The longest window shopping session in the history of man has finally come to an end. Jeff Moorad, and his group of investors who I imagine all looked like oil tycoons from Looney Toon cartoons (even Troy Aikman), has stepped down as CEO of the Padres. This effectively put an end to the layaway plan Jeff Moorad had in place to buy the Padres from majority owner John Moores.
Jeff Moorad's future as the next majority owner of the Padres has been in question since January, when MLB owners never reached the approval vote, having the issue die in committee. On March 9th, Moorad withdrew his application for approval. And on March 22nd, his office was cleaned out.
So, now what? In all likelihood, some business person I've never heard of will come in and buy the Padres at some point. John Moores' desire to sell the team seems to still be very much alive. The Padres value, per Forbes magazine, is 20th in baseball at $458 million, a 13% increase from a year ago. So Moores makes out in this deal.
But who will own the Padres? And what will this team look like with new owners? That's more fun to theorize about. So, despite none of these people likely having any real shot of buying the team, let's take a look into the future, and imagine a world where the Padres are owned by the likes of these folks:
1) MARK CUBAN
First things first, this will never happen. The chance Mark Cuban has of being approved by MLB's owners is less than zero. The old boy's club that is owning an MLB team has no desire to have that party crashed by the likes of Cuban. Which is a shame. Because I think Mark Cuban is good for baseball. I've always liked Cuban. I like to think Cuban is the kind of owner I would be if I were a billionaire. And sort of an asshole. He's a fan, he's passionate, and he likes to be one of the guys (though owning the team appears to be the only way he could be "one of the guys"). He is likely one of the most recognizable owners in all of sports, thanks in large part to both his court side daily appearances and multiple stints on reality television (Shark Tank, The Benefactor, Dancing with the Stars). Cuban is interested, and he makes the team he purchases interesting. And in a time where MLB is losing popularity and is viewed as stuffy and resistent to change (both somewhat true observations), Cuban is the shot in the arm MLB could use.
Cuban's desire to own a baseball team is well documented at this point. He has made overtures to buy the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers, two of the most valued commodities in professional American sports. But so far he is 0 for 2. Why not take a shot with a slightly less visible team?
With Cuban as owner, he would instantly become more famous than any player on the team. Perhaps that's a bad thing. Daily shots of Cuban behind home plate during games, yelling at umpires, would become so commonplace Sportscenter would do a Top 10 of "Cuban Meltdowns" or some other Cuban Missile Crisis play on words that no one under the age of 45 will get. The clubhouse would be outfitted as the nicest frat house in America.
But Cuban wins. He likes to and cares about winning. Whether the Mavericks are profitable or not is secondary to having them win. Because in the end, owning a team for Cuban is a hobby. The teams are more toy than business venture.
2) RAP MOGULS
The New Jersey Nets are terrible. At 16-34, they will miss the playoffs in the NBA this year, again, which seems impossible as it would appear every team in the NBA makes the playoffs. Yet every time there is a major free agent, they all consider going to the Nets. Why? H.O.V.A. (I had to Google that). Jay-Z is part (though not majority) owner of the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets. And Jay-Z is cool. And has a smoking hot wife. And can perform concerts for your Opening Day, and appear at press conferences and do all the things that Jay-Z does that make him cool. The Nets are terrible, but no one cares, because Jay-Z is cool.
But Jay-Z is East Coast. The Padres need a West Coast rap mogul. Enter Snoop Dogg.
No more bullpen. Dogpen. Cristal instead of Gatorade. Hot boxing on the top level of the Western Metal Supply Building. I don't know if the Padres would be any better, but they would be interesting.
For a fun list of changes that would be made, check out Twitter here.
That guy has a part ownership stake in the Green Bay Packers. That guy. Think about that.
Theoretically, having the fans own the team sounds great. Power to the people! We are the 99%. Whatever. Until a decision has to be made. Have you ever read a comment thread or a Twitter feed between fans. We argue. About everything.
Best food at Petco? Garlic Fries. NO, RANDY JONES BBQ! Are you insane? Randy Jones? Dumbest thing I've ever heard. Ever. NOBODY LIKES GARLIC FRIES! AND IF YOU DO, KILL YOURSELF. Unfollow. UNFOLLOW.
Now do that conversation with personnel decisions. The Reds want to trade for Mat Latos. Is Joey Votto involved? Can we get the Reds mascot? SCREW YOU. No, screw you!
There is a level of emotional detachment an owner has to have. They have to be able to make calls in the absence of personal emotion. Fans do the opposite. This team (or whatever team you follow) is nothing but emotion. Screw logic. Ask a group of 10 fans what the best burger in San Diego is (Rocky's by the way. This is not a discussion). Now, after the fighting is over, tell me if you want these same people deciding how much to give a free agent, or whether to extend Cam Maybin.
So, there you have it. Some ownership options. None are great. So, in the meantime I'll keep playing the lottery. If an unknown bid is suddenly given to John Moores, you'll know where that came from. First order of business? More Sculpin.