Thursday, March 22, 2012

Ownership Q&A, Part II

The Padres announced today that Jeff Moorad is stepping down as CEO, with club president Tom Garfinkel to perform the CEO duties on an interim basis.

If nothing else, the shuffling gives this blog another chance to ask and answer its own questions. What follows is my second ownership Q&A in three weeks. I doubt it'll be my last this year.

Q  What's next for Moorad?

A  According to the Padres, he'll remain as Vice Chairman. The club's release says Moorad will "be responsible for overseeing the Padres’ involvement in the development of Fox Sports San Diego."

Q  Will Moorad try to become control owner at a later date?

A  I was told by an industry insider that the Padres "are headed to another owner."

Moorad appears to be acknowledging the harsh realities confronting his group's attempt to buy the club. Moorad would need 22 other owners to approve him as "control owner." As I reported on March 9, he didn't have the votes going into this month's meeting of the 30 ownership groups. In May, the owners will convene in New York.

Q  Will John Moores remain as the majority owner, or will he sell the club?

A  I'm told Moores is ready to move on with his life and, after a period of due diligence, likely will sell the club to someone MLB approves.

Q  Will Garfinkel's role change?

A  Not in the short term. Garfinkel already was overseeing day-to-day operations, with general manager Josh Byrnes reporting to him while Moorad worked on ownership issues and led the negotiations with FS San Diego. Garfinkel has worked with Moorad for nearly six years, as the two previously worked with the Diamondbacks. For what it's worth, industry officials commend the job done by Garfinkel and his business staff, notably the recent move to outfit several hundred Little Leaguers with MLB-quality Padres uniforms.

Q  Will MLB approve the TV broadcasting agreement between FS San Diego and the Padres?

I'm told that MLB, which allowed the telecasts to begin airing last Saturday, is "close" to green-lighting the deal. (I rolled my eyes while I typed that sentence.)

By stepping down as CEO -- a position said to be paying him $3 million -- Moorad may have placated his opponents who were holding up the TV deal.

Q  Why are Padres CEOs the relief pitchers of baseball's executive suites?

A  Because they've been as fungible as many bullpen dwellers. Garfinkel becomes the seventh CEO in the last 10-plus years to work for the Padres. In one stretch, the Padres went through two CEOs so fast, they didn't list a CEO in their media guide. Put another way, Moores has employed six more Padres CEOs than he has Padres field managers (Bruce Bochy and Bud Black) since becoming majority owner in 1994. The one constant to the Moores Era, of course, has been Moores. And if there's an early winner to today's development, it's Moores. The Padres appear to be more valuable now than they were when Moorad agreed to buy the club in 2009. Should Moores seek another buyer, he may get a higher price than agreed to by Moorad.

1 comment:

  1. Why would the MLB let this drag out for three years and then pull the plug? There should be more uproar in the media on the MLB screwing the Padres. Where is the outrage? Bud Selig proving once again that he is an incompetent commissioner.