I'm kind of confused about all the "outrage" I've been seeing regarding yesterday's press conference announcing the new owners. Most of it is from the media though because, well the new owners didn't really say much. I returned to the office just in time to catch the tail end of the conference on TV and here are my thoughts, as a fan....
"We're laid back. We aren't emotionless robots. We are your friends. LIKE US!!"
When you are in a business like running a professional baseball team, absolutely everything you do will be inspected closely. Now whoever prepped the new ownership group obviously mentioned that San Diego is known for being "laid back". What's more laid back than saying ties suck? Nothing my friend, nothing. Hence why not one member wore a tie up there. This was obviously planned, because it's not like one guy went to his closet and said "you know what, I'm going to be different and go tie-less today" only to show up to the press conference and be shocked that all the other guys said that same exact thing when they went to their closets. Maybe Garf spilled apple juice on his tie and as a sign of solidarity the other members removed their ties as well so he wouldn't get embarrassed being the only person without a tie? Bottom line: Ties do nothing but choke the life out of you all night long and San Diego fans have been having the life choked out of us for years now, it's time for a change.
At one point Ron Fowler started to break down and cry. Not sure why exactly. After all, this isn't the first professional team he's owned. For those who don't know, he owned the San Diego Sockers back in their hey-day (My family was Sockers season ticket holders from '84-'92). And despite living here for over 30 years, he's not a native San Diegan, so he doesn't have a life long connection to the team. Since he's from Minnesota, if it were the Twins then this theory would make sense. This also isn't some business adventure where he's going to make tons of money. Like so much money that he cries tears of joy. So why such emotion? I'm not sure, but it's a welcome addition after the previous owner, who's facial expressions and tone of voice never changed whether he was happy, mad or sad. Emotion shows you are human. Clearly Jeff Moorad was an evil robot cyborg.
Then Ron Fowler kept scolding people for calling him Mr. Fowler. "Call me Ron!" he'd say. "Now let's all go get a Miller-Coors-Heineken, on me!" OK maybe he didn't say that last part but it could have happened. You use Mr. or Mrs. as a sign of respect to people like your elders, teachers or bosses. You call your friends, buddies, chums by their first name. What you don't do is call someone Uncle when they are clearly not your Uncle. That's just creepy. (Dick Enberg called him Uncle Ron during the game broadcast)
"ARGGGHHHH. You said the payroll would be 51.75 million this year and it was really 51.23 million. YOU are liars!!!!"
That is the normal reaction of "Mr. Angry Sports Fan". With that said the new ownership group DID NOT announce a payroll number. They DID NOT say it would "start with a....". But simply said that "it would increase". I am glad to hear this for a couple of reasons......
1) I don't have to hear Mr. Angry Sports Fan complain about THAT particular subject (Mr. Angry Sports Fan has a lot of stuff to complain about). If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone complain about Moores' Petco payroll lies I'd have like a bajillion dollars by now.
2) I heard a reason for not announcing a number is to keep other teams guessing. I guess that's fine, but do you really think the Dodgers, Giants, Rockies or D-Backs pay that close of attention to what the Padres payroll is and make decisions based off of that info? I don't. What I do believe though is that announcing exact numbers influences players decisions. Let's be honest, there isn't a lot of rocket scientist players out there. Despite this, I'd assume most of them at least know how to read. If you read that the Padres announced that their payroll would "start with a...." you might not even talk to the Padres.
I hope to never hear an exact number for payroll ever again BEFORE the season starts. I also hope to never hear exact number of wins predictions again. I also hope for World Peace someday.
I wonder how pissed Hacksaw was to be one of the only people in the room to wear a tie. Also Canepa appeared to be asleep for most of it, no surprise there. Also I tuned in late so I missed the introductions but was that Ron Fowlers wife in the crowd with the big hat? It seemed weird to me, as the camera scanned the room and I saw the usual media and then an older lady with a big hat just randomly sitting there. Fowler & Kras seem like BFF's.
"BRING BACK THE BROWN!!"
Darren Smith asked Fowler in an interview on XX1090 after the press conference about the uniforms. He said that he's "very pleased with what they have right now" and "retro days are fun". Tsk, tsk Ron...not the answer the fans were looking for. It's still early though. You'll learn soon enough.
Overall I feel like it was more of an introduction of the new group, as opposed to a press conference. The media can get pissy all they want. I could care less if you didn't get a tasty nugget for your column. What I do care about is, are these the right guys for the job? After John Moores going all crazy on us and the whole Moorad fiasco, I honestly feel excited about these guys. Their family has a long history in baseball, there's some Minor League front office experience thrown in there, San Diego ties are there and lastly there appears to be lots of money involved. Give these guys more than one press conference to make a decision on them.