An Interview with David Marver
Last Wednesday I posted a review of sorts about the 37-minute web video called Padres: A Sad Truth. After watching the video, I immediately started writing my feelings on it. Which, by the way were 95% positive, and 100% elated that another fan took the time to do something so in depth about the team he and I both love. Halfway through writing the piece I posted last Wednesday, I knew I couldn’t finish it without talking to the video’s creator, David Marver. We met at a Starbuck’s inside a Vons in the Carmel Mountain area. Marver was sporting a ‘Trevor Time’ long sleeve T, and a Padres hat. Not quite the ensemble I expected him to be wearing after watching the video, but none the less I was in. He was a true fan, and I wanted to know what led Marver into iMovie purgatory.
I really can’t stress the importance of what Marver has done. He’s brought attention to a team in desperate need of it. However, he used technology to control the narrative of that attention, and is hoping to keep that attention on the team.
DALLAS: When did you start working on the video?
MARVER: I finalized the video during the Super Bowl; I didn’t really like any of those teams.
So, I worked on it, sent a copy to Scott Miller, and he liked it (This is in reference that Scott Miller at CBS Sports wanted to “break” the story). So, I withheld it and the morning that Scott Miller said the article was going to go up I posted the video link on the Facebook page, tweeted it out, put it on some random fan forums and it kind of just took off from there.
D: Yeah, a buddy of mine shared it with me through Facebook and I watched it on dailymotion.com. Did you upload it there or were people putting it up for you?
M: I uploaded it to dailymotion.com because it allowed me to upload the whole thing in high definition and YouTube wouldn’t let me do that for some reason.
M: Yeah, it was weird and kept crashing so I ended up putting it up in four parts on YouTube, based on the logical four parts in the movie.
D: Are you from San Diego?
M: Yeah, I went to Carlsbad high school and played Baseball, then went to UC Santa Barbara. And now I’m back working in Del Mar and living down here.
D: Are you a football fan at all?
M: I’m a huge chargers fan. My aunt was engaged to a guy who has season tickets in the first row of the endzone, so I’ve been going to games for a while. I didn’t go this year, cause I didn’t think the team was gonna be that good.
D: You were right.
I grew up in San Diego, and have always been a huge Padres fan, which is why I choose to write about the team.
M: Yeah, that must be awesome.
D: It’s okay, sometimes are better than others.
M: But, still.
D: There’s not much money in it. You could probably make more money with your video.
M: I can’t make money with it.
D: Oh, really?
M: Yeah, and I don’t want to first of all. That’s not the point of it.
D: That’s always the point of it, David. Just kidding.
M: No, I mean there’s so much copyright stuff going on, and I had to talk to a friend who’s a lawyer. He just told me to make sure to source it all, and not try to make any money from it.
D: Yeah, that’s one of the things I noticed in the video. You took a lot of time to source every thing you talked about. How long did it take you to put the video together?
M: I’ve gotten asked that a bunch, but I didn’t really keep track of it all that well. I worked on it a lot during the end of football season, I think my girlfriend expected me to be watching the Chargers, but they were blacked out a bunch, so I just worked on it then. I think I said on the Darren Smith show it probably took me 50-100 hours to edit it. Then I just put clips on my iPod and would go to the gym, and listen to interviews with Jeff Moorad, then e-mail myself when I heard something important and note the exact time. Then I’d go home and clip it together. But, with iMovie it was so easy to import stuff. I didn’t really have any problems until it got long and started to crash. But, it was so easy to edit stuff in there, that even me, a super amateur, could use it and I’ve never really edited anything before other than a scrub Survivor audition video.
D: I’m sure there’s been backlash, I mean it’s the Internet. You put a picture of a puppy on the Internet and people are gonna tear it apart.
So, what’s some of the comments you’re getting back?
M: Okay, I’d say right now it’s about 80% positive. Maybe even more than that. The main complaint I’ve been getting is that some of it is taken out of context. I mean, Ron Fowler said that I took stuff out of context.
D: Oh, so Ron Fowler responded to your video? That’s great!
M: Yeah, he was asked on the Darren Smith show if he’d seen it, and he said he’d seen it. Then he said my name wrong, which I thought was funny. He said we need more passionate fans and stuff. People said I shouldn’t have used the Anthony Rizzo clip with the season ticket holder asking Jed Hoyer about trading Rizzo, and so on and so forth. Hoyer leaves the Padres and ends up trading for Rizzo. I didn’t really wanna get into the he said/she said about it, but ultimately at the point Hoyer’s representing the team. You know a fan goes and buys a Rizzo jersey when they’re told by the general manager that he’s gonna be on the team. Now that jersey’s worthless, you know? It was probably sold at Fan Fest yesterday. And, I think some fans have asked me why I just don’t go root for the Dodgers. But, I don’t want to root for the Dodgers; I want to root for the Padres. I want a reason to give my money to the Padres; I wanna be proud of the jersey I’m buying. And, I wanna know that that player and jersey style will be useful five years from now. My friends in college were nice enough to buy me a Padres jersey in I think 2006 and it was out of style the next year. So, now I’m just wearing Trevor Time stuff.
D: Well, that’s timeless.
M: It’s classic. It’s funny I almost fit into it now.
D: Yeah, every time you walk in for giveaway night, they’re like all we have is XXL – have fun kids!
Have you been contact by any team officials or anything?
M: No, the closest I’ve come is some Padres people have checked my Linkedin page, but that’s it. It’s been crazy, my personal Facebook page has just been loaded with friend requests from random people, but what’s cool is that so many different people have seen it. I mean Major Garrett, who is CBS’ white house correspondent and interviews Marco Rubio and those guys, I mean he’s retweeting it!
M: That’s crazy to me. He’s a Padres fan apparently, but no Padres officials have reached out to me yet. I don’t think they will, but we’ll see.
D: Awhile ago I interviewed Matthew Hall from the U-T, who started the Padres to the People movement, and we were talking about when he started his thing, and how you mentioned already, when you criticize the Padres people don’t wanna join you, they wanna tell you to go root for the Dodgers. Whereas if you got this much attention in Boston people would be giving you a parade and protesting your points in the street.
M: Yeah, I think people sometimes miss the whole point. I don’t want to root for another team. I could have switched a long time ago and there have been plenty of reasons along the way to do so.
D: Yeah, there was a year awhile back when I almost just convinced myself to be an Angels fan. Then you just convince yourself it’s okay to have an AL team and an NL team.
So, what I gathered from the video was that you mainly wanted to talk about the seasons from ’09-’12. Was that when you felt most screwed over as a fan?
M: Probably, I think part of it was you know, you want to be putting pressure on current ownership and the fact that a lot of current ownership was also part of the Moorad ownership (that time frame) just made sense. I could have focused on John Moores sticking it to his wife’s gynecologist, or the whole stadium debacle, and how much money John Moores made off the land development, but that wasn’t really the point. I wanted to put pressure on the current ownership to change the way they’re doing business. I mean I hope they keep Chase Headley. I don’t want to trade him; I think we’ve been down that road before.
D: I’ve written ad nausea about Chase Headley. I almost want them to trade him so I can stop writing about him. What peaked my interest about the content of the video is the years you picked are also the same years I’ve been writing about the Padres. It seems like since ’09 the Padres have seen the most complete organizational turnover in its history. GM, coaches, owners…
D: Strength and conditioning…
M: Even the whole team has turned over too. It’s basically a completely different roster.
D: Yeah, but it seems like we’ll always have a Hairston.
With this new ownership coming in are you hopeful that something might be changing, or are you just over it? I think your video kind of alludes to you being over it.
M: There’s definitely hope with a new ownership group. They really haven’t shown us much so far. There’s a lot of wiggle room there. Everything I’ve heard from Peter Seidler and the O’Malley’s sounds positive. They definitely sound a lot more optimistic than when Jeff Moorad took over. He basically came out and said were cutting payroll and it was just instantly depressing for fans. I think now our farm system is better than it’s ever been and in the video I never really mention if I think the team is good or heading in a better direction, but I do think it is.
D: Yeah, Keith Law always touts our prospects.
M: I don’t think we have high-end offensive talent in the farm system, but if we do keep Headley and some of these young players…One of the things I do point out in the video is the most we’ve ever paid any free agent ever is Orlando Hudson at $11.5 million. Just stuff like that is so pathetic. I think trading for Carlos Quentin is one thing, you are giving up minor league depth, but it’s another thing to throw money at something that’s supplementing what you already have.
D: I immediately hated Orlando Hudson. I just didn’t understand getting him. Why didn’t we just keep David Eckstein? He would have hit .250, but he would have played hard and been happy to be here. I wrote a very scathing goodbye to Orlando Hudson.
M: Well deserved.
D: Yep. In the video you talk a lot about Tom Garfinkel. Is he the guy you kind of peg as the villain?
M: Well, he became team President in 2009, and the video follows the last four years. So, everything that’s happened has happened on his watch. He has said a lot of things that were featured in the video and I had a lot more footage of him that I could have used if that was what I wanted to do, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I wanted to show that it came from all angles, and it really did. It came from General Managers telling us players were staying when they weren’t, or owners delivering empty promises. I’ve actually met Tom Garfinkel in person and we’ve exchanged e-mails in the past. I sent him a sarcastic e-mail last year when they announced they were changing uniforms again. I wanted it to go back to brown, but blue or brown, just pick a color scheme and stick with it. I want my Padres gear to be worth something in five years. We went back and forth, and finally I met with him in his office.
M: It was pretty cool. He said a bunch of stuff off the record that I can’t tell anybody, but it was basically the run around about why they traded Adrian Gonzalez and why he objected to the term “leveraged buyout” when it came to the Moorad group. But, at the end of the day nothings really changed in a year. I could have used some other stuff he said for the video. Sure, he might come off like a villain, but this is what he’s said and this is what he’s done, so…I mean, they have done some good things, like Little League uniforms and that stuff, but at the end of the day it’s about the product and fans and he hasn’t come through.
D: That’s really interesting he reached out to you. How noble of him.
M: Can I say something to you off the record?
(At this point Marver begins to tell me some of the things Garfinkel had told him “off the record”. You might be annoyed that I’m not including any of it in this interview, but let me just say this: If you’re a Padres fan and you’ve been pissed off about some of the ridiculous things this organization has done in the recent past, and then you speculate with your friends about the real reasons they did some of those ridiculous things – well, you may just be right or you may be giving the brass way too much credit. We drifted into a conversation about the improbable 2010 Padres season, and what made that team special. It’s not important to this interview and topics from the “off the record” moment bled into that conversation so I can’t really relay it here. We started talking about our current roster and that ZiPS has projected the 2013 Padres to win 71 games. I think we’ll actually do better than that.)
D: I think we’ll be all right. I like what Josh Byrnes is doing. I know a lot of people don’t, but I do. I think he’s playing it smart. Not trading for the sake of trading, only signing Headley to one year. I like that, cause Headley’s only really been good for one year. Before that he was average at best.
M: Well, he’s always been good defensively. That’s something that’s been lost. I don’t think he’ll be as good as he was last year, but he definitely won’t be as bad as he was two years ago. I think the power just came through.
D: I think what most people forget though is that he’s been in the league since ’07. It just seems like last year may have been a fluke.
M: As long as they’re willing to extend him when he starts to play well next season.
D: I totally agree with that.
(We start talking about the farm system again, and honestly you know you’re getting way off topic when someone brings up Ben Davis. So, I returned to the video.)
D: The last thing I wanted to ask you about the video is your ‘call to action’. In essence you’re asking fans to stop supporting the team.
D: Yes, but that’s how a team survives. They don’t survive on happiness.
M: Even if no fans to go to the games this year they would still make money.
D: Yes, that’s part of my point. But, that idea of taking your money from the team is not a new idea, and I’ve yet to see it work anywhere. I don’t think the owners “get the message”. Do you really think that course of action is the best one?
M: I think San Diego fans have been more than fair with ownership in the past four years. I mean I think last year our average attendance was around 26,000 and that’s a good amount of fans showing up to watch a team that’s not very good, with a really low payroll, and owners who’ve lied to you. I mean I can’t even watch the team on TV at my house, which is ridiculous. The thing Jeff Moorad always said is that payroll will rise as revenue increases, which is basically – you spend money and then maybe we’ll come back and spend your money on payroll. I mean I’m amazed at how many people have seen the video and liked the Facebook page and at some point that’s going to translate into money the teams lost. And, if we can affect attendance by like 5% that would translate into probably a million dollars lost. A million dollars isn’t a player in free agency, it’s really nothing. But, it could be the gap between being able to sign Headley for $20 million and we only have $19 million. You could have had that extra million, but you didn’t do x, y, and z. I mean I don’t expect it to actually work. I think there’s a really small chance, but I do think it’s time the fans have their eyes opened and switch the tables. We’ve supported the team through so much crap. We’ve been so fair with the ownership and I think it’s about time the ownership is fair with us.
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