It’s that time of year again. My annual Five Questions article is up at Hardball Times. One of my questions focuses on the new ownership group and what it is doing to regain fan trust:
Jeff Moorad and President and COO Tom Garfinkel have come in and expressed a commitment to the organization, the fans, and the city. They have made themselves available to the people and demonstrated a willingness to listen and improve where possible.
The previous regime had trouble with that aspect of the job. Sandy Alderson, as brilliant a baseball mind as you’ll find, showed little patience for details that didn’t affect the bottom line. He and his group succeeded in many areas, but never really connected with a fan base that sought a kinder, gentler leader. San Diegans wanted to be addressed as equals in a partnership, not as subjects of an oligarchy. That was not the style of Moores and Alderson, and one got the sense toward the end that ownership and fans regarded each other as necessary inconveniences.
The new ownership group has made strides in restoring hope among disillusioned fans. Moorad and Garfinkel have talked a good game, but talk must be backed up by action. They have taken some small steps in that direction: lowering the price of beer, changing the start time of weekday afternoon games, and other cosmetic changes that may not make a difference to the bottom line but that tell San Diegans, “Hey, we’re listening and we’re trying to improve your experience.”
I also offer thoughts on Chase Headley, Mat Latos, Randy Ready, and which of the Padres young players will emerge in 2010. Enjoy the article…