This is the first part of a series of critiques I currently have with the Padres. You are aware of my optimism and the faith I have that we're headed in the right direction, but that's not to say that there really are things that should have been accomplished already.
You know of course, for as much as I love the Padres, I am fully aware of the things that they didn't do this off-season. And man... they really didn't do a whole lot. Should we hold them accountable for past fire sales and promises? Of course not. I mean, the guy who was responsible for getting us into the mess of the ownership shuffle over the last several years was also the guy who "rescued" us from the Firesale of the previous owner.
And yet... People are still getting this wrong. People are still carrying over the negatives of past ownerships into this ownership group and believing all of the positives have gone off to Boston or Chicago or San Francisco.
And yes... Part of this is the Padres fault. So, the first thing the new ownership group should've done was...
Differentiate themselves from past owners
The whole owners not being the same person post? Yeah it's a joke, but the new ownership somehow didn't recognize that this would be a real issue coming in (even before that ridiculous internet slideshow) and somehow have completely ignored the fact that the Padres have had an ownership situation for years now, despite having multiple people still in the organization right there in the middle of it.
Let's recap, shall we? Prior to this ownership group we had a failed bid of an ownership group with Jeff Moorad who never ever shook the multiple stigma of:
- Not having enough money to properly run a baseball team
- Having too many people in the industry dislike him to properly run a baseball team
- Having way too sleepy of a voice and eyes that never appeared to be open to be awake enough to run a baseball team
Prior to that ownership "group" we had an owner who, after persuading the taxpayers to help fund a new ballpark that would allow the team to spend competitively (note the difference between "spending competitively" and "being competitive"), proceeded to cry poor for six years and maintain baseball operations leadership that was incapable of developing talent in the only way a "poor" team could... i.e. through the draft and smart minor-league acquisitions. Home grown talent.
Prior to that ownership group, we had an owner who cried poor basically right away and attempted to run the Padres like a business before being chased out of town. Never mind the fact that the next "business" he ran, went to the World Series twice.
And so, Ron Fowler et alii in his ownership group step right in and, instead of demonstrating clearly what makes them better than past owners (while fessing up to potential limitations), demonstrate nothing. Nothing to the point that they're allowing themselves to basically be referred to as Jeff Moorad... And all the bad parts about John Moores... And possibly even Tom Werner.
At the very least, if you're not going to try to prove that you have more money and you're not going to try to prove that you can run a ball club better, at least try to prove that you're awake. I mean, WTF. WAKE THE F_CK UP.
You know how I would've handled the Marver documentary if I were Ron Fowler? Yeah. I maybe give credit to Marver for being a "passionate" fan (who refuses to support the team), but in the very same breath, I say, "...But just to clarify for Mr. Marver, I'm not actually Jeff Moorad. I'm not sure he's got that part right. We're two different people and I'm really not responsible for most of that stuff in his little internet slideshow. If he actually was paying attention, he might have noticed that we're different people and we're keeping only the best of what Moorad set in motion (the TV deal. Tom Garfinkel. Josh Byrnes.) and pushing out the rest of it."
But that leads us to the next thing the Padres didn't accomplish. Their biggest monetary accomplishment has also become one of the biggest annoyances. They really should have done more to...
Get the Padres on Time Warner Cable in San Diego
If you've read this blog for any amount of time, you've probably come across one of my rants against Time Warner Cable and their refusal to carry FSSD. While I am still firmly of the opinion that TWC is still primarily to blame, I'm also firmly of the opinion that the Padres should have, by now, escalated this. It should have been brought to the attention of MLB that TWC is depriving an MLB market of the MLB product and therefore the LA Dodgers TV rights should've have been at least held up for review.
At this point, a single company, TWC, holds the cards as far as whether or not a huge amount of Southern California is going to watch baseball and the MLB should be concerned about it, despite whatever record breaking monetary deals have been made.
Another point of escalation should/could be local government. The presence of a sports team is a point of civic pride. The presence of the ballpark is a financial driver for a significant number of businesses in the downtown area. And the ballpark itself was built and approved, at least partially, because of the voting demands and financial assistance of taxpayers. Surely... surely... there was one city councilman willing to take up a stance or like a judge willing to mediate the proceedings... or like a mayor or something willing to do something. But no. Nothing.
In Part Two. More sh_t the Padres should've had done, but decided not to do. Maybe it's a strategy. I dunno.