Padres Chairman on changes in the organization

USA TODAY Sports

Ron Fowler interview with Darren Smith (MP3)

  • Mike Dee is the new Padres President and CEO. He comes to the Padres from the NFL's Miami Dolphins.
  • The Dolphins wanted to make an announcement immediately but the Padres couldn't do it until after the All-Star game.
  • Fowler met Mike Dee in the mid 90s. Fowler loves his energy and creativity.
  • The ownership group started making a list of candidates for the position about 6 weeks ago when they made the determination that they "weren't on the same page with our existing President and CEO". Dee was the first person on the list. A couple weeks ago Peter Seidler and Fowler met with him twice to make sure they were on the same page on how to build the team back to where it should be. Dee was totally impressive.
  • "This is a hire for a long term future. Mike is looking to come here and retire here."
  • "I'm not going to be here in 15 years, I just hope to be alive in 15 years."
  • Dee finds ways to solve problems and he collaborates well. He's a strong leader. He's not afraid to make unpopular decisions. He has a past with Byrnes. He's a winner in everything he's touched.
  • Fowler solicited Dee's input on people who were with the Padres when he worked there.
    He's the perfect fit. -Ron Fowler on new president Mike Dee

  • No internal candidates were considered for the position, not even members of the Seider or O'Malley family. Collectively they decided to find the best possible person that had significant experience in professional sports and baseball in particular.
  • Fowler and former President/CEO Tom Garfinkel had candid conversations. Garfinkel is a bright guy, but the two lead guys needed to be on the same page. "Ultimately he felt differently about how we should run it. When that's the case it's best that you resign and let ownership find someone who is far more compatible and has a shared vision of how things should be." They agreed to disagree. Ownership honored his contract. The big difference was that Garfinkel was more structured and Dee and Fowler are more entrepreneurial and collaborative.
  • Fowler says fans will see increased energy and collaboration as it relates to baseball. "Bottom line there will be changes." There will be changes in player personnel. The position players have been strong, but the pitching has "been a disappointment". They are looking to make changes, both additions and subtractions.
  • Fowler and his group now have good idea of how the baseball business really works. They are going to be far more active. They will look at trades and the farm system.
  • We're not going to ask people to wait for years until we get the farm system and the drafting down to where we want it. We're going to look to make trades to strengthen the club.
    We're not going to ask people to wait for years -Ron Fowler

  • Fowler says the Padres don't have the players right now. They tried in free agency but the players they wanted were too expensive and they're now glad they don't have them on the team. They think they have an abundance of talent at the positions but they need to do something more with the pitching.
  • Fowler was at the park at Tim Lincecum's no-hitter. Black's comments after the game echoed what ownership felt. Fowler prefers to have Padres fans at the ballpark, but first and foremost they want to fill the seats because that's where the revenue comes from. They want to earn the support of Padres fans with the play on the field. "Everybody's money is green and we'll take it where it came from, but it sucked. Okay? To have that many Giants fans cheering for the no-hitter."
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