When I tune in to Fox Sports San Diego for a Padres game, I expect to be bombarded with advertising. There’s the obvious commercial breaks between innings and during pitching changes, and I’ve got no problem with the plethora of signs plastered virtually and physically over the ballpark. Even a short plug from a broadcaster is pretty standard. But I was surprised when Mark Grant and Don Orsillo had a special guest in the booth during the top of the third inning tonight: Chargers spokesman Fred Maas.
It’s not unusual for a representative of a local business to join the broadcast team to plug their product. It’s not even odd for the Chargers to be that business. What is strange is that Maas was there specifically as a political operative, promoting Measure C ahead of November’s election. Mud and Don spent a full half inning participating in this infomercial, without an ounce of skepticism or even mentioning that Measure C asks for over a billion dollars in public funds.
I’d love to know what the Chargers paid the Padres and Fox Sports San Diego for this ad. Hopefully Dean Spanos was a little more generous with his colleagues than he is with San Diego sports fans.
Update [11:36 PM 9/27/16]:
Bernie Wilson got this from FSSD head honcho Henry Ford:
Henry Ford of Fox Sports SD has apologized for any confusion caused by having Chargers rep on #Padres telecast tonight (cont).— Bernie Wilson (@berniewilson) September 28, 2016
Ford: "His appearance in no way reflects a position or endorsement by the Padres, nor FOX Sports." Says Pads mgt not given advance notice.— Bernie Wilson (@berniewilson) September 28, 2016
#Padres are on record as saying they want Chargers to stay in SD but have a lot of questions about convadium that haven't been answered.— Bernie Wilson (@berniewilson) September 28, 2016
The Padres front office was apparently not notified in advance that Maas would be appearing on the telecast.