A Missed Opportunity with Ron Fowler

This morning, Hacksaw and Hayworth interviewed ownership chairman Ron Fowler about the hiring of Mike Dee as the next CEO of the Padres. During the interview Hacksaw was tweeting out quotes from Fowler which prompted me to reply:

I’m not bashing Hacksaw but I have noticed that sometimes he plays loose with the quotation marks on twitter.

Back to the interview . . .

JD Hayworth asked Fowler a pointed question regarding the differences he and ex-CEO Tom Garfinkel had with one another. From Hayworth:

“If you could just let us in on this. In the final analysis, was it policy differences or some personality things that finally led to a parting of the ways with Garfinkel?”

This is great. An answer from Fowler would give us a great idea about Garfinkel’s thought processes while he was in control but also allow listeners to infer which direction Mike Dee will be taking the team moving forward.

How did Fowler reply?

“It’s both of those.”

Wait, wait, wait – no follow-up question asking Fowler to give a specific about either the policy difference or the personality clash? Or heaven forbid, a specific from both? Damn.

In fairness to JD Hayworth he may have been readying himself to ask a follow-up question but his partner jumped in pretty quick to ask a question of his own.

Nice work.


I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM where I set my eyes on 2014, 7 days a week. The dusty archives are located at avengingjm.blogspot.com

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  • Lonnie Brownell

    I know! […raises hand, waving it wildly in the back of the room…]

    How about Padres Public interviews Ron Fowler? Or Tom Garfinkel? Or both…together, with a Celebrity Death Match fight for the finale.

    Straight answers, straight up.

    • He probably wouldn’t have answered the question with too many specifics but . . . how was it not asked?

      • ChrisD

        Certainly worth a shot. Have you guys asked about an interview with Fowler? Or Garf?

        Regarding Hacksaw… well, at least the question was asked at all. Doubt Fowler was going to get pinned down there. From what I read with the interview with Darren Smith, they were pretty candid about the reasons.


        Here were the two most insightful things from that interview that I took from Gaslamp Ball’s excerpts:

        “Ultimately he [Garf] felt differently about how we should run it. When that’s the case it’s best that you resign and let ownership find someone who is far more compatible and has a shared vision of how things should be.” They agreed to disagree. Ownership honored his contract. The big difference was that Garfinkel was more structured and Dee and Fowler are more entrepreneurial and collaborative.

        Fowler says fans will see increased energy and collaboration as it relates to baseball. “Bottom line there will be changes.” There will be changes in player personnel. The position players have been strong, but the pitching has “been a disappointment”. They are looking to make changes, both additions and subtractions.

        Seems pretty clear to me that Dee will have more control over baseball ops than Garf did. And that they intend to break out of whatever the previous structure was that Garf had in place.

        Who knows if it works…

      • Thanks, Chris. It all sounds vague though. How did Garf think it should be run?

      • ChrisD

        I don’t think it really matters. He wasn’t their guy. It was that simple. I’m not saying that means Fowler is right – and that Dee is going to work where Garf didn’t. Just that he wasn’t their guy. And, it seems like Fowler is willing to say, explicitly, that he holds Garf somewhat responsible for failures in baseball ops. And maybe this reading too much between the lines, but there were certainly plenty of people wondering what the heck the Padres were doing (or not doing) with respect to their pitching staff. The ownership group seems to have given their answer to that. Now, it seems reasonable enough to me that they probably had a big role in the Padres inaction with respect to player personnel. But this season, at least, the answer seemed to be as simple as what Fowler said – Garf wasn’t their guy. Dee is. I would expect an attempt at a big splash is forthcoming in the next 12 months. Let’s hope it goes over better than re-signing Huston Street did.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        I can picture Ron scribbling on a sheet of paper “Move along, not answering” while the question is being asked, and sliding it across the table to H&H while he starts his answer. Or in some other way they picked up on some “this isn’t going anywhere” hint. Station of the Padres and all that (even if they’re the ones paying to carry the games).

    • SDPads1

      Ron has been contacted in the past. Ron has not responded. Ever.

      Garfinkel has always been accommodating when he was employed, but has not been contacted since his departure.

      Beer Summit on Padres & Pints???

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Yes! Garf, the Aftermath. Feed him several 10%+ ABV beers and see what he says.