One Billion Dollars!


Well, it looks like there are actually several people out there who’d like to buy the flatlined Friars, and as of today only three groups actually qualify as serious contenders. Meaning, they have enough dough and completed paperwork to see all the ‘secret files’ only owners get to see. What’s in those files the common man may never know, as you pretty much need a billion dollars to find out.

Do you have a billion dollars? You do? Then why the hell are you reading this? Cause it had the word ‘billion’ in the title?  If that’s the reason then you are obviously bored, but you obviously love the Padres and you should go buy them. Can you buy them? Please? Why not? Why does this paragraph have so many questions in it?

Sorry. I fell into a hypothetical hole where a billionaire read my column and I couldn’t get out.

While I was down there though I had a lot of time to think about the qualities I’d like in a new owner. They are as follows:

1) He/She has at least, in their own assets, a billion dollars.

2) He/She actually likes if not loves the game of Baseball.

3) He/She knows something about San Diego.

4) He/She is single.

Number one and four are the most important qualities and I think the reasoning for that should be quite obvious. Divorce has almost ruined Baseball in Southern California and it shouldn’t be that easy. If you’re a billionaire and you’re married, please stay away from Padres. I’m sorry for your future marital problems and I hope the dividing of your assets goes as smooth and pain free as possible.

I want an owner who cares about his team more than anything else and above all is willing to put his ridiculously large sum of money where his heart is.

I want a Mark Cuban. I want a Jerry Buss. I want an Ewing Kauffman. I want a Mike Ilitch. I want a George Steinbrenner. Yea, I said it. I’d take one George over eight John Moores or Tom Werners any day of the week. Give me all the temper tantrums and outrageous comments of Mark Cuban and I’ll beam with pride that that insane rich guy is my owner.

Those guys know what owning a team is all about. They know that it’s not just about being so rich you can afford possibly the most expensive Fantasy team of all time. It’s also about being a fan. Being a fan of the sport, the city and the team you control. The word ‘fire’ and the word ‘sale’ are not in their vocabulary, just the words ‘do’ and ‘anything’ and ‘to’ and ‘win’. In fact, since Ray Kroc I can’t think of one owner the Padres have had that actually cared about the city of San Diego and the Baseball team that played within it’s geological limits.

I just don’t freaking get it. (Author’s note: I really wanted to use a much stronger word than ‘freaking’, but we have rules here and they’re freaking awesome.) I don’t understand why it’s so hard to get some crazy billionaire to ride into one of the most beautiful and populated cities in America and light the town on fire. If a guy like Jerry Buss walked in to the Gaslamp and took the reigns of a badly run franchise that still manages to draw an average of 25,000 people a game, I’d let him do pretty much whatever he wanted. Move the fences in? Sure! In fact turn them into picket fences! Pink dress night? Sure! Re-name every player ‘Sylvester Horsepuncher’? Yes! Where do I get season tickets? I wouldn’t care what he did, because I know he would build a team of dress-wearing Sylvester’s that would win. And, I don’t even care if he won a World Series; just a few playoff appearances sprinkled around consistently respectable seasons of Baseball would be fine.

The complete crap show (Author’s note: I bet you can guess what this note was gonna say.) that was the Jeff Moorad takeover has left an unneeded stain on a franchise already covered in more stains than a…(Insert another Author’s note of your choice here)…and I, like many Padres fans are getting real sick of it. It’s not like San Diego is undesirable, in fact there’s a reason we draw the same if not more road team fans as Padres fans every home game. People move here from all over the globe! If we had owners who would just come out and say, “I’m going to do everything in my power to make the Padres a contender. Not just for a few seasons, but for decades to come.” I would be happy. It’s just that simple. Obviously they’d have to follow through on that promise, but if they contained all of my above qualities listed then they would.

The current list of possible suitors is no joke and actually kind of exciting. There’s the O’Malley group, which now features Phil Mickelson as their “face”. They have a long history in Baseball and the money to back it all up. Legendary Pictures maestro Thomas Tull wants to buy the Padres so bad he convinced Tony Gwynn to join his team. He’s a smart businessman with a lot of money and the forethought to get the most popular Padre of all time to stand by his side. Let’s just say if you’re going to buy an L.A. team you might want to get Magic Johnson in your crew, it’s not so different with Tony. I do like Thomas Tull and I really like the fact that Gwynn likes him. However, the guy I really dig is Steve Cohen. Alone he’s worth $8.3 Billion and his yearly salary is a measly $1 Billion. He’s already been divorced once, so that’s pretty much out of the way. He’s a genius businessman who in 2011 was ranked by Forbes as the 35th richest man in America. It’s like reading poetry isn’t it? If I’m going for the possible crazy billionaire owner, Cohen is my guy.

I want these things, but in the end it doesn’t matter who buys this team. It could be Tyler Perry for all I care. I just want Bud Selig and his crew of seemingly inept employees to actually take a stake in what happens here. Do some background checks, look at some bank statements, because right now it seems like it’s harder for me to rent an apartment than it is for someone to say they can afford a Baseball team. Selig drug his feet in Montreal, he almost destroyed one of the most historic Baseball franchises of all-time in Los Angeles, and he’s currently the person to blame for the Moores/Moorad blue light special. With the recent news that John Moores might not sell his controlling interest after all, it’s more important than ever for Selig to come in here and give the Padres what they deserve: An owner who’s crazy about Baseball, not just crazy.

Yes, I want a billionaire. I want a single or unbelievably happily married man, but above all I just want somebody who will make this city care again.

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