“The Padres: The Sad Truth”

As you may have already seen on Twitter, David Marver (@ChangeThePadres) has posted a 36 minute documentary that is about- well, why don’t I let him speak for himself:

…the lies and frugality of the San Diego Padres from 2009 through the present. The documentary is part of a plea to fans to help “Change the Padres” by withholding our financial support of the team. Please like facebook.com/ChangethePadres in order to help quantify our impact.

To be honest, it can be a little nit-picky at times – was selling off Ughwick at the deadline in 2011 really a problem? – but it does serve as an indictment of the current regime, which still has a lot in common with the old one.

Here is the link to Marver’s documentary and here is a link to an article that CBS Sports’ Scott Miller wrote on Marver and his documentary.

UPDATE: Marver will be on with Darren Smith at one o’clock this afternoon.

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  • SDPads1

    I watched it and my only beef with it is that previous owners/GM’s comments are basically the entire basis of the documentary. I’m not happy with how the current off-season went but at the same time I’m not going to blame the current group for trading Jake Peavy or Adrian Gonzalez or payroll’s “starting with a 4”. Kudos to David though, you put a ton of work into that and it’s fair that a lot of people think the same way you do about the Padres organization.

    • One thing he could’ve played up in the video is the fact that Byrnes, Garf and Fowler are all Moorad’s guys. Ownership may have changed hands but Moorad is not all the way gone.

      • I think he did a good job of this. Which is why I humbly disagree with the Fro. The front office is made of all Moorad guys, and the ownership group obviously did not green light anything for getting the 1/2 SP’s or a Headley extension, which simply adds to the resume of these guys being exactly like the guys who traded Jake, and Adrian. We were lied to again as we have not done anything this off-season when we were told we would be looking for some pieces.

      • SDPads1

        I think 1 off-season is an extremely small sample size to judge the work of the new group. Just because Fowler was a part owner before doesn’t mean he was an active owner. There is a HUGE difference. Troy Aikman was a part owner too with Moorad but you know for a fact that he was only brought in for money and did absolutely nothing with the team. That’s what rich people do. They sometimes invest in things that they know nothing about, nor do they really pay any attention to, as long as they are making money or their money is protected.

      • Small sample size, maybe, but a little transparency would be nice. Do the current owners have a plan other than sitting around waiting for the value of the franchise to appreciate?

      • SDPads1

        I’d assume all owners have a “plan”, the question is whether or not it’s a good one.

      • I highly doubt that the O’Malleys would pick Fowler to help with the transition if he was nothing more than a warm body in the Moorad group.

      • SDPads1

        Well we do know that he started to take on a more active role with the team during the whole Moorad/Moores fiasco at the end. We don’t know how big of a role he played early on though, so we can’t assume that.

      • They haven’t exactly given us any reason to give them the benefit of the doubt either.

      • Lets see, they signed TWO major free agents in Quentin and Street and DIDNT trade Headley. WTF do you want them to do?

    • I got about 10 minutes in before I realized that, while well researched, it was basically an indictment of Moorad/Moores. Yes, Fowler was a minority owner under Moorad. But he was also a minority owner under Moores and Werner.
      So, should we blame Werner’s Fire Sale on Fowler? How about the tarp over the upper deck at Jack Murphy? I’m just sayin’.

      • It’s not as if Fowler and friends haven’t already stepped in it themselves. There’s the lack of development on a Headley deal after Fowler said that they’ll try to keep “good players who want to be here” (check and check) and then the whole “We need pitching! Wait, no we don’t, nevermind” off-season the team had.

      • GT500KR

        Byrnes, Garfinkel, and Fowler were all big players under Moorad. Their proven failures to tell the truth still matter.

        In less than six months we’ve seen the team go from promising that FSSD would greatly improve the team to claiming that they don’t have money left over after the purchase. Good thing they kept Dave Winfield around to lend his gravitas to that announcement.

    • Totally fair criticism. I think we know a little from this ownership based on the fact that many of these owners were a part of that ownership. The hope is that they aren’t the same, but until they prove otherwise…

    • He does point out a few instances where this new group has repeated the same dishonest behavior i.e. saying that starting pitching will be targeted in the off-season but then making no significant moves despite free agent pitchers being available.

      • It’s not like they didn’t target pitchers. They definitely did, but seem to have decided that they weren’t worth the cost. There’s certainly a valid criticism that they grossly misread the market, and possibly even that they’re being too tight with the pursestrings, but it’s not dishonest.

      • GT500KR

        What’s the practical difference between those positions? They had the money; a payroll that starts with a 7 could fit any of several pitchers who signed reasonable deals.

        If they targeted pitchers, but their unspoken rule was “who pose almost no health risk and will also sign for a fraction of their market value,” that’s still a lie. Those pitchers aren’t any more real than unicorns or the Tooth Fairy.

        It might actually be worse if they really were surprised by this market. Teams are cashing in on new local TV deals. There’s a new national deal coming up. When have increased revenues ever not led to higher prices for free agents? Not since Collusion.

      • One of the core points of Marver’s piece is that “The Padres have lied to you”. Paul specifically used the word “dishonest”. All those things connote a malicious intent, and there’s absolutely no evidence of that.

      • GT500KR

        A lie isn’t necessarily malicious. When your kid lies to you about his grades, he’s not doing it to hurt you, he’s doing it to protect himself. In the case of 2012-2013 pitching acquisitions, that’s what the Padres seem to have done.

        They know their starting pitching stinks. They told the fans they’d address it. They didn’t. It’s not malicious, as if Byrnes has grown a handlebar mustache and is twirling the ends while he and Fowler laugh at the rubes. It’s still a lie if their “pursuit” involved contracts that the pitchers would never accept.

  • It’s also worth noting that Marver is a noted troll at Gaslamp Ball.

    • The silence at Gaslamp Ball tells you everything you need to know about them: they’re (in my opinion) Padres employees.

      • Or that additions to the FSSD broadcasting team are a thousand times more interesting than your little film.

      • GT500KR

        Yeah, who would want to see so many documented cases of the Padre front office outright lying to the fan base, when you could look at pretty pictures instead? Maybe you could find an animated GIF of a cat chasing a laser pointer.

        Many of the people quoted are still with the team. That makes their lies pertinent, no matter who the owner is.

      • OR! It could mean that I haven’t been able to set aside 36 minutes. Good job on your SATs.

      • Look, Richard: I understand the frustration I really do. Eventually the front office has to stop trading away homegrown talent and start locking up guys like Headley, but being a complete dickbag to other Padre fans when they disagree with your observation, isn’t going to help matters. BTW; Gaslamp Ball aren’t Padre employees. I would know, i’m #dotsy. I know all.

      • Cool story, Hansel. When the team President is forwarding emails to the head of your blog, and other blog members are forwarding emails back to the team President…it’s fair to say there’s something going on there that is more than an unbiased blog on the Padres. I said ‘in my opinion’ because, in my opinion, Gaslamp is several Padres employees with a $0 salary. Either way, I don’t really care. That blog won’t be theirs forever; the wheels are in motion.

      • Three of the bloggers here got a night in FSSD’s suite (along with GLB). Are they Padres employees, too?

      • Why don’t we cut to the chase: is Gaslamp Ball an unbiased source of Padres news? It’s a simple yes/no.

      • padmadfan

        You seem to be unclear between what a blog is and what a reputable news source is.

      • I ate SOOOO much freakin pizza that night.

      • Wait, you were there, too? I must have missed that. That makes it FOUR bloggers, loyalty bought and paid for with pizza, hot dogs, and crappy beer. I’m leaving to find a Padres blog with journalistic ethics!

      • VM David

        This is a fair point. The lot of us were invited to the awards banquet tonight, as well.

        At this point, can we drop the Gaslamp Ball conversation? If you don’t like them, don’t read them. If you don’t like us, don’t read us. Going back and forth isn’t going to resolve anything.

        Beers might, however. I hope we see everyone tomorrow.

      • VM David

        An appeal for peace got a down vote? Really?

      • We demand sacrifice!

      • My Blog? I wish! I’m not a regular contributor like Dex or jbox, i’m just a member who joins in on game chats and the occasion meetup at Neil’s. As for your claims that Gaslamb Ball or anyone else on the Padres Public blogroll have gotten messages from Tom Garfinkel, please share said emails, or simply stop making up crap about other people. BTW: if members of GLB are Padre employees, but never see a single cent for their services, how in the blazes of hell can they be on the payroll?

        See what i mean when I said being a jerk only hurts your cause?

      • I can attest to Jonathan’s claims that he’s just a lurker. On Twitter one time, he didn’t know who Dick Williams was. And had the balls to ask who we were talking about because he didn’t know.

        But, he means well. And is a great fan.

        You make yourself a regular, Jonathan! #hacksawd

    • It’s also worth noting that this has nothing to do with the video he produced.

      • Character matters.

      • That goes both directions.

      • Not arguing it doesn’t. However, whatever his conduct as a commenter on GLB may be, it doesn’t answer any of the worthwhile questions presented in this video. Attacking his character is a convenient way to shrug aside his work instead of taking the time to address it directly.

      • VM David

        Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how he presents his information in a placid, matter-of-fact way.

    • GT500KR

      A troll = Anyone who critiques the team? Instead of the handjobs GLB gives to the front office and GM?

    • At least we were able to coexist peacefully with GLB for a couple of days.

  • Its so sad that a “documentary” that was so poorly researched and has so many completely fallacies would even be getting this press.

    The worst part of his diatribe was that he is trying to foist the faultiest logic I have ever heard on other Padres fans.

    If fans spend less on Padres games and merchandise and thus lower the Padres revenue, what kind of moronic logic would indicate they could spend more money on payroll?

    Lower revenue = less money to spend. Period. Baseball is a business and the reason the big market teams can spend more is they have larger revenue.

    Here are the facts he so conveniently omits from his rant:

    – Moores spent more money per season on player payroll for Padres through 2008 than any other Padres ownership.

    – The Padres saw the most success in terms of wins in their team history while Moores was the owner.

    – The Padres payroll was locked by a judge in the Moores divorce in the “40’s” for most of Moorad’s tenure.

    – The Padres are exactly where Moorad said they would be in 2013 in terms of payroll at $70+ million.

    – The Padres play in the 27th largest market in MLB and had revenue including MLB revenue sharing in the bottom 5 in the game for the past 7 years.

    – The Padres did not trade a single major player this offseason

    – The Padres locked up their 3 major Free Agents.

    Padres fans really need to pull their heads out and face reality.

    The bottom line is this:

    If you want the Padres to spend more, attend the games. If the stands are full then the Padres have more revenue and the Padres can spend more on player payroll. Logic wins out.

    • I respectfully disagree.

    • GT500KR

      Websoulsurfer — A proud tradition of being wrong on every baseball site he visits.

      The Padres make ~90 million dollars before a single fan spends a dime. They have enough money to lock Headley up. They had enough money to sign Edwin Jackson, to say nothing of a lower-tier pitcher who would still be much better than Marquis or Freddy Garcia. They didn’t want to do those things, but they claim that they can’t do them, and that’s a lie.

      Even if we had more money, Byrnes might not know how to spend it. What do we really need now? A top starter. Like Mat Latos. Instead we have a second-division 1b, a catcher who may have been on PEDs since he moved into the dorms at Miami, a reliever who isn’t any different than thirty guys we could have picked up on waivers, and of course Edinson Volquez.

    • Your argument assumes that the Padres would put added revenue back into the team, which the documentary directly addresses and argues as being untrue.

    • GT500KR

      I’ve never seen the “divorce lock” story reported anywhere. A Google
      search for “Moores Padre Divorce Payroll” turns up posts by
      websoulsurfer, but nothing else. You’d think that would have been
      Garfinkel’s first line of defense, if it was true.

  • It’s worth noting that the obvious intention of this project was to call upon the new Padres ownership to distance itself from the franchise’s past follies and to hold themselves to a higher standard. Their actions might eventually dictate that Marver’s concerns, like a lot of ours, were completely off-base. However, I don’t think that greater transparency and actions that prove they’re distancing itself from some of the franchise’s shadier practices is an unfair request to make.

    Argue with the way the message was presented if you will, or argue about the person that made it – but don’t allow for that to entirely dismiss what’s clearly an important topic as the franchise looks to move forward from a pretty dark chapter in its history.

  • GoldenBoy

    Regardless of your opinion on the documentary (mine is mixed), it’s time to start looking towards the future. As far as I’m concerned, the new ownership has the next 12 months to make a major move to improve this team. With our new T.V. contract, we should have a $70 million payroll at the absolute minimum, 80 mill would be better. I understand when it doesn’t make sense to spend money, but at some point soon, it’s got to happen.

  • Jim Treglio

    I had hoped that the Padres would have spent some money (or done something) this off-season, but the moves highlighted in the documentary are defensible. Peavy was continually injured at the time of the trade, and Richard ended up having more starts than Peavy has with the White Sox. Trading Gonzalez hurt, a lot, but he hasn’t exactly torn it up with the Red Sox or with the Dodgers (yet). Ludwick was a total disaster of a player here, etc. In other words, the personnel moves (outside of the Latos trade, maybe) were all defensible, and some were even smart.

    That said, having the games on a network that’s not seen in the north half of the county is dumb. Not pushing enough into Mexico (especially Baja), is dumb. Not pushing into Riverside County enough is dumb. These are the moves that an ownership makes. And unfortunately, San Diego isn’t a big enough market to afford to be dumb.

    • The Latos trade was widely regarded as a coup for the Padres. Is it looking as good now as it did 8 months ago? No, but unlike the Dodgers, the Padres don’t keep psychics on the payroll. If there’s a trade to knock, it’s the Rizzo for Cashner deal, and despite what some people would have you believe, Rizzo wasn’t the centerpiece of the Adrian trade.

    • The Padres also can’t get TV rights in Mexico. Those belong to MLB.

      • Jim Treglio

        That’s true, but they can market like hell in Baja. There hasn’t been a serious push into Mexico since Moores cut ties with Enrique Morones. That’s not to say that the Padres should rehire Morones, but a marketing push into Baja would be nice.

      • To what end? I think having a fan base south of the border is great, but what financial return do the Padres get out of it? Isn’t any revenue generated there shared? And with border crossing as difficult as it is these days, how much attendance is a marketing push likely to attract?

  • GT500KR

    I wish the documentary could have included this juxtaposition from today’s interview with Ron Fowler:

    Speaking of Time Warner, Fowler says “On the one hand, how do you spend billions of dollars and on the other hand, why will you not accept the market rate for carrying the Padres?”

    Speaking of the winter’s inactivity, he says “”Prices of free agents were higher than we expected.”

    Apparently, only cable providers can be expected to pay market rate, and their failure to do so is a disservice to their customers. Totally not fair to expect the Padres to do the same, and their failure should really be seen as strategic brilliance.

    • Ridiculous comparison. TWC has been saying all along that they’re on the consumer’s side and they want to keep rates low. To then turn around and pay an exorbitant sum for the Dodgers’ TV rights that will almost certainly result in significant rate increases is just brazen duplicity.

      • GT500KR

        What does “an exorbitant sum for the Dodgers’ TV rights” have to do with the Padres?

        It’s Fowler’s own words, demonstrating again how hypocritical the Padre ownership can be. Within a single short interview he states that:

        1. Time Warner should pay the market rate to serve their customers.

        2. The Padres can’t pay market rate to serve their customers.