Don Bauder 9:40 p.m., May 21
The official press release from the Padres this afternoon reads like this:
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres announced today that Jeff Moorad has stepped down as the CEO of the Padres.
Mr. Moorad will remain as Vice Chairman of the club and will be responsible for overseeing the Padres’ involvement in the development of Fox Sports San Diego. On an interim basis, Padres President and COO Tom Garfinkel will assume the CEO duties."
As was prematurely (and subsequently corrected) a couple of weeks ago, Jeff Moorad has now stepped aside as CEO of the San Diego Padres.
No reason has been cited. Speculation abounds. No one from the Padres is available for further comment.
John Moores still owns 51% of the team, while the ownership group once headed by Moorad still owns 49%. It is uncertain whether Moores will still want to control the team at this point, but for now he seems to be stuck with it whether he likes it or not.
It's also uncertain whether Moorad will stay on as a minority owner or eventually leave for other endeavors. Nor is it certain that the current minority ownership group will remain intact and place another partner in the place of Moorad to attempt to complete the purchase.
Another option is that a new ownership group could enter the picture and buy the Padres. All that can be presumed is that apparently, Mr. Moorad will not be the head of the majority ownership of the Padres.
Keeping in mind that while Fox Sports San Diego has already broadcast one game for the Padres and is set to broadcast another on Friday, the media deal has still yet to be approved by Major League Baseball.
In January, a vote that would have changed ownership and have bought out John Moores was tabled by MLB owners. Commissioner Bug Selig cited that there was certain information that was required before a decision could be made.
That information was subsequently delivered to Bud Selig. Earlier this month, Moorad dropped his application to buy out the team. Moorad cited that it was in the best interest of getting the new media deal approved.
With Moorad now stepping down as CEO, all eyes will now be on MLB to approve the media contract. The quickness with which the media deal is approved is likely a clue as to the future involvement of Jeff Moorad with the San Diego Padres.