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Monday, April 16, 2012

John Moores

I have to be honest. I have never met the owner of the San Diego Padres, John Moores. I know he is a Texan. I know that he is a democrat. I know that he was a friend and client of the late Sam Maloof, Sam told me. I know that at one time he had some nifty Georgia O'Keefe paintings, a friend who was working in his house saw them. I know that he was the owner of Peregrine Systems and cashed out 600 million dollars before the company went belly up and a bunch of his top management team were indicted and convicted of various sins. I know that my late friend Al, a wealthy La Jollan, said that he was no damn good.

John Moores bought the San Diego Padres from Tom Werner in 1984. He convinced the City of San Diego to let the taxpayers finance Petco Park to the tune of about $300 million dollars. He kept some sweetheart real estate holdings around the park for his JMI company. He has gotten very fat on the San Diego Padres.

A couple years ago he and his wife Becky got a divorce and he decided to sell the club to an ex player agent that many people in baseball evidently hated, Jeff Moorad. Moores just wasn't into it anymore. Maybe the  potential of Obama instituting some new capital gains tax hike scared the Texas bejeebus out of him?

Moorad really didn't have any money and wished to finance the purchase with speculative television money and the other owners balked. The deal fell through and Moores is in the driver's seat again. He is looking into finding another buyer. The club is now worth over a half a billion dollars  in the wake of the Dodgers deal and he stands to make a pretty penny on his initial investment, especially with a new tv deal on the horizon.

When the park financing was put before the citizens of San Diego there was all kind of puffery and drum rolls about how the Padres were finally going to spend some money, having historically been along with the Pirates, the cheapest team in baseball. It never happened. They jettisoned all of their talent, people like Gonzalez, Peavy and Bell. They started operating as an ostensible farm club for the Cubs and Red Sox.

The woeful team once again this year has the lowest payroll in baseball, about $55 million. They have the worst batting average in either league, a robust .183. They flat out can not hit. Yesterday they hit into a 2-5-6-3 triple play, first time it has ever happened in baseball history. Of course, the ump was responsible, calling a foul ball fair. They got swept by the Dodgers and they start this awful season two and seven. It's all right though, I distinctly remember their President Tom Garfinkel telling everyone last year that the fans didn't care so much about wins as the baseball experience.

I don't understand what makes guys like Moores tick. He fell out of love with his wife, he fell out of love with his team, he fell out of love with the city, who knows? Rich people are phlegmatic. What I do know is that San Diego fans are holding the bag, their love for their miserable team once again sorely tested and with an absentee owner who appears to no longer give a shit, nothing looks like it will change in the near future. It is a shame that the man who got everything he asked for could treat his play toy with such neglect and our region with such contempt.


Anonymous said...

Any team that would dress players in such stupid uniforms deserves to lose. Maybe the Padres should change the teams name to the Surfin' Poodles and bring in Ryan Leaf to pitch (he'd be good out of the Pen) Moore isn't responsible for 50 years of futility. San Diego has never won the big one-Hang a star on that!

Anonymous said...

The 'Surfin' Poodles' is taken. They play in Fallbrook. Bye-the-bye, the Padres smell, from someone who knows.

Mario Mendoza

grumpy said...

i know that he bears an uncanny resemblance to yours truly, at least that particular photo. that part scares me the most.