A Padres bid group led by the O’Malley family "might receive quick approval from other major league owners," according to a source cited by Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. The source said the club "would be theirs if they meet the selling price." The source added, "All things being equal, if the O’Malleys are there on the price they will own the Padres. (Majority owner John) Moores knows the O’Malleys would be welcomed by Major League Baseball, which could expedite the sale process.” Members of the O'Malley family "have been in San Diego meeting with Padres owners the past several days." A source said that Newport Beach-based Mobilitie Founder & CEO Gary Jabara "is the other party known to be negotiating with Moores," who was seen at Petco Park Friday night. While some observers "expected the sale of the club might be completed last week, the All-Star break now looks to be a target." The O'Malley group includes the sons of former Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley, Kevin and Brian O'Malley; the sons of his sister Terry Seidler, Peter and Tom Seidler; and Golf HOFer Phil Mickelson. The O'Malley group earlier approached Baseball HOFer and San Diego State Univ. baseball coach Tony Gwynn "about being part of their group." But Gwynn said Friday that he "was not involved with the O'Malleys" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/23). FOXSPORTS.com's Ken Rosenthal cited a source as saying that a deal for the Padres "is imminent, and the franchise is the O’Malley group’s 'to lose.'" The O'Malleys and Jabara both "entered bids of $800 million -- $600 million for the team and $200 million for a portion of the team’s equity stake" in FS San Diego (FOXSPORTS.com, 6/23).
WORK TO DO: In San Diego, Nick Canepa wrote, "Whichever group purchases the club, it has laundry to clean." Many fans feel that they were "dealt a bait-and-switch by the Moores organization, claiming that by voting in a new downtown ballpark they were assured more money would be spent to keep the team competitive." The Padres' payroll "remains among the lowest in baseball and, as we can see, the team is far from competitive as we speak." New owners "must earn the fans’ trust." The TV "mess must be cleaned up," as it is "craziness that has gone on far too long." Canepa: "The veil of secrecy should be lifted. ... There needs to be transparency here. Transparency breeds trust" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 6/24). In L.A., Steve Dilbeck reported O’Malley is "actually only expected to lead the group for the first year or two, and then turn it over to his sons and nephews." Dilbeck added, "A future with Peter O’Malley as the Padres owner? What next, Hollywood moves to Chula Vista?" (LATIMES.com, 6/23).
The Giants and Jets went to court on Friday "to block the revival of American Dream, the $3.7 billion retail and entertainment project at the Meadowlands Sports Complex that has the support of the governor and a host of local officials," according to John Brennan of the Bergen RECORD. The teams, in an action filed in state court in Bergen County, "are seeking an injunction that could prevent Triple Five -- the would-be developer of the project -- from resuming construction at the site." The teams cite the "failure of the Canadian company to obtain their formal consent to expand the development beyond the footprint of the long-dormant Xanadu project." The plan includes "an indoor water park and a glass-domed amusement park." Giants President & CEO John Mara said that the two teams have "tried for nearly a year to work out a compromise with Triple Five on game-day access to American Dream but that any progress has been 'negligible.'" Mara said he met last week with Jets Owner Woody Johnson, who "shares the same concerns as we have about how his fans would be impacted by this project" (Bergen RECORD, 6/23).
The $975M stadium the Vikings "will begin using in 2016 dooms the Metrodome and the gravy train that has enriched [former GM] Mike Lynn for three-plus decades," according to Brian Murphy of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Lynn negotiated "a controversial contract with the Vikings that granted him 10 percent of luxury suite revenue for every event at the Metrodome, starting in 1982, an agreement that still compensates him 22 years after he resigned from the club." Sources said that the annuity has "paid Lynn between $14 million and $20 million over the past 30 years." The sources said that Lynn has "rejected at least one buyout offer from subsequent Vikings ownership groups and will continue earning between $700,000 and $1 million each year ... until the Vikings vacate the Metrodome, most likely in 2014." Murphy noted, "Now 76 and in failing health, Lynn declined several interview requests from the Pioneer Press." Lynn's legacy deal with the Vikings "has hung like an albatross around the franchise, which ranks 31st among 32 teams in stadium revenue." However, until they move out of the Metrodome, "the Vikings are unable to seize revenue Lynn continues to draw despite not working for the team since 1990." SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, "It's one of the worst sports deals anybody ever did. ... It's untenable and one of the contributing factors for why the Vikings have needed subsidies from teams all these years" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 6/24). CBSSPORTS.com's Josh Katzowitz wrote, "Sometimes the NFL owners are the ones who get screwed" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/24).
D'backs President & CEO Derrick Hall announced Sunday on Twitter that the team will offer $10 tickets for select lower level seats during upcoming home games as a thank you for helping him reach 10,000 followers on the social media website. In addition, half of the proceeds from the $10 ticket sales will benefit the Valley of the Sun United Way’s efforts to #EndHunger in Maricopa County (D'Backs).
PUSH THE PRODUCT: In Chicago, Gordon Wittenmyer notes the Cubs' front office has "assembled the worst team in the majors to date," and the "relentless selling of Wrigley Field from the business side of the operation is creating a perception of franchise priorities that seem to take the baseball product for granted, if not push it into second-citizen status." Wittenmyer: "At best, it shows a lack of regard and respect for the baseball team and the baseball customers paying close to the top ticket prices in the game. At worst, it’s greed gone blind" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/25).
REIGN OF TERRIBLE? In Denver, Woody Paige wrote this season is a "referendum" on Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd -- the "failed, supreme, supposed commander of the Pet Rox." Paige: "So, at last, The Dan must go." Rockies Owner, Chair & CEO Dick Monfort has said that O'Dowd "is baseball's best general manager." But Paige wrote, "Everybody else knows The Dan is the worst GM." He has "been a flop," and his "drafts have been dissected and disrespected." If Monfort would read the "lists of drafted players, free-agent signings and trade acquisitions during The Dan's reign of terrible, he would fire the general manager immediately" (DENVER POST, 6/24).
GIVING HOPE: This morning’s edition of NBC’s “Today” featured Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez and P Andy Pettitte to promote the fourth year of the Yankees' “Hope Week.” Rodriguez said the players are going “into the community and doing some great things for some really great people and also, we’re just trying to basically convey a message to the whole community to go out and volunteer.” Rodriguez: “From our organization, the thing that makes me the most proud is that from the Steinbrenners to our clubhouse kids, everybody’s involved and it’s something we take a lot of pride in.” Pettitte said, “It blows me away to see how selfless people are out there and are doing wonderful things and it’s a chance for us to kind of celebrate that for them and to honor them” (“Today,” NBC, 6/25).
The NHL announced that the Devils will host the '13 NHL Entry Draft. In N.Y., Jeff Klein noted it will be "the first held in the New York metropolitan area." By awarding next year's draft "to the Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, the league signaled confidence in the ability of the Devils' owner, Jeff Vanderbeek, to stabilize the club's shaky finances" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/23). The NHL also announced that the Flyers will host the '14 NHL Entry Draft at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia (NJ.com, 6/22).
WHEELS IN MOTION: In Montreal, Pat Hickey noted NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was seen with former Canadiens G Patrick Roy in Pittsburgh, and "the meeting touched off renewed speculation that Quebec City is the Plan B the NHL claims it doesn't have for the troubled franchise in Phoenix." Roy is the co-Owner, GM & coach of the QMJHL Quebec Ramparts and he would "be the perfect guy to talk to if you wanted to determine Quebec's readiness for an NHL franchise" (Montreal GAZETTE, 6/23).
HOMEFRONT: On Long Island, Arthur Staple noted Islanders Owner Charles Wang "was succinct when discussing the future home" of his franchise. Wang said in regards to a new arena, "Nothing new." He added, "It's an important year. As I've said, the same thing I've said for all 12 years (I've owned the team), we have an expiring lease and we have to do something about it" (NEWSDAY, 6/23).