Friday, February 27, 2009

'Time Out' with Todd Kaufmann

ByTodd Kauffman
Beat Writer for Planet Padres

Todd Kaufmann stopped by Planet Padres, and was nice enough to share some of his thoughts about this offseason and a couple ideas he has.

Is anyone else laughing at the drama going on between the Dodgers, Manny Ramirez and his agent Scott Boras? If you’re not, you really should be. Are the Dodgers really THAT desperate that they will make yet another contract offer after being turned down…AGAIN?! Here’s the part you should be laughing at, yes it was a 2-year $45MM contract offer, but the Dodgers offered less in the second year of the deal…THAT’S FUNNY! So, let me get this right, if Manny has a 35-40 HR season in 2009, you expect him to play for less in 2010? Note to LA: You can stop now.

One more random thought before I get into what I really wanted to talk about. Memo to A-Rod, dude if you told everybody that it was your cousin that injected you with steroids when you played with the Rangers, it’s probably not a good idea to have everyone see you getting in the car with him outside the training complex. People are good at assuming things.

Ok, now that I’ve had my fun with the Dodgers and A-Roids, let’s get to why you all read this site in the first place, and no it’s not just for Todd’s good looks. I, for one, don’t put a lot of stock in a pitcher’s performance in a spring training game, regardless if it’s a good or bad outing. Yes, Heath Bell gave up two runs in just one inning the other day, but it was his first game time experience since September, I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt, don’t you? Spring Training is used, by a lot of players, to work on what did or didn’t work last season. For Bell, he’s working on developing a changeup, something he didn’t have in his arsenal last year, so you can imagine that if he doesn’t spot that pitch just right, or throw it in exactly the right situation, major league hitters are going to take advantage of that. You want Bell to work on that pitch now, perfect it before he goes into the regular season, instead of trying new things during the season and getting lit up when it matters. So, for those of you who are freaking out over him giving up two runs over one inning of work, calm down, take deep breaths, smell that San Diego ocean air and enjoy it because I don’t get the chance to here in Texas and realize that it’s just Spring Training. In case you just missed that, the second word is T-R-A-I-N-I-N-G, meaning they’re training themselves again on the basics and working on getting back into game shape and game mentality. By the time April rolls around, Bell should be just fine.

I applaud all of those fans that are still on the bandwagon, I’m being serious when I say that. I know I ranted and whined in my last post because of all these “fans” jumping off the bandwagon because they think they know better than Kevin Towers, but for those of you who will still attend the games, who will still dawn your Padres’ blue, white or sand, I applaud you. I know I will deeply miss going to the games, but the one game I will look forward to is the one I get to take my girlfriend to, because it will be during her first ever trip to California, let alone San Diego. So, trust me when I say, I wish you knew how good you have it, the only major league team that’s even close are the Texas Rangers. Just remember that, then go buy tickets to see the Padres play at an absolutely gorgeous Petco Park and take in that crisp night air in the middle of June and July.

Believe me when I tell you, believe me or don’t, this team isn’t going to be nearly as bad as last year, they’re NOT losing 100 games. They may not win the division, but they will be better than a lot of people expect.

Thanks Todd..........good read as always !

Play Ball !!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Touring Petco Park

It dawned on me that some of you out there aren't lucky enough to live in San Diego or have had the opportunity to get out to Petco Park. Well for those unable to make it out to America's Finest City, and see it's hometown baseball team play in the new digs, here are a few shots that will hopefully give you an idea of just how and why it's considered by many to be one of the most beautiful ballparks in America now. And it's no wonder why groups like the WBC choose this location to display it's best.

Play Ball !!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'Time Out' for thoughts from Todd Kaufmann

By Todd Kaufmann
Beat Writer for Planet Padres

Sometimes we all need to stop and reflect to gain perspective on things. Here are some thoughts from one of our writers.

I’ve been a Padre fan for a long time, I was a Jr. Padre when I was a kid and ever since then the blood of a Padre fan has always been within me. I’ve seen a few NLCS Championship runs, one before my time but still watched some of the highlights, I’ve seen a World Series sweep at the hands of the Yankees and I’m still waiting for San Diego’s time to celebrate a World Championship. A part of me thinks that I may never see one in this lifetime, but who would have ever thought I would see my hometown team (Fresno State) make an improbable run through the College World Series and win the National Championship. When people say anything can happen, I truly believe that ANYTHING can happen.

For the past few months, I’ve read a lot of the articles in the San Diego Union Tribune, I’ve read the readers comments and they’ve made me do nothing but laugh at those so called “fans” jumping off the bandwagon faster than Manny Ramirez turning down a 1-year $25MM offer from the Dodgers. I hear everything from “[Sandy] Alderson needs to go,” to “[Kevin] Towers is an idiot,” but I’ve yet to hear those same people suggest a name to replace either of those two guys. Why is that? I hear all these fans talk about the players they want to bring, they want to play GM and they have a list of players they think would be a good fit in San Diego, players that might bring this franchise a World Championship, yet I haven’t heard who they think should replace Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers. So I’ll pose the question to you fans, who do you want as the new General Manager of the San Diego Padres? Let’s not forget that a General Manager is only as good as his owner allows him to be.

Kevin Towers is the same guy that brought in Heath Bell, a guy most of us said “who,” about when first heard his name, a guy who has turned into one of the premier setup men in baseball and the Padres’ heir to long time closer Trevor Hoffman. How about the trade Towers made to bring in both Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez? How about pitchers Cla Meredith, another unknown that has made himself into a household name? Remember Akinori Otsuka, yes he didn’t have a great final year with San Diego, but he was a brilliant setup man for Trevor the first few years with San Diego, then was used in a brilliant trade that brought Young and Gonzalez to San Diego.

My point to all of this is, you fans are a lot more critical than I think you should be. So before you throw Towers under the bus, how about remembering he’s can only make the moves that’s allowed by Padres’ ownership. I know we all can’t wait for Moore’s to be completely gone from the Padres, but with a new owner coming in, maybe he allows Kevin Towers to really show what he can do as a General Manager. But, if you’re so set on running him out of town, how about giving us a name or names that you want to replace him. That’s one thing I’ve still yet to see from all of the negative comments. The Padres will never have an $80 - $90MM payroll, so with that being said, there’s only so much you can do to put a productive, and winning, team on the field. Want a perfect example, how about the Tampa Bay Rays. It’s not about how much you spend, it’s how you use the money you have. In my opinion, Kevin Towers has done a better job with what he’s been given than a lot of GM’s could.

So, for all of you who have jumped off the bandwagon and said you’ll no longer buy tickets and support this franchise, we’ll see you when the Padres start winning again, because I’m sure you’ll start coming back like you had never left. Such is the life of a sports fan.

Play Ball !!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Padre find their lefty off the bench

Padres sign Floyd

The Padres were said to be deciding between Luis Gonzalez and Cliff Floyd as their lefty power off the bench, and it seems a decision has been reached....

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres, who have been searching for a left-handed bat this offseason, are close to reeling in veteran outfielder Cliff Floyd with a one-year deal, which is expected to become official on Thursday afternoon.

San Diego general manager Kevin Towers had said recently that he wanted to add a lefty bat for his bench as well as a designated hitter when the Padres play Interleague games in American League ballparks.

Floyd, 36, hit .268 with 11 home runs and 39 RBIs with the Rays last year. He provided consummate leadership for the young American League champions during his 16th big league season.

Floyd suffered a labrum injury to his right shoulder diving back into second base during Game 2 of the World Series and said at the time if the injury required surgery, he would retire. But Floyd didn't need surgery and instead treated the injury with therapy.

The Rays declined his $2.75 million option after the season.

San Diego will be Floyd's seventh club, as he has previously played for Florida, Montreal, Boston, the New York Mets, the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay.

He is a .279 career hitter with 233 home runs, 865 RBIs, a .359 on-base percentage and a .489 slugging percentage. He also has 148 stolen bases, but just seven over his past three seasons combined.

Floyd's deal with the Padres was first reported by

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Play Ball !!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Morrad reaches deal to buy Padres....

Well that didn't take long is reporting a deal is done......So here we goooo.......

Link to an interview with Morrad today on the Padres flagship station XX 1090 with Darren Smith. It's a great listen, and really gives some hope to Padre fans for the future both near and in the years ahead.
Padres majority owner John Moores has signed a contract with Jeff Moorad, a general partner of the Diamondbacks, agreeing to initially sell about a one-third interest in the franchise.

Moores said that under terms of the deal, Moorad and his partnership will have as long as three years to buy out the controlling interest. Until then, Moores will remain the Padres' control person, representing the club at owners' meetings and sitting on numerous committees.

Moorad has until Opening Day to close the initial part of the transaction.

"I anticipate that I'll remain the control person for three years," said Moores, who purchased the club in December of 1994 for $82 million. "[Moorad] has to reach a certain threshold of percentage of ownership before he becomes control person. And then that will be it for me."

The deal must also be approved by 75 percent of Major League Baseball's owners, and that step appears to be all but assured because Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy have been updated on the transaction as talks have progressed.

Moores said the sale value of the club, determined through a series of closings, will ultimately be more than $500 million, including debt. That means Moorad still must come up with about $165 million to close this part of the deal. Last year, Forbes Magazine valued the Padres at $385 million, 19th among the 30 Major League teams.

Moorad's 20 percent general partnership in the Diamondbacks is worth about $70 million.

That stake probably will be absorbed by the remaining four Arizona general partners, the club's managing general partner, Ken Kendrick, said earlier in the month when Moorad resigned as chief executive officer of the Diamondbacks to pursue his purchase of the Padres.

Moorad was replaced as chief executive by Derrick Hall, president of the Diamondbacks.

The status of the Padres franchise has gotten considerable media attention in part because of divorce proceedings involving John and Becky Moores. They own 90 percent of the team, and Becky shares 50 percent of that asset. Their daughter, Jennifer, owns 5 percent, and the other 5 percent is owned by Glenn Doshay, a San Diego businessman. Both are expected to remain part of the new ownership structure.

Moorad spent the past few weeks putting together the money and assembling a minority partnership as part of his new group.

"I'm piecing together a select group of friends and others," Moorad told in a phone interview at the time he announced he was pursuing the club. "It will include several individuals from the San Diego area."

Moorad, a former player agent, became part of the D-backs ownership group in August 2004, during the transition in which Jerry Colangelo sold his portion of the team. A year later, Moorad was approved as an owner by MLB with the stipulation that he was not positioned as the managing general partner.

Kendrick, who owns a 12 percent share, assumed that role.

That structure wasn't going to change in the immediate future, and Moorad, who spent most of his adult life working and living in Southern California, said he and his family had a strong conviction to return to their roots. Thus, buying into the Padres became a highly attractive option.

When Moorad joined the Diamondbacks, it was in financial disarray, with a high annual debt on Chase Field. But after raising millions of dollars by taking in a group of limited partners and paying down substantial deferred player-related debt, the D-backs now find themselves on much more sturdy financial footing than they experienced nearly five years ago.

As far as the Padres are concerned, Moores said he's invested $100 million in the team over the course of 14 years and has a sizeable debt service tied to the construction of PETCO Park, at a cost of $454 million. The ballpark, after two years of court delays, opened in 2004 and the Padres assumed $153 million of the construction cost in bonds that are being paid off annually.

For various reasons, the two National League West franchises are similar. They maintain relatively modest player payrolls, but both have been successful recently in the division, with the Padres finishing in first place in 2005 and 2006 and the D-backs accomplishing the same in 2007 after winning the World Series in 2001.

The D-backs have won the West four times in their 11-year history. The Padres, heading into their 41st season, have won it five times and have gone to the World Series twice, losing in 1984 and 1998 to the Tigers and the Yankees, respectively.

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Play Ball !!!

Moores-Morrad.....Sale imminent ?

The San Diego UT is reporting that the parties involved could be very close to finalizing the sale of the San Diego Padres. The big question to fans is will this sale open up team payroll for the 2009 season.... Hopefully it will !

Moores-Moorad sale talks ongoing

Monday, February 2, 2009

Padres owner John Moores and potential buyer Jeff Moorad could be close to announcing a definitive sales agreement that could transfer the Padres to Moorad's group by the middle of the month.

Several sources told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Monday that representatives of Moores and Moorad were negotiating the sale through the weekend, although Moorad's “exclusive negotiating period” expired Saturday.

The agreement, which sources said could be signed this week, calls for cash and an assumption of debt. The selling price will include the total of that debt.

The total cost of the sale, which includes the Padres' interest in Petco Park, should top $400 million.

Sources earlier told the Union-Tribune that John and Becky Moores, who are going through a divorce, will get at least $80 million in cash as part of the sale.

They also will be relieved of $200 million in debt related mostly to the construction of Petco Park. About $140 million of stadium bond debt is set at an 8 percent interest rate that cannot be prepaid.

The sources did not know whether John Moores would retain an ownership interest in the “small but significant” group being put together by Moorad, who earlier said he would have the largest financial stake in the Padres if the sale is completed.

Moores paid about $84 million in 1994 when he purchased the Padres from a group led by Hollywood television producer Tom Werner.

Neither the Padres, the Arizona Diamondbacks nor Major League Baseball commented Monday on the progress of the talks between the Mooreses and Moorad's group.

Moorad resigned as Managing Partner and CEO of the Diamondbacks on Jan. 3 after reaching an agreement in principle to buy the Padres.

Given the Moores divorce, other minor interests in the Padres' present ownership, the interests and debts in Petco Park and the fact that Moorad represents a group, several sources told the Union-Tribune that the “definitive agreement” is complicated and layered.

Following the signing of the “definitive agreement,” both sides will proceed through a number of steps leading to closing, which could come by the end of the month.

Moorad had been with the Diamondbacks the past 4½ years. For 20 years before that, Moorad was a powerful agent to baseball stars, including Manny Ramirez, Will Clark, Ivan Rodriguez and Mo Vaughn. Moorad also is a partner in a group that owns a NASCAR racing team.

“It's a jewel of a franchise,” Moorad said of the Padres in January after acquiring exclusive negotiating rights for his “West Coast group with representation from the San Diego area.” Moorad is a longtime resident of Newport Beach and has strong ties to Orange County.

One source said there was an 80-20 chance the sale would soon be finalized.”

Staff writers Tim Sullivan and Tom Krasovic contributed to this report.

Play Ball !!!