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Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel discusses the changes to Petco Park and the TV contract

Tom Garfinkel
Tom Garfinkel

XX Sports Radio: Tom Garfinkel Interview with Dave and Jeff (MP3)

  • The fan reaction to the announcement that the Padres are considering moving Petco Park's fences has been mostly good. Some fans have said "get players that can hit the ball a little better". Garfinkel says that the Padres have guys that can hit the ball well and they're unrelated issues.
  • The players haven't really commented directly to Garfinkel on the fences. He has asked for their opinion. They try to have the same approach whether they are playing at home or away.
  • "I don't think the ballpark is going to be normalized or neutralized." The park will remain a pitcher's park even after the changes. The sea air really limits home runs at night. Garfinkel feels that hitters should be rewarded for crushing a ball, it's the way the game was intended to be played.
  • He thinks fans want to see the Padres winning ball games first and foremost.
  • The whole field is going to be looked at but they are focusing right now on right and right center. They are using radar technology developed by NASA. They are looking at the speed of the pitch and speed of the bat among other things.
  • The Padres are still building a team around Petco Park with speed and athleticism, but the goal is to make the park a little less extreme. They want to avoid any unintended consequences of shrinking the field
  • On the team's poor start: "We need to get better and play better." Nobody is taking it harder than the players.
  • Garfinkel is frustrated too with the TV situation. Fox Sports SD has been offered to all the carriers, but Time Warner has chosen not to accept it. "I was a Time Warner customer, I switched to DirectTV myself to get Padres games." The goal is to get 100% distribution in the market.
  • The most important issue right now is getting the team payroll up, but once that is done they'll take a closer look at a new scoreboard and a new out of town scoreboard in right field. The giant LED boards are much cheaper than they were a few years ago.