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A rambling defense of the San Diego Padres ownership group

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I started out and this post was going to be bullets with some links, but then I started to ramble and before I knew it, this thing was born. It makes no sense and I wandered in a few different directions, but at least I got my post up for the day, Eric Simon. -Dex

I was thinking of a few different things this morning and some of them may end up in a separate blog post, but then I thought, heck I'll throw them into here. Also, I'm too lazy this morning to grab links. So all you get are bullets, unless I happen to grab some links. And in fact, I may be too lazy to actually attach bullets...

First off: If somebody else had written that Letter from an Average Every Day Padres Fan, I would have found a lot to disagree with. The semi-big one, I've always been bothered by the idea that "If you have $500 million sitting around to buy a baseball team, you have $575 million sitting around or maybe even $700 million laying around".

Look at this list of current MLB Owners. Notice all of those LPs and LLCs? Those are Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies. That means that those people had to put together a group of really really rich people to come up with the money to buy a baseball team.

There's this semi-weird perception that the Padres ownership group is made up of 14 different people for shits and giggles as opposed to necessity, and that they're collectively just holding back the three billion dollars that they're actually worth like some greedy little Ebenezers. Like there's a silo full of gold coins that they collect from season ticket holders and then swim around in.

My guess is that this isn't so.

And look... I know where that perception comes from. To me, I look at the weekly lottery prize and there's literally no difference between a $75 million jackpot and a $90 million jackpot. Either one and I'd own an island full of genetically engineered unicorns, trained to zip up my fly after I take a leak, inside of 3 days. Three days, people and that island is mine.

Would I want more? Yeah, I guess, but that's a ton of money that I don't have either way and so, to me, whatever... I'll take whatever. Heck. Subtract $40 million from either number and I'd still be OK.

I look at the Padres ownership group and I think, If one of those dudes can afford $75 million, then he must be able to afford $90 million because, millions and millions of dollars does not compute logically in my brain that is wired to shop at Fresh&Easy.

How does that relate to the Padres?

$530 million is a shit ton of money. That's the purchase price of the Padres and is way more than either $75 million or $90 million...

And that's just to buy the club. That's not to mention all of the other crap that you gotta buy like hot dogs to sell and ummm.... garbage bags for the garbage cans.... And like... those signs that show up on the lamp posts downtown...

I'm getting off track.

Basically, read Veeck vs Wreck. He talks about the pain in the ass it is to buy an MLB club when you happen to not be a billionaire. You have to convince all of these other people to shell out millions and millions of dollars into a business that looks suspiciously like a game that children play. People who have millions and millions of dollars got it, and still have it, because they know not to spend frivolously (mostly on things that look suspiciously like games children play). On top of that, the other owners all get a say in whether or not you can actually buy the club, so you have to play nice and convince rich people that your money is good to spend, because most owners, while not necessarily complete douchebags have some douchebagginess to them.

That's how you get rich. By being a douchebag when you need to be a douchebag. Read the Steve Jobs biography. Look at Jack Welch's Winning.

Of track again... Bringing it back...

Let's divvy it up. The Padres needed around 14 people to put together the $540 million purchase price. That's about $38.6 million per individual person. Now you think about how many people you know have $38.6 million to spend on a baseball team. Me? I know say 11 or 12. You push that number and say, "Hey in the opening year, just for kicks, let's field a $80 million payroll to like greet everybody..." So you find a few more people willing to dish out a bit more money. You dig deep.

Keep in mind the $80 million is for ONE YEAR. You've made the purchase of $540 million for something you want to invest in and take a return on maybe 10 years down the line. This "for kicks" $80 million? That's just for ONE YEAR. Shoot your wad. Take a nap because that lottery ticket that paid out is good for the year and that's it. And who even knows what you bought. You could buy like 10 Orlando Hudsons with that money and what would that leave you? That's right, 10 lawns to mow.

So very soon, you're tapping out all the rich people you know (because people who can kick in $38.6 million even financed are rich). And then you get fans still complaining like, "Hey! If you can't afford to throw away $100 million, then I don't want you here! I read Forbes! Yall are rich" And it's like, "dude... really? Forbes?" That's the magazine that had an article by a white dude explaining that if he were a poor black boy, he'd just work extra hard and use Google more to get ahead, because once you explain that same fact to child slaves in Congo, digging for diamonds, then it all becomes so obvious that it's their fault they don't have an XBOX 360 with Kinect.

Oh man... I'm soooo far off track again...

So I don't blame Moorad for scrounging money and then spending it on things like buying a Minor League Baseball team as opposed to shelling out for a year's worth of lottery ticket in the form of a group of MLB Free Agents. Trying to eke out every last penny from a new television deal is a big deal, because it's literally easier to bargain your way into a bigger TV deal than it is to find another super rich friend willing to drop tens of millions of dollars on your little venture.

To me, this ownership group has something going for it that we haven't really had in previous ownership groups and that's baseball smarts. Like they know baseball. Sure, it was nice to have the Kroc family all super rich doing their damnedest to get the Padres to the World Series. And Moores was actually a lot of fun too, just giving into Kevin Towers whenever KT would beg for another $10 million for just that one extra piece, but we don't have that and when we did have that, we had a lot of years of close, but no cigar.

Do I want to win a World Series? Yes. Do I want to win it now? Yes. If I have to wait through a terrible year to get to the point that this Draft Pipeline (to borrow Grady Fuson's ridiculous term) begins paying out at the big league level, will I do it? Yeah... But I may not watch as many games through to the end...

Because, in the end, the World Series is like the lottery. Do I want the $90 million jackpot now? Yes. But the lottery's the lottery and I'll settle for the $75 million prize next week.