I wrote this right after the sale was finalized, but then I got bored and did something else, and I can't bring myself to delete it because it's over 600 words, so I'm posting it in its unedited, incomplete form. -Dex
So the end of the John Moores era has arrived, finally.
In the spirit of "What have you done for me lately", I think we can all agree that John Moores is not very much liked around San Diego. But in the spirit of Barry Bloom, we shouldn't rewrite history:
So let's remember what John Moores did for us...
First off, the legacy that Moores would like for all of us to hold dear to our hearts. From what I can tell there are three things that contribute to the Good Moores Legacy:
- Rescued the team from Tom Werner
- Took the team to the World Series in '98
- Opened Petco Park and turned downtown San Diego into a thriving glorious thing of beauty and a joy forever
So, without rewriting history, what else did John Moores do?
Well, the Tom Werner thing was great. There's no doubt about that. Unless you consider the fact that Tom Werner went on to run the Red Sox and take that team to a World Series championship and perennial AL contender. Granted, it's two different places, but maybe, juuuuust maybe, Tom Werner wasn't planning on moving the team to Washington D.C. and maybe, juuuuust maybe, Werner was right about the idea that San Diego should run their business differently from say, a New York or Los Angeles team. It wasn't a popular notion at the time, but over the last decade, it's become pretty clear to fans beyond the most casual, that San Diego is a small market club.
That said, San Diego had been the beneficiary of a hobbyist owner in the Kroc family for years, so moving from a business oriented one to John Moores did seem pretty good, but after seeing what Werner did with Boston, you gotta think maybe the Tom Werner wasn't trying to just run the Padres into the ground like so many people believed at the time.
Which takes us to the 1998 World Series. A beautiful time, to be sure, tainted by 1999 (and 2000 and 2001 and ummm...). The year 1999, when, lo and behold, John Moores started saying a lot of the same things that Tom Werner seemed to have been saying 5 years prior. That San Diego wasn't a large market club and that maintaing payrolls in the top 25% of baseball wasn't feasible. The Padres went from amazing 1998 to something else entirely. A team that went through the motions of never quite being "sellers", but definitely not fielding a team that could realistically contend.
And in that period of time, John Moores (and his general managers) seemed to think that free agency was the way to go. The farm system was built around "signable" guys who, very often, turned out to have mental issues. So the one way that the Padres could've taken advantage of the lean years (i.e. high draft picks), was done in a less than stellar way.
That success around 1998 helped get the vote approved for the ballpark, and to me, this is John Moores' greatest achievement. I'm not convinced that the Padres would've ever left. I loved the 1998 season, but downtown San Diego is completely different. Completely different thanks to the ballpark.
Sure, it's impossible to get into Comic-Con now...
And that's where I stopped and got bored and did something else...