Ron Fowler Discusses Padres' Rebuilding Efforts, Fanbase Morale
The Padres are last in the NL West with a record of 40-55, and Exec Chair Ron Fowler "continues to trust the process" of rebuilding, but he "clearly isn’t pleased with the course" of the '18 season, according to a Q&A with Kevin Acee of the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE. Below are excerpts of the Q&A, some of which have been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: How difficult it is for you to watch this process?
Fowler: As a fan, losing is not fun. I’ve been a fan far longer than I’ve been an owner. It’s frustrating. I now know how difficult this process is. I have a lot of respect for the people who can stay the course, which is what we’re being challenged to do to get to where you want to be.
Q: Is some of that allowing the people who work for you to make mistakes?
Fowler: Yes. The journey requires you to make mistakes. The journey requires you to take risks. What’s the cliché? That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There are some days I’m wondering whether I’m going to get stronger.
Q: Even many fans who have bought into the way you’re trying to build a championship team still wonder why they should invest in the team now -- buying tickets, merchandise. Can you understand that?
Fowler: Definitely. It’s not much fun right now. We’re not having fun. Growing up is not easy. We’re trying to grow up into a team that can compete with the better teams in the league.
Q: Can you explain how you can justify the ticket prices while the team is so substandard?
Fowler: Our ticket prices are some of the lowest prices in the league. And we have not taken prices up, nor will we until we are performing better than we are. ... this process of bringing in free agents and such ... doesn’t work. We tried that at one point. We then went to where our focus was going to be all along, which is drafting and developing. ... We’ll still stay with our ‘20/’21 dates. We look at Philadelphia and Atlanta and Milwaukee, and we realize it’s not a straight line. It’s more of a hockey stick, where all of a sudden you get better. That’s what keeps me going (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/11).