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SBD/March 23, 2012/Franchises
Padres' Moorad Steps Down As CEO Leaving Doubts About Future Ownership Of Team
Published March 23, 2012
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE? In San Diego, Tim Sullivan writes at the least, Moorad's decision "casts serious doubt on ownership control of the team." The ultimate meaning of Thursday’s news "may take months to unravel." Padres P Clayton Richard: "Shocker is a good word." The prospect of Moorad gaining controlling interest in the club was "met with stern resistance" from a group of MLB owners spearheaded by White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf and D'Backs Managing Partner Ken Kendrick. Moorad served as CEO and part Owner of the D'Backs from '05-09. Sources believe that Moores himself "ultimately joined the ranks of Moorad’s opponents" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/23).
FACTORING IN FRANK: FOX SPORTS' Jon Paul Morosi noted the Padres will "never be as popular or as rich as their neighbors to the north," but now the "franchises are linked." MLB officials are "wary of highly leveraged owners" because of history with outgoing Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt. Morosi wrote, "Right now, the wise play for Moores is to wait for another 10 days. After that, Moores will be able to say he owns the only baseball franchise known to be for sale." Reports indicate that the Dodgers "could sell for more than $1.5 billion." Moores "won’t be able to get anything close to that for the Padres." But if he lets the Dodgers "set the record for the highest franchise sale price, he can engage the L.A. runners-up and offer his wares for more than Moorad was willing to pay" (FOXSPORTS.com, 3/22). The SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE's Sullivan notes capital gains tax breaks scheduled to expire next year "could provide Moores a multimillion dollar incentive to sell sooner rather than later." But since Moorad’s investment group "retains an option on the 51 percent of the franchise it doesn’t already own for two more years, Moores’ exit strategy might be encumbered" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/23).
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': In California, Dan Hayes notes it remains unclear "how Moorad's stepping down will affect his group's attempt to move the organization's Triple-A franchise" to Escondido, Calif. Moorad's group purchased the PCL Tucson Padres in Dec. '10 with the "intention of moving them into a city-funded downtown ballpark" (NORTH COUNTY TIMES, 3/23).