In January of this year Johnny Manziel attended a football camp at Petco Park. It's there that Padres President Mike Dee and Johnny Football met for the first time. Their relationship blossomed over a dinner date.
After working out at Petco Park with Whitfield, a mutual friend of Manziel and team president Mike Dee's put the two in touch. Dee and Manziel later had dinner together in San Diego.
In June, Josh Byrnes drafted Manziel in the 28th round as an ill-conceived publicity stunt. Fans (myself included) weren't amused by the Padres flippant pick after years of poor draft performance. Byrnes tried to defend the pick, but most suspected it wasn't his idea in the first place and he was likely covering for a decision made by Dee.
For the most part the Manziel pick blew over after a few weeks. But Dee and the Padres came under fire again when they made another poor decision that upset fans by naming a plaza at Petco Park after Commissioner Bud Selig. Their reputation tarnished, they finally seem to have seen the light and have made efforts to reconnect with fans.
Yesterday, a fan, saw that the Padres team store was selling a Johnny Manziel jersey. With a retweet by Darren Rovell, the news spread.
Fans again became upset. Had the Padres learned nothing?
@CoreyAStewart Store is operated by our concessionaire. Done without our knowledge. Immediately removed.— Wayne Partello (@WaynePartello) September 23, 2014
This time the Padres brass didn't try to defend the poor decision by the team store and instead they resolved it quickly by removing it.
I guess some mistakes you never stop paying for.
I'm really hoping that the relationship between leadership and fans can be healed by next season and that everyone is soon working in the best interest of the team.