League Initiative
Great news, the Padres are continuing their Little League Initiative, a public outreach program that supplied local little leagues with 10,000 uniforms. This year there is one difference... they increased it by 40%! Now 14,000 jerseys will be distributed to San Diego's youth. It swells my heart with Padres pride to see kids wearing jerseys from every era. Garfinkel says it is his hope that with the money saved on uniforms that the leagues can fix their fields and snack shops.
Here's an idea for Petco Park: they should have a little league style Snack Shop out by the Wiffle Ball field where you can buy Capri Suns, Big League Chew and Orange Slices. Get this, it'll be run by Little League teams around the county. Genius.
Collaboration with Local Restaurants and Artists
Mentor says that he's been working with the Padres marketing department to collaborate with local restaurants and local musicians. New food options and concerts before and after games will hopefully lure fans to the ballpark.
"I put the question out there on my Twitter page, for those who follow me, to see what local bands (and singers) fans want to see and we were getting a good consensus of what fans want."
Dex was soooooo embarrassed when I answered Angels and Airwaves as my favorite San Diego band. Dex spun into a tizzy "I don't want anyone to think that I tweeted that! Especially not Mentor! You have to make sure everyone knows it was you! MY REPUTATION!!!!" Then he started mocking their emo lyrics about space all in an attempt to regain his indie cred.
Personally I don't think there is a quintessential musical artist from San Diego, but saw Ducksnorts suggest Spirit, Tom Waits, Beat Farmers, Steve Poltz, Rocket from the Crypt, Inch, Uncle Joe's Big Ol' Driver, Heavy Vegetable.
Maybe we just agree to look outside San Diego for our musical acts.
Time Warner and the TV Deal
Fox Sports San Diego will air all Padres games that are not nationally televised. With AT&T now on board with Cox and Satellite, Time Warner appears to be the lone hold out. They were offered FSSD at the same price as everyone else and they chose not to make the deal. "We can't force them to carry the team." said Garfinkel.
On the Field
Garfinkel says that the plan is to sign the core of the team's young players to contracts and keep them in San Diego in their prime. He names Cameron Maybin and Cory Luebke as examples of this plan in action. Success will come from a strong farm system with a veteran player added here and there.
He says just to keep last year's players the team payroll will grow by $20 million.
Follow Garfinkel on Twitter
This wasn't in the article, but remember that Garfinkel pledged a dollar to Stand Up 2 Cancer for each new follower he gained this calendar year. If you've been holding out, you may want to follow him at least for this month. No one is forcing you, just consider it. Right now he's pledged $1,527.