Sale Of The Padres Is Close; Sources Say The Franchise Is The O'Malley Family's To Lose
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).