Padres Promise Big Overhaul At Introductory Event For President & CEO Mike Dee
New Padres President & CEO Mike Dee held his introductory press conference yesterday alongside Exec Chair Ron Fowler and investor Peter Seidler, and it "became clear" during the event that Dee is "in charge of the day-to-day operations," according to Bill Center of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Fowler: "Mike reports to me. But my job is funding." Center notes one thing "not to expect from Dee is any immediate changes in the leadership of the Padres." Both he and Fowler yesterday "expressed their support" for Exec VP & GM Josh Byrnes and manager Bud Black. Still, "almost everything else is open to discussion, including future Padres uniforms." Fans "have no connection to the current uniforms and many see them as ties to the failed" leadership of former Vice Chair Jeff Moorad and former President & CEO Tom Garfinkel. Dee said that he is "well aware" of that notion. Dee "overhauled the look" of the Dolphins in his previous position (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/21). Fowler said that Dee's role will be "very hands-on." Fowler: "I call him Mr. Outside, because he'll be out and about in the community. My job is to make sure the money is there to do what we want to do." Dee said that the club's ownership group "will provide a solid backing for a larger payroll down the road." Dee: "Clearly, we're going to look to invest more in the team, moving forward. We're in a great condition to do that." He added that solving the carriage dispute between Time Warner Cable and FS San Diego "will be one of his first orders of business" (MLB.com, 8/20).
PUT YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS: Fowler said that the Padres "will have more than a 20 percent increase" in payroll next year. In San Diego, Matt Calkins writes, "You have to credit Fowler for giving us a number. Now he just has to back it up." Seidler "pointed out" that the team's payroll has "increased double-digits from last year's mark." Calkins: "Is that significant? Is $67 million a number that could even moderately satisfy a victory-starved fan base at this point?" Fowler was told that many Padres fans are "offended by the team's payroll, and that ownership isn't spending enough." He replied, "I agree." It is "important to remember" that the increase Fowler predicts would have the Padres' payroll at around $85M, which, as of right now, "would bump them ahead of only the Rockies" in the NL West (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/21).