In the latter half of the 90's there was no better baseball owner than John Moores. Tony Gwynn said as much so you know it's true. He was enthusiastic, involved and had some of the best and brightest working for him. He was at the helm in '96 and '98, maybe the most exciting period in Padres baseball history. He was the driving force behind the construction of the new ballpark. The fact is that there would be no Petco Park without him.
But I firmly believe that the lawsuits that held up construction of the ballpark for years are also the reason for his rapid decline as an owner. He was never the same after that. In the last decade Moores has been one of the absolute worst owners. He disappeared, making only his frustrations public, leaving a power vacuum in his place. The stress of horrible Padres teams, a new but empty ballpark and the onset of a midlife crisis led him into the arms of a mistress which led to divorce. The divorce split his fortune and forced him to sell.
Now after a bump in the road with Jeff Moorad, Moores has once again agreed to sell the team this time to former Dodgers owner O'Malley.
"This brings a long baseball blood line to San Diego," Moores said.
Yeah Dodger Blue blood.
"I couldn't be more pleased. I feel like I'm handing over the club to the right people."
The right people meaning those that would pay Moores the most.
"There's no question that the market lifted in the last year," he said. "A lot of that seems to be attributable to the new generation of TV contracts. I think that's what drove the Dodgers value up so much. I don't think we'll have any problems with the sale this time around. This one is so solid. I don't foresee any outstanding issues."
Moores hasn't really cared about the Padres for quite some time and as he retreats back to Houston it's becoming harder to remember a time when he did.
It remains to be seen how O'Malley's reign will affect the franchise but with Moores being an absentee owner for so long there's a sense of relief knowing that we're finally free from him, for good.