Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ticket prices going up

This may have appeared in the mainstream media, so excuse me if I'm late to the story. In any event, I'm told by several Padres season ticket-holders that their seats will be more expensive next year. They received a renewal notice calling for increases of 5-9%. Two of these folks have field level seats, and I'm told at least some of premier seats will be more expensive in 2013. I don't know if prices for other seats also will go up (the Padres made no mention of raising ticket prices at yesterday's news conference introducing the team's new owners). My flip reaction: Giants and Phillies fans have money to burn, now the Padres will get more of it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The $200-million take

I asked new Padres boss Ron Fowler if it's true: Did $200 million in Padres TV money go out the door when John Moores finally sold the team?

Ownership numbers

When John Moores bought the Padres, team execs revealed the ownership's pie chart. Reporters learned Moores owned about 80 percent of the club, with the rest divvied up among a handful of minority partners, including Tom Werner. On the same topic, the new ownership group was less forthcoming today in its introductory press conference.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family affair

What an electric night for the Kelly family, Casey throwing six scoreless innings in his major league debut on Monday, the same day that his dad, Pat, looking on at Petco Park, celebrated his 57th birthday. Casey's brother, Chris, had to be thrilled too. Beyond the blood connection, the brothers are both Padres. Chris scouts amateur players in the Florida panhandle and Georgia. "He's doing a good job for us," Josh Byrnes said. Pat Kelly played pro ball for 13 years as a catcher and has managed for 22 years in the minor leagues. He directed Padres affiliates in Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A. If Casey and Chris have strong instincts for baseball, it's not hard to figure out the nature and nurture angles.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The trade

Adrian Gonzalez is a Dodger. Following are my rapid reactions to the amazing trade that sent the Tijuana and Chula Vista product to Chavez Ravine:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Casey Kelly

The Padres aren't allowing Adrian Gonzalez and the Dodgers to have all the fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Homework on ballpark

Whatever new ownership decides regarding Petco Park's dimensions, it will not lack for options.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Taking care

The only titanium Bruce Bochy wants in his life is a titanium driver to hit golf balls.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Desert hope

Padres fans, be encouraged that Wade Miley is having the best year of any Diamondbacks pitcher, even if you detest the Diamondbacks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Safety net

We're going to read and hear a lot of happy talk about new Padres ownership in coming weeks, assuming that major league owners approve the O'Malley/Fowler/Mickelson group, which I'm told also includes other significant investors not yet mentioned in the maintstream press. It's my hope that all of the happy talk is justified. Take this to the bank: If Ron Fowler's Padres teams are 80 percent as entertaining as his San Diego Sockers teams, we're headed for a fun ride.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Clear thinking

In April, I asked Chase Headley if he was feeling left out.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bad ping pong

Donald Sterling's ghost is still haunting San Diego. The ghost's latest victim: The Padres.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Headley's leverage

(UPDATED) An unfortunate statistical mistake by a previous Padres administration is coming home to roost as Chase Headley, who's emerged this year as the team's best player, gains earning power.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fox Follies

Kearny Mesa is home to San Diego's Fox TV affiliate. As you'd guess, several folks who work there would like to watch the Padres telecasts produced by Fox Sports San Diego, even if only for a few minutes. Fox employees watching a Fox telecast inside a Fox building--what's the story here? The story, said one of those Fox employees, is that the FSSD feed doesn't enter the Fox building. "We can't watch Fox Sports San Diego; it's not on the TVs there," the Fox person told me.

Let's review: Fox is paying the Padres about $30 million this year -- twice what Cox paid last year -- as part of a 20-year deal worth about $1.2 billion, yet because of a stalemate between Fox and cable providers, more than 40 percent of San Diego County still doesn't get the telecasts, and even the Fox TV affiliate in Kearny Mesa can't get the cable feed. The Padres say they're not to blame. Fox says greedy Time Warner is to blame. Time Warner says greedy Fox is to blame. And one of the well-paid execs within MLB, talking to me in March, said Bud Selig isn't to blame because cable negotiations are "hand to hand combat."

At this point in the skit, a television is blown to smithereens. Wait, this isn't a skit?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quentin, Street

Were the Padres wise to sign Carlos Quentin and Huston Street to extensions?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Headley

I was happy for Chase Headley when the Padres held him past the trade deadline.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Scouts, Alderson, DePo

Under Kevin Towers, who has more power in Arizona than he ever did as general manager of the Padres, the Diamondbacks appear to have ramped up their scouting efforts. I saw three Diamondbacks scouts this weekend here to watch the Padres and the Mets, and none of them is Arizona's advance scout. Towers no longer answers to Sandy Alderson, who in his time as Padres CEO was known to favor a smaller scouting staff. Towers preferred the Padres have an advance scout who attended road games, but the team didn't employ one while Alderson was CEO. As I've written several times, Jed Hoyer, with backing from CEO Jeff Moorad, who replaced Alderson in March 2009, beefed up San Diego's scouting staffs to get more information for the amateur draft and for evaluating minor leaguers. Moorad, heeding a suggestion by Padres assistant GM Fred Uhlman Jr., also hired an advance scout, Gregg Olson (a brother-in-law of Moorad's).

Alderson, in his second season as the GM of the Mets, was in Petco Park this weekend. He still has a home in Rancho Santa Fe. Also attending the series was Paul DePodesta, who followed Alderson from the Padres to the Mets and has continued to live in La Jolla. Alderson and DePodesta appear to face a long rebuilding project. The Mets lack impact players both in their everyday lineup and among their advanced hitting prospects. Whether Mets exec Jeff Wilpon is an effective leader is also in question. He's not a popular figure within the team's clubhouse. A clubbie, for example, was said to have been told by Wilpon this summer that players weren't wearing suitable shirts under their game jerseys, even though the shirts are MLB-approved. Wilpon's father, Fred, is the majority owner of the Mets. Quibbling about players' undergarments won't help Jeff Wilpon change perceptions that nepotism is a problem within New York's hierarchy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Safety net

It's frightening to think of this Padres pitching staff without Petco Park's assistance to arms and psyches. Back in April when another fence debate arose, I shuddered while envisioning this club's pitchers outside the Petco cocoon over a full season. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote: "A less enormous outfield shouldn't be seen as a recipe for more on-field success, given the team's glut of Nos. 4-5 starters both in the majors and above Single-A."