The San Diego Padres made the playoffs for the first time in 14 years in 2020. The majority owner of the franchise that year was Ron Fowler. That November after the Padres had fallen in the NLDS to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Peter Seidler took over majority control of the franchise and Fowler no longer was in charge of the day-to-day operations of the club.
According to Kevin Acee, Fowler is also now no longer a stake holder in the franchise.
Fowler was a part of the ownership group that bought the team in 2012 and was heavily involved in the latest CBA negotiations on Major League Baseball’s side after being the chairman of MLB’s labor committee during the 2016 CBA negotiations. Fowler was known to not spend as much money as Seidler has since he took over control of the team so it would be interesting to know if Fowler was on the exact same wave length as Seidler in terms of giving Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. a combined $640 million.
It had to have been a weird ownership group dynamic during the lockout to have Fowler represent MLB, who didn’t want the players to get more money at younger ages, while Seidler just wrote a $340 million check to a 22-year-old last Spring Training.
“In the history of labor relations since 1989...no owner has devoted more time, made himself more available or had a bigger influence on the collective bargaining agreement than Ron Fowler,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred in 2017.
Fowler was also the majority owner when the team signed Eric Hosmer to a eight-year, $144 million deal, which has hurt the organization’s ability to add expensive players to the roster in recent offseasons. But we should still give credit to Mr. Fowler for bringing in Hosmer at least in the sense that it was easily the largest contract ever handed out by the Padres and it helped attract other players, such as Manny Machado, to come play for the Friars.
On behalf of Padres fans, thank you Mr. Fowler for everything you did for the city.
If you want to hear more of my thoughts on Fowler departing the organization, you can listen or watch Episode 130 of the Talking Friars podcast/YouTube show here.