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Moorad Will Acquire 100%
Of Padres Within Five Years
Troy Aikman* Patrick and Joanne Graham Alfred Baldwin John McEvoy Richard Barry Robert Piccinini* Dan and Denise Costa Jay Stein Tom Davin* Wayne Seltzer
GRADUAL TRANSITION: In San Diego, Tom Krasovic notes Moorad "will report to Moores," and Moores also will "continue to represent the Padres on major league committees." Krasovic cites a source as saying that Moorad will be "very limited" in his ability to bring D'Backs staffers with him to the Padres. The source said that Moorad and the D'Backs "have an understanding that he will not raid the organization" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/27). In California, John Maffei notes while former MLBer Eric Karros and D'Backs VP/Player Development A.J. Hinch "have been mentioned as men Moorad would like to add to the Padres organization," Moorad said that he will "use the 2009 season to evaluate the Padres staff." Meanwhile, Padres President & COO Dick Freeman "will retire soon" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/27). ESPN.com’s Buster Olney notes Moorad “can give clear orders about where he wants to take the Padres in the future, a stark contrast to the leadership of Moores last season.” Moores, who was in the midst of a divorce, was “rarely seen or heard from in the Padres organization last season" (ESPN.com, 3/27).
Moorad's Goal Is To Compete On $70-80M
Payroll With Players, Including Peavy
END OF AN ERA: In California, Jay Paris writes the story of the transaction is "more Moores than Moorad." Moores is San Diego's "one-time knight in the shinning armor, who never heard a disparaging word." He "donated money around town and built a winner of a ballpark and a winner of a franchise." And while Moores Thursday "told some jokes" at the announcement, he "didn't look happy." Paris: "While he needled sportswriters, he must have felt a prick of pain from transferring a true love to someone else" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/27). The AP's Wilson notes Moores "looked melancholy sitting next to Moorad" at Thursday's news conference (AP, 3/27).
Bettman Says Goal Is To Bring In New Capital,
Make Coyotes Solvent
Gillett (l), Hicks (r) Facing July Deadline
To Repay $650M Loan
TREAD LIGHTLY: NATIONAL POST's L. Ian Macdonald writes owning the Canadiens and Bell Centre "may be a profitable private business, but owning them is a public trust." Macdonald: "It's not just about hockey, and how the Habs are doing. ... Nor is it about the bottom line -- the Canadiens may be a valuable brand, but they are a low-margin business. Owning the Canadiens means tending the pride of les glorieux, serving a public that regards the Canadiens not so much as sports team as religious cult." There are "much more important businesses than the Canadiens, but no more important sporting or cultural institution in Quebec." Macdonald writes this "should give [RIM co-CEO] Jim Balsillie pause." Balsillie is reportedly a "lifelong Habs fan, and has been shopping for an NHL team," but "even with the best will in the world, he would have to ask if owning the Canadiens would be beneficial to the RIM brand." Macdonald: "Would ownership by an avid Habs fan from Ontario be sympathetically portrayed in the media, or viewed as a hostile takeover?" (NATIONAL POST, 3/27).
Tigers Season-Ticket Sales Drop As Economy
In Michigan Struggles
MONEY BALL: In Detroit, Lynn Henning wrote with the Tigers required to finalize their 25-man roster next week, Ilitch "should decree that roster decisions in no way be influenced by money." Ilitch "can acknowledge that it was a mistake for" Tigers President, CEO & GM Dave Dombrowski to extend the contracts of Ps Nate Robertson and Dontrelle Willis, but "what matters is not the $39[M] Ilitch owes two pitchers for the next two seasons. What matters is winning." Ilitch "must emphasize that neither money, nor the extensions, nor Dombrowski's desire to yet make two contracts look valid, can influence for one moment the team's decisions" (DETROIT NEWS, 3/26).
Giants Have Sold Fewer Than 20,000
Season-Ticket Plans At AT&T Park
TALE OF TWO CITIES: Phillies President & CEO David Montgomery said that the team's season-ticket sales are up 17% this season, from 20,487 in '08 to more than 24,000 this year, while sponsorship revenue "should increase" about 3-4%. Montgomery noted that since the Phillies won last season's World Series, they were able to replace the "few contracts they lost on the 71 suites at Citizens Bank Park, and sponsor departures, largely automakers, were filled in by other categories." Meanwhile, White Sox CMO Brooks Boyer said that the team's ticket sales are "pacing ahead of last season, while sponsorships are slightly down." Boyer said that the team's "most significant sponsorship losses" this offseason were Bank of America, which did not renew its expired five-year deal, and GM's Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/26).
WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S: Kalahari Resorts has purchased the naming rights to the new landing area at Miller Park for the Brewers' mascot, Bernie. Under the multi-year sponsorship, Kalahari becomes the official water park of the Brewers, and the deal includes signage around the ballpark and other promotional rights. The Brewers Thursday said that Bernie's new landing area will be unveiled this season (JSONLINE.com, 3/26).
BULLPEN RELIEF? In Ft. Worth, Jim Reeves writes if it "makes sense," Rangers President Nolan Ryan could become a minority investor in the team with Owner Tom Hicks, who is looking for additional shareholders. But if the deal does not make business sense, Ryan will "back away quicker than opposing hitters did when he fired a fastball high and tight." Ryan: "Owning a (major league) team with my boys was always a goal if the right situation came up where we could be involved, an active involvement." But Reeves notes with Hicks, the Rangers "already have a majority owner who's very actively involved in the team with his own sons" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/27).
CLEANUP HITTER: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde reports the Marlins have adopted a "new fashion statement," forbidding players from wearing jewelry, among other things. Marlins manager Fredie Gonzalez: "We want to look professional. Nice and neat." Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez, who used to wear his hair in corn-rows, said, "I had to cut it. ... It's incredible. We're big-leaguers" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 3/27).