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John Moores sinks Padres pay to number 29 of 30 teams

Clearing the bases

Back in 1998, then–Padres majority owner John Moores promised that if taxpayers would pour more than $300 million into a ballpark, he would produce teams that were competitive. Maybe he meant that he could produce teams whose juicy profits would be competitive with those of comparable teams rolling in publicly subsidized moola. Now the Padres are slashing payroll and drawing crowds that are smaller than in the 2001–2003 years, when fumbling, stumbling, penny-payroll teams played at Qualcomm Stadium, which, Moores assured gullible San Diegans, was a facility that the team “physically cannot survive” in for economic reasons.

A little context is in order. San Diego County is the 17th-largest market in the United States. After Moores bought the team in late 1994, the payroll was generally between 16th- and 19th-highest in Major League Baseball — about right for a market this size. But in some years, such as this year and several previous ones, the payroll has been among the lowest in baseball. Entering this season, the Padres’ payroll at $43.7 million was the second-lowest, number 29 of 30 teams. Now, with the continued dumping of top talent, it’s probably the lowest, and it will probably be the lowest in the next three years because by trading star pitcher Jake Peavy alone, the team should be shedding $48 million in payroll.

Moores played a clever — if ethically dubious — game. In 1997, the payroll was $34.7 million, 18th in the majors. The next year, when the team was enticing voters to give it a fat subsidy, the payroll jumped to $45.4 million, 14th in baseball — the one time that the team spent significantly more than could be expected for a market of San Diego’s size. Once the City anted up for his ballpark, he slashed the payroll, and the team sank in the standings. Between 2001 and 2003, the average payroll was $41.8 million, 26th in Major League Baseball. The team lost 277 games in those years, winning only 209. But the attendance at Qualcomm averaged 27,400 a game — about 3000 more than the Padres are attracting now, even though the team slashed average ticket prices 27% before this season began.

Once the Padres occupied Petco Park in 2004, Moores stepped up spending. Between 2004 and last year, the payroll averaged $64.1 million a year, around 18th highest of the 30 teams. The team’s performance improved greatly. Then Moores slashed the payroll by $30 million this year. The team is back in the cellar.

There is not a symmetrical relationship between a team’s payroll and its on-field performance, but there is a definite correlation. With a payroll of $40 million or under, the Padres are last in their division. The first-place team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have a payroll of $100.4 million. The two teams battling for second place in the standings, the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, have payrolls of $82.6 million and $75.2 million, respectively. The fourth-place Arizona Diamondbacks have one of $73.5 million.

Moores bought control of the Padres in late 1994. Since then, according to data from Forbes, USA Today, and the former Financial World magazine, the team has done very well financially. Between 1994 and this year, the value of the team shot up 372% to $401 million. That percentage jump compares favorably with other teams in the National League West division: Colorado, 239% to $373 million; San Francisco, 406% to $471 million; and Los Angeles, 423% to $722 million. Arizona joined the league later, and its figures aren’t comparable.

Look at the 1994–2009 percentage increase in the Padres’ value compared with those of teams in similar cities: Atlanta, 365% to $446 million; Minnesota, 329% to $356 million; Oakland, 180% to $319 million; Toronto, 135% to $353 million; and Seattle, 433% to $426 million.

Historically, the Padres have spent little. Between 1995 (Moores’s first year) and this year, here are the percentage payroll increases of the comparable teams: Atlanta, 113.9% to $96.7 million; Colorado, 140.5% to $75 million; Minnesota, 166.5% to $65.3 million; San Francisco, 136.6% to $82.6 million; Los Angeles, 227.8% to $100 million; Seattle, 189.2% to $98.9 million; Oakland, 73.0% to $62.3 million; Padres, 68.7% to $43.7 million; and Toronto, 61.6% to $80.5 million.

Two teams in the West Division of the National League are located in large population areas: the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Last year, the Dodgers had $224 million in revenue and the Giants $197 million. The Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres have similar-sized markets: each had about $167 million in revenues last year. What about last year’s all-important operating income, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization? According to Forbes, only the Rockies at $24.5 million topped the Padres at $22.9 million in the National League West. The Giants were at $22.4 million, the Dodgers at $16.5 million, and the Diamondbacks at $3.9 million.

Some claim that the Padres’ debt burden is onerous. Not comparatively. According to Forbes, the ratio of Padres debt to the value of the team is 60%; the Dodgers’ ratio is 58%, and Arizona’s is 51%. The San Francisco Giants are at 28% and the Colorado Rockies at 21%.

While they have been jettisoning payroll, the Padres have been collecting $10 million to $14 million a year in revenue sharing, according to Rodney Fort, sports economist at the University of Michigan. The big-market teams like the New York Yankees, which enjoy fatter revenues, distribute money to lower-revenue teams such as the Padres. The recipients are supposed to spend the money on improving the product on the field. Some say the owners pocket the money. “The teams always say that they are spending it on the product, but nobody ever shares any data with us, and it’s clear they won’t,” says Fort. (Major League Baseball keeps its figures secret.)

With near unanimity, journalists attribute the severe slashes in the Padres’ payroll to the bitter divorce battle between John and Becky Moores, who together owned more than 80% of the team. The team has now been sold to Jeff Moorad and a group of investors in a deal that will take more than five years to consummate. Moorad is chief executive and theoretically calling the shots, but the payroll slashing continues. Moores remains chairman. Some wonder if the divorce is an alibi, not the reason for the cuts. For one thing, “It would seem to be in the best interests of both of them [John and Becky Moores] to keep the team as valuable as they can,” says Fort.

Sports economist Mark Rosentraub, also at the University of Michigan, helped the Padres set up the deal for the ballpark and adjoining real estate. “I have been so depressed. I like both of them,” says the economist. He thinks the Padres may be on a youth movement, or trying to build a team with young, low-priced talent. “Perhaps they want to go very young very fast to ride the economy out and be ready when the economy comes back in two or three years.”

Or there could be another explanation. Moores is said to have accumulated $700 million to $1 billion on the real estate deals in the ballpark district — a suggestion he denies. We know that he amassed $650 million selling off Peregrine Systems stock before the fraud-plagued collapse and paid very little for those shares. He put some of the profits into the ballpark and will be paying a comparatively tiny sum back to aggrieved investors. It certainly looks as though he has made a good bundle on the team and the real estate bonanza given to him by the city council. He now spends his time in Texas. If this is what happened, it won’t be the first time in the history of the West that someone rode into town, raked in big bucks, and rode out.

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Back in 1998, then–Padres majority owner John Moores promised that if taxpayers would pour more than $300 million into a ballpark, he would produce teams that were competitive. Maybe he meant that he could produce teams whose juicy profits would be competitive with those of comparable teams rolling in publicly subsidized moola. Now the Padres are slashing payroll and drawing crowds that are smaller than in the 2001–2003 years, when fumbling, stumbling, penny-payroll teams played at Qualcomm Stadium, which, Moores assured gullible San Diegans, was a facility that the team “physically cannot survive” in for economic reasons.

A little context is in order. San Diego County is the 17th-largest market in the United States. After Moores bought the team in late 1994, the payroll was generally between 16th- and 19th-highest in Major League Baseball — about right for a market this size. But in some years, such as this year and several previous ones, the payroll has been among the lowest in baseball. Entering this season, the Padres’ payroll at $43.7 million was the second-lowest, number 29 of 30 teams. Now, with the continued dumping of top talent, it’s probably the lowest, and it will probably be the lowest in the next three years because by trading star pitcher Jake Peavy alone, the team should be shedding $48 million in payroll.

Moores played a clever — if ethically dubious — game. In 1997, the payroll was $34.7 million, 18th in the majors. The next year, when the team was enticing voters to give it a fat subsidy, the payroll jumped to $45.4 million, 14th in baseball — the one time that the team spent significantly more than could be expected for a market of San Diego’s size. Once the City anted up for his ballpark, he slashed the payroll, and the team sank in the standings. Between 2001 and 2003, the average payroll was $41.8 million, 26th in Major League Baseball. The team lost 277 games in those years, winning only 209. But the attendance at Qualcomm averaged 27,400 a game — about 3000 more than the Padres are attracting now, even though the team slashed average ticket prices 27% before this season began.

Once the Padres occupied Petco Park in 2004, Moores stepped up spending. Between 2004 and last year, the payroll averaged $64.1 million a year, around 18th highest of the 30 teams. The team’s performance improved greatly. Then Moores slashed the payroll by $30 million this year. The team is back in the cellar.

There is not a symmetrical relationship between a team’s payroll and its on-field performance, but there is a definite correlation. With a payroll of $40 million or under, the Padres are last in their division. The first-place team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have a payroll of $100.4 million. The two teams battling for second place in the standings, the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies, have payrolls of $82.6 million and $75.2 million, respectively. The fourth-place Arizona Diamondbacks have one of $73.5 million.

Moores bought control of the Padres in late 1994. Since then, according to data from Forbes, USA Today, and the former Financial World magazine, the team has done very well financially. Between 1994 and this year, the value of the team shot up 372% to $401 million. That percentage jump compares favorably with other teams in the National League West division: Colorado, 239% to $373 million; San Francisco, 406% to $471 million; and Los Angeles, 423% to $722 million. Arizona joined the league later, and its figures aren’t comparable.

Look at the 1994–2009 percentage increase in the Padres’ value compared with those of teams in similar cities: Atlanta, 365% to $446 million; Minnesota, 329% to $356 million; Oakland, 180% to $319 million; Toronto, 135% to $353 million; and Seattle, 433% to $426 million.

Historically, the Padres have spent little. Between 1995 (Moores’s first year) and this year, here are the percentage payroll increases of the comparable teams: Atlanta, 113.9% to $96.7 million; Colorado, 140.5% to $75 million; Minnesota, 166.5% to $65.3 million; San Francisco, 136.6% to $82.6 million; Los Angeles, 227.8% to $100 million; Seattle, 189.2% to $98.9 million; Oakland, 73.0% to $62.3 million; Padres, 68.7% to $43.7 million; and Toronto, 61.6% to $80.5 million.

Two teams in the West Division of the National League are located in large population areas: the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. Last year, the Dodgers had $224 million in revenue and the Giants $197 million. The Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres have similar-sized markets: each had about $167 million in revenues last year. What about last year’s all-important operating income, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization? According to Forbes, only the Rockies at $24.5 million topped the Padres at $22.9 million in the National League West. The Giants were at $22.4 million, the Dodgers at $16.5 million, and the Diamondbacks at $3.9 million.

Some claim that the Padres’ debt burden is onerous. Not comparatively. According to Forbes, the ratio of Padres debt to the value of the team is 60%; the Dodgers’ ratio is 58%, and Arizona’s is 51%. The San Francisco Giants are at 28% and the Colorado Rockies at 21%.

While they have been jettisoning payroll, the Padres have been collecting $10 million to $14 million a year in revenue sharing, according to Rodney Fort, sports economist at the University of Michigan. The big-market teams like the New York Yankees, which enjoy fatter revenues, distribute money to lower-revenue teams such as the Padres. The recipients are supposed to spend the money on improving the product on the field. Some say the owners pocket the money. “The teams always say that they are spending it on the product, but nobody ever shares any data with us, and it’s clear they won’t,” says Fort. (Major League Baseball keeps its figures secret.)

With near unanimity, journalists attribute the severe slashes in the Padres’ payroll to the bitter divorce battle between John and Becky Moores, who together owned more than 80% of the team. The team has now been sold to Jeff Moorad and a group of investors in a deal that will take more than five years to consummate. Moorad is chief executive and theoretically calling the shots, but the payroll slashing continues. Moores remains chairman. Some wonder if the divorce is an alibi, not the reason for the cuts. For one thing, “It would seem to be in the best interests of both of them [John and Becky Moores] to keep the team as valuable as they can,” says Fort.

Sports economist Mark Rosentraub, also at the University of Michigan, helped the Padres set up the deal for the ballpark and adjoining real estate. “I have been so depressed. I like both of them,” says the economist. He thinks the Padres may be on a youth movement, or trying to build a team with young, low-priced talent. “Perhaps they want to go very young very fast to ride the economy out and be ready when the economy comes back in two or three years.”

Or there could be another explanation. Moores is said to have accumulated $700 million to $1 billion on the real estate deals in the ballpark district — a suggestion he denies. We know that he amassed $650 million selling off Peregrine Systems stock before the fraud-plagued collapse and paid very little for those shares. He put some of the profits into the ballpark and will be paying a comparatively tiny sum back to aggrieved investors. It certainly looks as though he has made a good bundle on the team and the real estate bonanza given to him by the city council. He now spends his time in Texas. If this is what happened, it won’t be the first time in the history of the West that someone rode into town, raked in big bucks, and rode out.

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Comments
273

The entire Padres/Petco stadium situation is sad. I wish we had someone in charge of the team who cared as much about honoring promises to the public and giving fans what they want as they did about making money.

Unfortunately, who can we blame other than ourselves? Hopefully we will learn our lesson and not pour money into "investments" with "partners" who only give us promises and not solid contracts.

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #1: As a general rule, pro sports team owners do not honor promises to the public and fans. They are motivated by one thing: greed. Historically, many of them have been big gamblers with inside information and ties to organized crime. I agree with you that San Diegans can blame themselves. They believed what Moores assured the public, and believed the City when it said that the project would be economically neutral. Incidentally, some employees of the City later told a good government grand jury that they were instructed to cook the books so it looked like TOT tax revenues would pay off the servicing of the ballpark bonds. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #3: The trouble is that the downtown business/development establishment wants the pro sports subsidies. It almost always gets what it wants. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

The Padres,Chargeless and their respective fans deserve each other. They're ALL losers for believing the bulls***.

Aug. 26, 2009

I went to Petco this weekend and still don't understand how it is superior to Qualcomm. Regardless Qualcomm is a perferctly good stadium with excellent parking and concessions.
Trust me, we will all do fine if the Chargers move to LA. Only 65,000 fans go to 10 home games. Lets stop the corporate welfare. I wish Don would elaborate on the sweet real estate deals Moores got.

Aug. 26, 2009

Or there could be another explanation. Moores is said to have accumulated $700 million to $1 billion on the real estate deals in the ballpark district — a suggestion he denies.

Man, that burns me up like you would not believe.

Aug. 26, 2009

Unfortunately, who can we blame other than ourselves?

By pellis

Sorry pellis, but you cannot blame the poor and the middle class taxpayers for this scam, and that is exactly what it is, a scam.

Aug. 26, 2009

Moores didn't do anything that wasn't approved by the voters of San Diego. While many in this forum tend to ignore how democracy works when it's convenient to do so, blaming Moores for PETCO is ridiculous. Also left out of the equation: Devaluing the team in order to sell it. This is what happens. The Padres were competative up until the impending divorce.

Qualcomm is a dump. As I've challenged before, seek a time when no team is playing there and get a ground-field tour. Then look at the insides. It's in miserable shape.

The Padres have spent a good chunk of change signing some very promising draft picks. They haven't done this in years. New ownership seems to have its head screwed on straight. Hate sports however you wish, and want the owners to never profit (which is a ridiculous notion, profit is not a dirty word), but professional sports brings revenue to cities. This is another thing constantly left out of blurbs like this one.

Visit the Gaslamp some Friday night when the Padres are at home, and the visit it when they are away. Big difference.

Aug. 26, 2009

You DO make a good point,refried.

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #5: In a nutshell, Moores promised that a large number of hotel rooms, residential lofts, office buildings and other commercial structures would be built in the ballpark district. The document the voters approved said if there was a big change in the mix of structures, the voters would have to go to the ballot again. The city council let him off the hook, saying he could renege on the mix; he was taken to court, and the City's attorney, Charlie Bird, said that if he didn't get a judgment in his favor in short order, major league baseball would depart. In a disgraceful court maneuver, Moores got his way from a judge who owned downtown land. Basically, Moores then sold land he got for early 1990s prices to condo developers for greatly inflated prices. One study says he made $700 million on the real estate deals and a baseball agent said it was more like $1 billion. You know what happened to those condos: they are barely occupied. The infrastructure is inadequate to get sufficient water to some of them. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #6: It should burn up all San Diegans, but it apparently doesn't. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #7: There are several that can be blamed. The grand jury had a report criticizing the deal; a local judge sat on it until the grand jury foreman got it released the day before the election. The Union-Tribune then chopped up the story and buried it. Its news coverage all along was extremely biased for the project; the same is true of local TV stations. So San Diegans really weren't informed. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #8: There isn't a scintilla of evidence that subsidized sports bring much income, if any, to a city. The only economists who will say something like that are either monetarily in the pockets of owners or conclude that a subsidized stadium provides community spirit, national TV exposure, or something vague like that. The people who attend a baseball or football game would normally be spending their money elsewhere. Very few attendees come in from out of the market area. The NFL makes fraudulent claims for how much a Super Bowl brings a city; it's probably one-tenth what the league claims. The whole thing is a racket. Pro sports are great. I am a fan myself. But the stadiums should be financed by the billionaire owners and not by the taxpayers, especially now that so many cities such as San Diego are on the brink financially. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

Response to post #9: I disagree that he makes valid points, but this is a forum for all opinions. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 26, 2009

"There isn't a scintilla of evidence that subsidized sports bring much income, if any, to a city."

Boy, that's sort of a short-sighted comment. The building of PETCO alone helped to employ me for a couple of years. City taxes, in all sorts of various forms, are paid by people who attend ballgames and buy concessions. And the people who work at the stadium and the parking lots are employed. And they pay taxes. Not to mention the after-game activities.

"The only economists who will say something like that are either monetarily in the pockets of owners or conclude that a subsidized stadium provides community spirit, national TV exposure, or something vague like that. The people who attend a baseball or football game would normally be spending their money elsewhere."

This is a baseless and unsubstantiated Hayekian argument. It is an assumption. Economically, no one can count on people spending money somewhere else. For example, it is to assume that if you shut down all of the pizza joints in San Diego, then people would buy more chicken or hamburgers. They might. And they might not. It is to assume that pizza makers will now be employed as chicken fryers. There are no economic formulas that prove this one way or the other.

"Very few attendees come in from out of the market area."

Obviously, you haven't attended many Padres games. When the Dodgers are in town, the stands are filled with people from Los Angeles. Same with the Angels. People travel with their teams. St. Louis, Boston, New York, all over. Listen to a ball game on the radio (or on television) the next time that the Dodgers are in town.

"But the stadiums should be financed by the billionaire owners and not by the taxpayers, especially now that so many cities such as San Diego are on the brink financially."

Then, there would be about a half-dozen sports teams in the U.S. San Diego's financial woes aren't the fault of the Padres. PETCO isn't a liability. The debt in San Diego is due to ultra-corrupt politicians. The stadium financing was approved by the people of San Diego. Anything else that happened is politics as usual.

Aug. 26, 2009

Remember how Moores traded for ace pitcher Kevin Brown in 1998, helping the Padres make the World Series in October of that year, with the ballpark happening to be on the ballot in November of that year? Come 1999, Brown was a free agent, but because Moores already had his ballpark in hand, he suddenly lost interest in signing Brown, who had a hefty price tag. And sure enough, the Padres went from 98 wins in 1998 to 74 in 1999. Since then, they haven't broke 89.

Moores reminds me of David Dare, the dude profiled in recent Reader articles, who back in the 1880s took San Diegans for $200,000 and fled to Europe. Moores sure seems like a high-end bandit who played us San Diegans for dopes.

refriedgringo points out that voters okayed Moores' Petco Park, but voters also okayed George W Bush. Bush got elected by playing to the greed of the rich with one hand and the fears and stupidity of non-rich Republicans with the other. Moores played on our affection for the Padres with one hand and our inability to see exactly how much he was getting in the deal on the other.

You almost gotta give it to Moores for boldness and craftiness...from the Padres to Peregrine, he seems like he has an unusual gift for parting other people from hundreds of millions of dollars. Though maybe it's all falling apart...the wife bailing on him could be a signal that his run has ended and there's no more gold in them thar hills...she's the ultimate insider, and she's cashing out.

Meanwhile, like David Dare, Moores has high-tailed it out of San Diego. Of course, Dare went to Europe, but Moores could only get as far as Texas. At least there's some justice there.

Aug. 26, 2009

Actually, Shizzy, the deal not to sign Brown after 1998 was brilliant in hindsight. He signed with the Dodgers in 1999 for 7 years at 105 million dollars, averaging just nine wins per season during that contract (he was traded to the Yankees in the middle of that contract). That equates to one and two-thirds million dollars per win. Ouch!

The new owner, Morad, has a good track record with Arizona, and I think he's off to a good start in San Diego. I enjoy watching this team, they're young and exciting. They've ponied up the cash to sign most of their draft picks this year, and with Moores and Alderson gone, I think they have a good shot at being competative again in two to three years.

Aug. 26, 2009

Boy, that's sort of a short-sighted comment. The building of PETCO alone helped to employ me for a couple of years.

You've identified the major problem with PETCO. Once construction was completed, the economic benefit ended. The taxpayers are now stuck paying off the bonds, and there's no way to unload this financial albatross that's siphoning the city's finances.

Aug. 26, 2009

Sure, but the bond issue was voted on. It's like saying, "Hey, San Diegans, you voted for the wrong thing so let's blame Moores."

The bonds wouldn't be such a burden if not for other issues, such as the suckhole retirement system and the housing crash.

Aug. 26, 2009

It was TOO predictable.

Move the ballpark to downtown.

With the parking, HORRIBLE traffic, lack of freeway access.

I voted no.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #15: A stadium's construction provides jobs, yes. But then what? The low-wage jobs flipping burgers and pouring beer at Petco came over from Qualcomm. As to spending, economists know that a high percentage of consumer income will be spent. (For awhile, consumers were spending more than they were saving. Thank goodness, now the savings rate is back up.) Yes, Los Angelenos come down for Padres games, but that's about it. Phillies fans don't come to San Diego for games, e.g. And Petco isn't a liability? It's costing the City $11 million to $12 million a year. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #16: But San Diego voters didn't get what they were promised in that 1998 vote. The deal was supposed to be economically neutral. Transient occupancy tax receipts from the new hotels were supposed to be used to service the debt on the ballpark. It didn't happen. It was not going to happen. San Diego business executives, who proclaim that they believe in the market system, decided that if the hotels would be built, people would come. There was no research to support this conclusion. East Village was built without the existence of market signals indicating there was a need for both the hotels and condos. Now what is there? Empty hotels and condos. All of us who opposed the massive subsidy said that East Village would develop some time -- no question about that. But not immediately. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #17: It's quite possible that all these young players will develop into a good team. It's happened before with other teams. On the other hand, many teams counting on their young players have been very disappointed. Some time in the mid- to late-1970s, everybody was all excited about the Padres and their young pitchers. The team was winning. The city was aglow. It didn't last. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #18: The problem you ably describe is larger than Petco. Real estate developers and construction unions lobby city council for subsidies on other kinds of projects -- shopping centers, housing developments, etc. City council members are financially beholden to these special interests, and justify the subsidy by saying that the government will get sales and property tax revenues from the new projects. But, as in the ballpark argument, it's just a matter of shifting revenues from one thing to another. The tax benefits of a new project are subtracted from an existing facility. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #19: Remember, Moores made promises that he didn't follow through on. The voters did NOT get what they voted for. And he showered extremely generous gifts on a former city councilmember. She lost her post but her transgressions were later erased. Nothing happened to him, even though at the same time a wheeler-dealer in L.A. was being prosecuted for dumping a smaller amount of money on a local politician. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #20: But only 40% voted against it. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

response to #17: True, Kevin Brown turned out to have peaked in 1998, and not signing him for 1999 on did look smart in hindsight. But I think the Padres held off on the contract because they were too cheap, not because they had some advance knowledge of where Brown was headed. Brown was incredible in 1998, and seemed like he had at least a few more strong years left, hence the big contract from the Dodgers.

You say you enjoy watching this young team...how many games have you attended this season? 'Cause I've been to a few, and there sure weren't too many other people in the stands, enjoying with me. In fact, I managed to go to the lowest attended game in PetCo history, and then the game that broke that record and became the new lowest attended game in PetCo history.

Die-hard fans might stick with the team when its roster is minor-league-caliber, but most fans prefer rooting for a team that has a chance of winning, so filling the stadium requires fielding a contender. Seems like Moores couldn't care less about that. Hopefully the new ownership will be more about baseball.

Aug. 27, 2009

shizzyfinnn, Of course the Padres were too cheap to sign Brown. They couldn't afford him any more than most teams in baseball. The Marlins had a fire sale and let him and $4.8 million contract go to the Padres for 3 minor leaguers. His 7yr/$107 million contract with the Dodgers was the first ever $100 million contract in baseball. Even the LA fans thought that 107 million was over the top. As I recall the Padres offered him 6yrs/65 million, which was the 2nd best offer.

Aug. 27, 2009

I'll be the first to knock the Padres and Chargers for being cheap. But with Kevin Brown, it was one time I totally understood them not wanting to give him $100 mil. And it turned out to be the right decision, as we saw what he did for the Dodgers in his injury plagued season there.

And, if Phillip Rivers and the Chargers are happy with him making LESS than Eli Manning, who isn't half the quarterback Rivers is, okay. That's fine.

But they (and their fans), can't get mad when the Chargers draft a player like Eli in the first round, and they don't want to sign for crap money.

Aug. 27, 2009

And, if Phillip Rivers and the Chargers are happy with him making LESS than Eli Manning, who isn't half the quarterback Rivers is, okay. That's fine.

Half the QB as Rivers?

Manning is better than PR is, not by much, but better-and he has the Ring to prove it.

Aug. 27, 2009

Moores didn't do anything that wasn't approved by the voters of San Diego. While many in this forum tend to ignore how democracy works when it's convenient to do so, blaming Moores for PETCO is ridiculous

Gringo-that is a preposterous statement-really. Sort of like saying the bank robber is not responible for robbing the bank.

If Moores had not given millions in bribery money (you do know Valerie Stalling plead guilty to a criminal charge and was forced to resign from elected office because of Moores' "gift-giving" don't you??) to the elected officials who gave away the famr to him then you MAY have a case-but right now you have NO case for that ridiculous statement.

Aug. 27, 2009

Qualcomm is a dump. As I've challenged before, seek a time when no team is playing there and get a ground-field tour. Then look at the insides. It's in miserable shape.

By refriedgringo

Jack Murphy Stadium is the best multi purpose stadium in America. And those are not my words, but John Madden, Pat Summerall, and hosts of other respected coaches and sports personalities.

It is most definitely NOT a "dump". To the extent it needs work-they is a direct and proximate cause of not properly maintaining it. The exact same thing would happen to Petco Park if it were not maintained.

Gringo-you are starting to sound a lot like Mark Fabiani.

Aug. 27, 2009

Then, there would be about a half-dozen sports teams in the U.S. San Diego's financial woes aren't the fault of the Padres. PETCO isn't a liability. The debt in San Diego is due to ultra-corrupt politicians. The stadium financing was approved by the people of San Diego. Anything else that happened is politics as usual.

By refriedgringo

There were hundreds of pro sports teans BEFORE any of the welfare was given to them, and there would still be hundreds, if not thousands, if the welfare were ended yesterday. Your statementsthat there would be just 6 without weflare is pure nonsense-but please feel free to post up ANY evidence whatsoever that supports this wild statement.

PETCO is nto an asset, but a HUGE liability-as are the Chargers.

The stadium financing plan that was used, was NOT approved by voters, as Don correctly pointed out.

Aug. 27, 2009

I'm going to disagree with you on this one,surfpuppy. The"Q" IS indeed a dump. It's so bad that you guys won't host another Super Bowl until the Chargeless find another city to build a stadium in or tear down the"Q" and start from scratch. The NFL has said this numerous times.

Aug. 27, 2009

Sandy Eggo would truly be"America's Finest City" if you could find a way to run it without s***ty sports teams and corrupt politicians. Even I would shout that slogan from the rooftops.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #27: At this writing the team is 20 games below .500 and in last place in the West. As I said in the column, attendance at Petco is averaging 3000 less a game than in the last three years at Qualcomm. Moores said the team could not survive economically in Qualcomm. Some of the people posting are convinced the Padres have great young talent that will bloom in future years. I will bet that is being said in every MLB city right now. I grew up worshipping the Chicago Cubs. Every year the media said there was great talent in the minors; the team would have a wonderful season as the youngsters matured in the lower levels, to guarantee a great season, and perhaps a dynasty to come, etc. etc. The Cubs almost invariably ended up in last place. When I lived in Cleveland and San Diego I heard the same stories every year. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #28: All that suggests that sports moguls are smarter in real estate deals than in their sports decisions. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #29: I confess I have no idea whether Rivers is better than Eli Manning. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Refried:

Sure the young players look good now. But any team that lets a quality pitcher like Peavy get away is not in it to win it. Wait a few years. Mark my words: When the young players are up for their new contract in a few years, ownership will claim that they can't afford to sign them. Check back on this page in a few years so you can see my "I told you so" post.

Josh - until "Shotput" Rivers wins a SB, that's a ridiculous statement to make.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #30: "He has the Ring to prove it." Does that mean he attends Wagner's Ring Cycle? Good for him! Doesn't sound like the football players I see interviewed on TV. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #31: It wasn't millions of dollars Moores gave to Stallings, at least that we know of. Make it thousands. Low thousands. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #32: I heard Madden lavish praise on Qualcomm at the last Super Bowl. I will bet he heard from the NFL on that one. That was during the period when the former head of the NFL was proclaiming that no more Super Bowls would be played in San Diego -- obviously until the City caved in and built the team a stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

It's so bad that you guys won't host another Super Bowl until the Chargeless find another city to build a stadium in or tear down the"Q" and start from scratch. The NFL has said this numerous times.

=======================================================

Pistol:

Use your head !!!!

Of course the NFL says no more SuperBowls. THey're in partneship with the Chargers. NFL insiders love coming to San Diego for the SB - predictable nice weather for Feb, lots of golf courses, etc. The NFL is trying to extort a new stadium for one of its members - from us.

Use your head !!!!

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #33: I missed that Super Bowl. I was watching Tannhauser at San Diego Opera. It was wonderful. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Good point SDParrothead. I never really gave any thought to that. I'll be honest. I'm just going by the info I've read online about it. The only time I'll step foot on Qualcomm is to watch my Packers continue their dominance over your team. I believe they're going to do that next year. It may be played at Lambeau though.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #34: Corporate welfare is like social welfare. If you threaten to cut it off, the recipient screams and howls and warns of doom. If governments would cut off sports welfare, then stadiums would have to be more modest. In today's economy, that's a necessity. There isn't a city or state in the U.S. that is sufficiently financially flush to pour taxpayer money into teams that are owned by billionaires. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Surfpuppy: I'm not a fan of Fabiani nor the Spanos' nor the Chargers. I am a fan of the Padres. I am neutral on Moores - it's difficult to point the finger at him because any deals that were made after the voters passed the stadium initiative were done by politicians. And Madden/Summerall said that when about Qualcomm? As I maintain, a tour of the facility at a time it isn't dressed up would change your mind. The grounds crew does a fantastic job with the field, but the stadium itself is beyond disrepair. And I have no bias either way, I'm not a Chargers fan and I couldn't care less if they stay or go.

And Don: Mid-market teams rarely compete steadily, they don't have the revenue to do so, they go in cycles. I also point out that the Mets, for example, are a team with one of the highest payrolls and they aren't much better than the Padres at this point. If you want a model for the Padres to follow, I would point to the Minnesota Twins, a mid-market team that competes almost every year. When Morad was GM of the Diamondbacks, he built a team similarly. It looks like he's headed in that same direction with the Padres.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #44: You are so right. The team owners and the leagues are extortionists, plain and simple. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #35: The Q is a dump? What about the college stadiums that are a century old? They have been maintained, been modernized -- but they are still more than adequate for events that only take place a few times a year. There is no reason in the world why pro teams should be able to extort governments for new stadiums every couple of decades. It is a racket. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #36: To a very large extent, it is the owners of pro sports teams that make San Diego politicians corrupt. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Parrothead: I don't disagree that this has been a problem with previous ownership, but it's difficult to know whether to blame Moores, his divorce (the necessity to devalue the team in order to sell it), or Alderson. Morad, in Arizona, did resign his talent (the Diamondbacks are having a bad year but nuch of that is due to injury) and I hope he does the same in San Diego.

And three trades that were brilliant this year: Greene for Gregerson, Gerut for Gwynn, and Peavy for three pitchers that are major league ready.

And as for the NFL "extorting" the city of San Diego, the NFL owners are simply backing Spanos. He's leaving for Los Angeles soon anyway, and good riddance. The Chargers began in Los Angeles and they're going back. The Superbowl is all about hookers and booze and decent weather to enjoy them in. Los Angeles has plenty of each.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #46: The biggest complaint you hear about Qualcomm is that the facilities for sports writers aren't lavish enough. Is it any surprise that you keep reading what a dump it is? Best, Don bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #48: Actually, I enjoy seeing low-payroll teams do well. It's just that statistically, it's not likely to happen over a long period. San Diego is the 17th largest market in the U.S. There are 30 teams. So over a long period, the Padres should be roughly in the middle in performance (keeping in mind that they get subsidized by the larger market teams.) I'm not sure they have been in the middle performance-wise, but I have made no such study, and I have no intention to do so. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #52: Are you suggesting that San Diego doesn't have hookers and booze? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

watch my Packers continue their dominance over your team. I believe they're going to do that next year. It may be played at Lambeau though.

======================================

Pistol:

You're in luck. In 2011, packers will visit SD - if the Chargers are still here :)

Can't wait to see my Iggles this year.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #40: Remember: Petco is a pitcher's park. This is no doubt one factor that propelled Peavy to great fame and the Cy Young award. The same will probably be true of these heralded young pitchers. And you may be right: after they get good, the Padres will not sign them, or will trade them away for prospects. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #56: You will immediately learn the identity of Pistol Pete. He will be wearing a cheesehead. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

My mistake suggesting you were a Chargeless fan,Parrothead. I HAD a bit of respect for your Iggles until they gave Vick a home. I'm ALL for second chances. I also don't really care if people fight dogs or not. What I do care about however is the way Vick killed the losing dogs. That's the only issue I have with Vick.

Aug. 27, 2009

[email protected] :-D I do indeed own a"cheesehead"and sport it proudly while watching games.

Aug. 27, 2009

To #60 - yeah, but it's supposed to be worn on the head on TOP of your shoulders.

Aug. 27, 2009

Don, if you ever had doubts about a topic that will get plenty of comments, you can see that sports is it. Refried says that Spanos and his gang are leaving for LA, but the only place there that will provide a stadium is that City of Industry proposal. That's designed to make money for the city, not lose it! On the outside chance that it actually gets built, it will not roll over and play dead for the NFL or for Spanos. If the NFL thinks that Qualcomm Stadium is no longer grand enough for a Super Bowl, it surely will not stand for the Coliseum or the Rose Bowl. Both of those venues are decades older than Qualcomm, and show it.

As to Qualcomm being in poor condition, I cannot say, not having been there in I-don't-know-when. But it seems likely that a 40-year old stadium built to modern standards can be repaired/renovated/refurbished relatively cheaply. As you have pointed out many times, the Chargers are very profitable in that facility. Sure, LA would be even better for them IF they get a stadium deal that works for them. That's not a foregone conclusion.

The recent ruling by the Coastal Commission that San Diego can no longer discharge preliminarily treated sewage is just another example of how the neglect of infrastructure is now coming around to haunt the city when it can now least afford a fix. I don't know enough about how other coastal cities in California handle their seweage, or if it us given secondary treatment before discharge. Bob Filner is going to go to bat for a waiver for the city, a surprise to me. His liberal friends probably won't like that very much.

So, what did SD actually do a few years back. did it build a new ballpark when it should have spend the money on a sewage treatment upgrade? Looks that way. It is a city that never could afford pro sports giveaways of any sort. But it did two of them, whoppers of giveaways, and now is in deep doo-doo.

Aug. 27, 2009

You will immediately learn the identity of Pistol Pete. He will be wearing a cheesehead. Best, Don Bauder

By dbauder

That's not a cheesehead hat-that is the real shape of Pistol Pete's head :)

Aug. 27, 2009

It is a city that never could afford pro sports giveaways of any sort. But it did two of them, whoppers of giveaways, and now is in deep doo-doo.

By Visduh

It was bad enough when the City gave the Chargers $78 million, but that caused the Padres to demand their taxpayer financed giveaway-and that was 5 times worse-which in turn brought the Chargers back to the table wanting another big giveaway because their first giveaway was peanuts compared to the Padres.

This is what happens when you give away the farm, it turns into a vicious cycle and just never ends.

Time to say NO (and start listening to Bruce Henderson).

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to #29 Actually Josh, he didn't pitch too badly for the Dodgers. He had close to 20 wins his first year and led the league in era the next year. I think the only bad year he had in LA was 2002. That's the only year his era was above 3.00. I also remember he had surgury for a ruptured disc; it sticks in my mind because I had a similar back problem a couple of years before that. However, when he was traded to the Yankees, he really did suck. It's not like that's never happened before. Just ask Randy Johnson. I think he had an era of 5 or more one of his years there. However, he certainly didn't give the Dodgers their $100 million worth, but then again I don't believe Any player on any team in any sport is worth that much. Of course, I'm not trying to buy a championship either.

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #59: Vick has paid his penance to society. He should play football. From what I read, the question is his passing: it's not that good. But he is a good runner. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #60: Here's how old I am: I went to the University of Wisconsin from 1954 to 1960, picking up two degrees with 6 months in the Army in between. The Green Bay Packers got such small crowds that they played some of their games in Milwaukee. It was in the late 1950s, as I recall, that Lombardi began putting together a good team. Before that, the Packers had been lousy. Nobody wore cheeseheads. The state of Wisconsin was not insane over the Packers, at least in the first part of the decade. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #61: Those are instructions to live by. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #62: It should be clear to thinking San Diegans that the subsidies poured into the Qualcomm rehab and the new Petco should have gone to infrastructure and maintenance. And the money that some want to throw at a new city hall complex, new library, or Chargers stadium should go into infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #63: That is a terrible thing to say about somebody from Wisconsin, other than the late Tailgunner Joe McCarthy. (Not that I came from Wisconsin. I was a product of a Chicago suburb who went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, I came to love the state.) Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #64: Yes, we should start listening to Bruce Henderson. I think you will find that the Chargers and Padres deals were put together at the same time. Alex Spanos was originally happy with a rehabbed Qualcomm and said the team would remain in San Diego for decades. Then he turned green with envy when he saw what Moores had wangled. So he had to have a new stadium, too. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #65: Yes, athletes are paid far too much. We can't complain about those who are not making money off the taxpayer. But those who get such high pay because they play in taxpayer-subsidized stadiums deserve our wrath. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 27, 2009

However, when he was traded to the Yankees, he really did suck. It's not like that's never happened before. Just ask Randy Johnson. I think he had an era of 5 or more one of his years there.

By gardenparty

Who remembers that Japanese pitcher who was drafted by the Padres and refused to sign and went to the Yankees where he bombed ala Ryan Leaf style!

He was big-like 6'4. Denise Yamada was an anchor for local NBC/39 and she was going gogo-gaga over the guy.......This was like the early 90's..............Oh, he lasted one season and that was it-complete flop. I had forgotten that Brown even went to the Yankees. All I remember about Brown was Brown starting 2 games (and losing both), of the 4 game sweep, against the Yankees in the World Series.

Aug. 27, 2009

I'm from Gurnee,Ill Mr.Bauder. My parents were born and bred in Wisconsin. I've spent so much time there over the years,I'm kind of an honorary cheesehead. I'm mostly a F.I.B. or a F.I.S.H.T.A.B. though.

Aug. 27, 2009

And as for the NFL "extorting" the city of San Diego, the NFL owners are simply backing Spanos. He's leaving for Los Angeles soon anyway, and good riddance.

Spanos will die of old age shortly and his empire will likely be dismembered upon his passing. The Chargers will likely remain in San Diego until he expires and likley be sold a year or two later.

Aug. 27, 2009

Burwell: Bet you a beer he outlives it, that the Chargers move to Los Angeles in 2014 or so and Alex Spanos is alive to see it?

Aug. 27, 2009

Response to post #73: Just think of all the athletes that are hyped to the heavens, then bomb out. Look at the high football draft choices. Every year, it seems, one of the most highly rated players proves to be a busst. Ditto for baseball and basketball players. The media get much of the blame for this. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #74: Gurnee is west of Waukegan, north of Chicago. So it's not that far from the Wisconsin border. Please tell me what F.I.B. and F.I.S.H.T.A.B. mean. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #75: Chargers fans hoping the team will remain in San Diego must take the aging Alex Spanos's health into account. It is definitely a factor. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #76: Alex Spanos has already stated that he is losing some shingles off the top. So whether he is alive in 2014 might not be critical. Another factor to consider is the possible NFL strike in 2011. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Bet you a beer he outlives it, that the Chargers move to Los Angeles in 2014 or so and Alex Spanos is alive to see it?

By refriedgringo

Gringo, I'll take that action, and raise you to a C-note.

In fact I will double the C-note if you will take action that Los Angeles will have NO NFL team before 2020.

What say you? You want that action? The Chargers will not be going anywhere within the next 5 years-so that means they will play at the "Murch" until 2014 minimum, and they'll like it.

(Note to Gringo-don't bet me becaue you'll lose your hard earned money, the NFL has not been able to get a new team in LA for the last 14 years-through the biggest dot com and real estate boom of the last 100 years, and if they couldn't do it with those factors it would be virtually impossible to do it today)

Aug. 28, 2009

Surfpuppy, I only wager money on the ponies. We'll keep it at a beer.

Aug. 28, 2009

Smart man,refried.

Mr.Bauder,you are indeed correct about Gurnee. I could practically pi$$ out my back door and hit Wisconsin. F.I.B.=Fking Illinois Btard and F.I.S.H.T.A.B.=Fking Illinois Sthead Towing A Boat ;-P

Aug. 28, 2009

surfpuppy, I agree with you 1005 about the Chargers not moving to LA. In fact NO ONE is playing football in LA. Roski doesn't have and can't get the money. The fact that he fell from 163rd to 397th on Forbes List and lost almost 1/3 of his worth probably chaps his butt something terrible. And since the commercial RE bottom is still along way off, it doesn't look to get any better for him any time soon. The Chargers may leave SD, but the sure as heck aren't going to LA.

Aug. 28, 2009

Los Angeles isn't going to get an NFL team anytime soon. They'll have to lay out around $1Billion, at least, and the city doesn't have that kind of cash. Besides- they have USC, UCLA, and the Lakers- they're not hurting for sports teams. Nor are the Chargers leaving for much the same reason- no city is going to cough up the cash for them. As for Eli Manning... anyone think he could have led a team to the Superbowl against the competition in the AFC? The fact that he was in the abysmal NFC put him and the Giants in the Superbowl. First among worst.

Aug. 28, 2009

Roski already owns the land, and a large bond measure has already passed for the improvements necessary to put a stadium in the City of Industry. That part is a done deal. There will be a team in Los Angeles soon. Will it be the Chargers? I think it will. But, regardless, there WILL be a team in Los Angeles. Sooner than later. And Roski will recover, he'll go up as real estate goes back up.

And both Mannings are over-rated. Dad was the only one worth mentioning.

Aug. 28, 2009

And Pete, the ponies can be profitable. I could write a book or two on it. The problem is that hours spent vs. income is often prohibitive (I sat down one time and calculated my profits in terms of wages over a year's time and found that I had made $5.00 per hour). But I had a lot fun, and still do on occasion. I have a friend who is a very successful commodities trader and we often compare notes on how similar both ventures seem to be.

Aug. 28, 2009

novemberman, it's not actually going to be in LA. Roski's plan is for City of Industry and he CLAIMS that it it is going to be private financing. No offense gringo, but he has been making that claim for 2 years and still no financing has appeared. A billion for the stadium and probably 800 million for a team(remember, Roski is on record as saying he has to have ownership). I just don't see it.

Aug. 28, 2009

Gardenparty, only time will tell. If I'm wrong, I'll say so, but I'm certain that Roski and his connections are seriously ready for this. I'm also sure that the NFL has wanted a team in Los Angeles for quite some time. I'm also sure that the Spanos' want out of San Diego. I don't like the Spanos' but I don't blame them for wanting out of Qualcomm, and the City of San Diego is inept at finding creative ways to seek an alternative.

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #81: Charger fans will love to hear what you have to say. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #82: Now you only bet on the ponies. But a few years from now, you will be able to attend a pro sports event and place a bet inside the stadium. Remember, gambling drives pro sports, particularly football. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #83: Oh dear. And I grew up in Illinois. In the 1950s, condoms were barely available in Wisconsin. But there were condom machines in Illinois. In Wisconsin, young people 18 could buy beer, but not in Illinois (unless you had a fake ID.) So the kids from Wisconsin came to Illinois to buy condoms and the kids from Illinois went to Wisconsin to buy beer. There were parties at the border.Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #84: Los Angeles is a much larger market, and could provide the revenue from luxury boxes, club seats, etc. that the Chargers crave. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #85: People predicted LA would die when the Raiders and Rams left in the mid-1990s, but the city seems to be doing fine without pro football. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #86: I am not competent to comment on how good the Mannings are, but the one in Indianapolis sure turned out better than Ryan Leaf. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Mr.Bauder,thanks for the info. I didn't know about the condoms but knew about the beer. I grew up with ALOT of Midwest history. Al Capone owned thousands of acres of pot fields that are now corn,wheat and soybean fields. Much of Chicago's history comes from the Gurnee/Waukegan/Zion area.

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #87: Playing the ponies is definitely profitable for the insiders who fix the races. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #88: Roski's claim that it will be self-financed is belied by the fact that the City of Industry has already passed a bond issue for half a billion dollars for infrastructure that will serve his planned stadium. The stadiums for the Redskins and Patriots are always called privately-financed. Yes, there weren't government subsidies for the stadiums themselves, but governments picked up much of the tab for infrastructure. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #89: Yes, the NFL desperately wants a team in LA, the nation's second largest market. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Surfpuppy, I only wager money on the ponies. We'll keep it at a beer.

By refriedgringo

Thatta boy-smart move Gringo.

Aug. 28, 2009

The Chargers may leave SD, but the sure as heck aren't going to LA.

By gardenparty

The Chargers are not gooing anywhere-not for a long time.

The ONLY way they will leave is if they get a stadium/corporate welfare out the wazoo, and that is just not going to happen in this economy.

The economy will not be coming back for years, and even when it does come back it remains to be seen if the corporate welfare stadium game will still be played.

I just don't see a new NFL or MLB stadium beinbg built anywhere in America in the next 5-7 years.

Aug. 28, 2009

Roski already owns the land, and a large bond measure has already passed for the improvements necessary to put a stadium in the City of Industry.

By refriedgringo

OK, "passing" the approval to sell bonds is not the same as actually "selling" bonds.

No one is going to buy bonds that cannot be paid back, and City of Industry could never in a million years pay back $500 million in bond money off a football stadium-just look at the Chargers and Padres for proof of that fact.

A stadium in C of I is a pipe dream-no one believes that will happen but you Gringo.

Aug. 28, 2009

And both Mannings are over-rated. Dad was the only one worth mentioning.

By refriedgringo

Archie was a great QB, but who have the Rings????? I think Eli's SB win over the Pat's was the most exciting finish in SB history.

Aug. 28, 2009

I don't like the Spanos' but I don't blame them for wanting out of Qualcomm, and the City of San Diego is inept at finding creative ways to seek an alternative.

By refriedgringo

Gringo-it has nothing to do with financing, creative or otherwise. When you build a stadium you spend lots of cold, hard cash-that is the reality of it. There is no escaping that fact.

The question is who pays for it???

If the Chargers want a Taj Mahal then THEY have to pay for it with THEIR money, it is that simple.No one is stopping them from building THEIR dream home. The Spanoses are BILLIONAIRES for crying out loud.

Aug. 28, 2009

Surfpuppy, I have no love for the Spanos' or the Chargers, they can go right up to Los Angeles and I won't shed a tear. Honest. They are greedy bastards that would take free money all day long, I agree. But the City of San Diego has proven itself inept at negotiating. Plain and simple. It's both things that contribute to this.

It's like Don blaming Moores for PETCO. Wrong! Blame the politicians in San Diego! They allowed it (and I'm happy it's there, regardless).

Aug. 28, 2009

Surfpup: Regarding the bonds in C of I, they'll be paid. I'm from there, right about where they're going to build that stadium, I grew up there and watched the development of C of I. I'll stand by my prediction, however it turns out.

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #100: Finally: a gentlemanly disagreement on this blog. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #101: I hope you are right that the sports welfare game is over. Unfortunately, to believe that, one has to have a lot of faith in the intelligence of the politicians and citizenry. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #102: You would be surprised at the number of people who believe that the City of Industry stadium could become a reality. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #103: I didn't see the game. That exciting finish could never have been better than the last act of Tannhauser at San Diego Opera. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #104: Most of the pro sports team owners that get huge subsidies from government are billionaires, or close to it. But the scam goes on. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #105: In both the Chargers and Padres deals, the City of San Diego was pathetically outlawyered. The teams had much more money to pay top law firms than the City had. But I believe that businesspeople, especially billionaires, have a responsibility to society to avoid fleecing taxpayers. Sure, politicians are corrupt and voters are ignorant. But billionaires have made their money from society, and they have an obligation to serve -- not rape -- their communities. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #106: Those bonds won't be serviced by revenues from the stadium -- that's for certain. But C of I has hardly any residents. It consists almost entirely of businesses. It has funds. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

I hope you are right that the sports welfare game is over. Unfortunately, to believe that, one has to have a lot of faith in the intelligence of the politicians and citizenry.

By dbauder

I have NO faith in the politicians, but I do have a little in the taxpayers (but wish they wouldn't always fall for 30 second TV ads!).

But the fact is the financing market will not allow it-there is no financing, and my prediction is there won't be any for many, many years. Time will tell.

Aug. 28, 2009

In both the Chargers and Padres deals, the City of San Diego was pathetically outlawyered.

By dbauder

Please don't tell me you think our City was outlawyered.

The City did those awful deals willfully and intentionally, to line the pockets of their money train.

I have said it before-a first semester law student with only "Contracts I" under their belt could have made a better deal.

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to #104: The Chargers had their chance early this decade when they could have had the 60 acres at the Qualcomm site for $1 miilion/acre, but they wanted the city to give it to them (similar to the Padres agreement downtown)--surprisingly the city said no. They could have built their $425 million (that is what the Chargers said it would cost at the beginning) stadium, and whatever else they had planned to build. Instead, it became Mike Aguirre's fault that the Chargers didn't get their stadium. Now, they claim to be looking for a place to build their $1 BILLION stadium in CV or Oceanside or in the bay or wherever they plan to build it. By the way, if the Chargers stadium is now supposed to cost $1 billion, how can the new library downtown still cost the same as it was originally planned ($185 million, give or take)?

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post 114:There should be political leadership from Washington, telling lenders that infrastructure loans are absolutely necessary, but loans for frivolous projects such as sports palaces should be at the end of the line. Alas, there is no such leadership. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #115: Yes, the pols did the deals to line their pockets, but what better way to do that than have an incompetent such as Casey Gwinn do your lawyering? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Response to post #116: The Chargers planned to have 6,000 residential units, a high-rise hotel, and several other commercial structures at the Qualcomm site. Think where they would be now. The condo market has collapsed. Ditto the hotel market. It would have been a financial disaster. Aguirre saved the Chargers a bundle. The team blamed Aguirre that no development partner would come forward. Any development partner that considered it should be thanking Aguirre every day. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 28, 2009

Building a new stadium would be akin to building a bridge to nowhere. The Chargeless started in L.A.,have lived a miserable existance in Sandy Eggo and now it's time to put them in a hospice in L.A. to finally die.

Aug. 28, 2009

Mark Fabiani continues to blame Mike Aguirre, though not as strenuously as he used to, for the reason the Chargers do not have a new stadium. At this point, I don't imagine they could build at the Qualcomm site even if development partners were available because of the gas plume under the parking lot.

Aug. 28, 2009

You REALLY have to wonder about a group of fans who use the word super alot,wear powder blue and tailgate with sushi......O_o

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #120: The Chargers have had some great years. They are shoo-ins to make the playoffs this year, it would seem, because the other teams in the NFC West appear to be awful. Oddsmakers say the Chargers could easily make the Super Bowl. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #121: The last thing San Diego needs is another large development with residential units, hotel, retail, etc. The market is sick. It won't happen any time soon. The Chargers turned down a plan for Qualcomm development recently. Wise move. No market. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #122: Of course Southern Californians tailgate with sushi. What do you expect? Bratwurst? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

The Chargers have had some great years. They are shoo-ins to make the playoffs this year,

By dbauder

Norv Turner has had two of the luckiest years of his life. One reason is fantastic players-with a top rated QB. BUT they went 0-6 to start the season last year, and were lucky to make the play offs.

Having said thay-they played like champs in the play offs last year and change a few pass plays, or two running plays here and there and they could have been in the Superbowl.

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #123: I know you meant AFC West...

Aug. 29, 2009

121: You'd be amazed (actually, not you, if you read and post here) at how quickly concerns (on their part) about the gas plume would go away if the Chargers got the land they wanted.

Oh there might be an outcry a few years later about the scandalous cancer rates of residents living there, but the Chargers would plead ignorance and find a way to get someone else to pay for the damage (after slandering the victims, no doubt). There will be no clean-up of the Qualcomm site. But then, they'd have to find people who would WANT to live next to (1) a football stadium and (2) the intersection of TWO major freeways. I still never understood the logic behind putting retail and residential on the site of the Q. Mission Valley does not need more retail... And Don, I enjoyed bratwurst at a number of Chargers games I tg'ed at in the early 1990s (when you could buy tickets for $25-$30).

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post 126: Did they go 0-6 to start the season? I don't remember that. I watched the playoff game against Pittsburgh, and I thought the Chargers were whipped pretty soundly. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to posts #127: Mea maxima culpa. AFC West. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #128: As an alumnus of Wisconsin, I attended the Rose Bowl in 2000 (I believe that was the year.) Among tailgaters, it was easy to tell the UCLA fans from the Wisconsin fans. The former were eating sushi and the latter bratwurst. Wisconsin hosted a big party for alums, featuring all the beer you could drink for free. If you wanted water, however, you had to pay. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

They din't start off 0-6,SurfPuppy. Loss to the Panthers(God that was an awesome finish)&Broncos,wins against Jets&Raiders,loss to Miami,win against the Patriots,loss to Bill,loss to the Saints,BYE week,win against Chiefs(who only won 2 games last season yet you guys beat them by one point),losses to Steelers,Colts & Falcons & wins against Raiders,Chiefs,Buccs & Broncos. Yet according to ESPN the last 4 years,The Chargeless are a scary team that all other NFL fans should be shaking in their shoes over. Can anyone care to explain this?

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #132: I'm not the one to ask, but everything I read suggests the Chargers will be a candidate for the Super Bowl this year. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 29, 2009

I just checked the Chargers 08 season and I was wrong-they did not go 0-6, I don't know how I had that in my head.

They went 4-8 over the first 12 games and they needed to run the tables on the last 4 games to make the playoffs with an 8-8 record. 8-8 normally would not qualify for the playoffs..

Aug. 29, 2009

Response to post #134: The Chargers starters certainly looked formidable last night against Atlanta. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 30, 2009

Anyone who thinks this Special Olympics team is going all the way this year is on some great drugs. The Chargeless(regardless of what string it was)defense allowed a 3rd string QB walk 22 yards to the house for a TD. Uhhhhhh Houston? Ron Rivera is a sell out. What the hell is a player from one of the greatest teams in NFL history doing in Sandy Eggo coaching a sandlot football team? And I loved seeing Rivers take his place on his back twice last night. People ALL say"But it's just pre-season". Go ahead and think that. I'll bet the Steelers,Colts and Patriots aren't in the pre-season mindset. The stronger you play in pre-season just shows the rest of the league that you mean business.

Not too long ago my roommate and I were driving in Esco. He had on some local sports show that allows national calls. This guy from Minnesota summed it up perfectly. He basically said that because Sandy Eggo is a party town that doesn't get cold weather,the players don't work as hard come November and December. If you think about it,it makes perfect sense. Teams like the Packers,Steelers,Giants,Bears and Redskins all make it to the Super Bowl and usually win because it's hard to get drunk and party your a$$ off when it's 20 below. I've said it for 4 years. Sandy Eggo has no heart. No determination and no soul. THAT'S why you'll never see a Lombardi here.

Aug. 30, 2009

The Chargers did look good against Atlanta-a regular doormat team.

I will say this again-the coach, Norv Turner, is on lucky street, and it is going to be a deadend this year.

Aug. 30, 2009

Response to post #136: I can't speak to your football observations, because I don't have the expertise. However, I have said before, in other contexts, that San Diego's biggest enemy is its so-called perfect climate. People come to San Diego to play golf and go to the beach. Their pockets get picked by local crooks and officialdom, but these residents don't want anybody to rock the boat. The weather is too perfect. Why do you think bandits spot San Diego and make it a home? They see suckers there. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 30, 2009

Response to post #137: I thought the Chargers first team looked good last night, but as I always stress, I am not one to judge teams. I thought I heard an announcer say that Atlanta had had a good record last year. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 30, 2009

Let me be the first to congratulate the Park View All-Stars. I doubted them the whole time this past week but they made a believer out of me. They earned my respect and I hate baseball. They overcame some serious odds.

Aug. 30, 2009

Response to post #140: Yes, San Diego County and Chula Vista in particular need some heartening news. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 30, 2009

pete, The 3 winningest Superbowl teams are Pittsburg at 6-1, Dallas at 5-3 and San Francisco at 5-0. Only 1 cold weather team. Green Bay is 3-1,New York 3-1,Chicago 1-1,Washington 3-2, Denver 2-4, Buffalo 0-4 and New England is 3-3. More cold weather team get there more but you have to take into account the fact that only about 1/3 of the teams are in cities with moderate climates in the winter and several of the cold weather teams play indoors. Also, most cold weather teams practice indoors. I'm not sying the Chargers are on the level of these teams because with only 1 Super Bowl appearance, they clearly are not. Just sayin that the best Super Bowl teams are not all cold weather teams and , not counting the Steelers, they don't "usually" win, they win about half the time. BTW outdoor stadiums built in climates with an average January temperature of less than 50°F , by rule are not allowed to host the Super Bowl.

Aug. 30, 2009

Response to post #142: Buffalo has the worst weather of all. If they are 0-4, then your argument seems persuasive. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 30, 2009

Response to post #144: If Buffalo and Minnesota are mediocre or poor this year, there may be non-weather factors that contribute. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Playing the ponies is definitely profitable for the insiders who fix the races. Best, Don Bauder

==================================================

What ?!!!? Horse racing's fixed ???

:)

Aug. 31, 2009

"Playing the ponies is definitely profitable for the insiders who fix the races. Best, Don Bauder

==================================================

What ?!!!? Horse racing's fixed ???

:)"

This is a common belief amongst people who wager and don't win. At all of the major tracks, it isn't fixed. There is too much to lose. At bush-league tracks, and harness races, I have no doubt that hanky-panky goes on. But not at Del Mar, Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, and so on.

Some people like to point at medications. This could be problemic, but it mostly isn't. Horses are routinely tested and trainers are punished if they don't comply. The tests often reveal false positives because, due to horses taking Lasix (to prevent bleeding in the lungs), the testing looks for very microscopic amounts of banned substances. Most trainers in the top circuits who are accused of doping aren't trying to cheat, they are mostly unlucky in the process. In other words, trainers and their vets are permitted to medicate horses as necessary, just not before a race (with the exception of Lasix, a diuretic, and Butazolidin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory systemic).

The sport isn't perfect but it's pretty clean at the top level. The key to winning at the horses is simple: Invest the time necessary to develop an advantage at breaking down races better than the betting public. Be patient. Don't bet every race, pick a race that you feel you have an advantage. And manage your money. Even good handicappers turn into losers if they can't manage their money.

Aug. 31, 2009

The Viqueens and Buffalo Bobs just suck! What's funny is that Favre and T.O. actually think they can lead those teams to the promised land. Ain't happenin'. Warm weather teams may be just as adept at winning the Super Bowl but cold weather teams take the cake in history's most exciting games. Only one game was played in warm weather and that was the Chargeless/Dolphins Championship game in '81. All others were played in either extremly cold weather or really s***ty weather.

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #146: Fixed: yes. Ditto for some professional and amateur sports contests. (Point shaving is common.) Don't bet against the guy who knows what the result will be. I'll bet you are shocked to learn that money is skimmed out of Vegas casinos and shipped to offshore tax haven banks. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #147: The last time I put money on a horse was when I was in college more than 50 years ago. It was at the trotters. My horse was in the lead, and I could see the jockey desperately tugging on the reins, trying to get the horse to slow down so the foreordained winner could carry out the divine plan. My horse complied. All my horses did that evening. I remember hearing about a chief executive of one of Chicago's larger consumer companies. He handed out yearend bonuses by tipping off executives to fixed races. In his limousine, he would tell his driver, "You might suggest to John Smith that he put some money on Lady O' War in the fifth race at Hawthorne Saturday night." The driver would pass the word to the executives. Stockholders didn't have to pay for the bonus. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Don,

Hawthorne fifty years ago was notorius. In fact, Chicago fifty years ago was notorius. The trotters are STILL notorius, I remember from my youth the days at Los Alamitos, we would get tipped off. You're right about the trotters and the pacers.

I've been playing the horses (successfully) for many years, and I would tell anyone this: Don't bet harness races unless you have inside information, and even then think twice about it.

However, some people are successful betting the thoroughbreds at major tracks. Such people are not wealthy, it takes a huge amount of time studying breeding and conformation and other aspects. I've been reading you for years, from back in the U-T days, I know you're cynical, I expect it. And I think you're right to be skeptical. But, for anyone willing to invest the time necessary and loves the game, it can be done sticking with the major circuits and being patient and managing money wisely.

I have three lots of land south of Rosarito Beach, bought and paid for, that proves it.

Aug. 31, 2009

144

Come on Pete, don't cop out so easily. Of course more games have been played in cold or s***ty weather. That's because the conference championships are played in late December or early January and it's inherently colder then.(The San Diego-Miami game wasn't the conference championship game by the way, it was the division game) But there has been more than 1 warm weather championship game; try 1/2 dozen in Miami, 3 in LA, 1 in Tampa,1 in Jacksonville, 1 in San Diego, 1 in Tempe. Then let's not forget about the dozen conference championships played in Oakland and San Francisco. It's not exactly balmy in late December/early January but 55-65 is a hell of alot better that 10-20 (below in some cases). Your Packers even beat the 49ers there in the '97 game.I would be willing to bet the weather was alot better than it would have been in GB. Unfortunately they got beat by the Broncos 31-24(in San Diego btw, after being a 10 pt favorite). And the 81-82 49ers-Cowboys game is considered a classic. If you look at the stats, you would see that about 1/3 of the Conference Championship games have been played in cities with temperate climates which coincidentally is about how many teams play in cities with temperate climates. Now if you wanted to include all of the championship games played since the NFL started, of course the number would be alot higher because there were no warm weather teams. But then that isn't really an honest comparison, is it???

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #150: It sounds like you invest a lot of time on following the horses but don't get a great return on your investment. But maybe you are having fun. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #151: What I can't figure out is why any rational person sits out there in minus 10 weather (or plus 10) to watch a football game when they could be home watching it on TV. Speaking of that, does anybody know whether the Chargers games will be blacked out this year? I heard it discussed, but have heard no more. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to #152: No, actually, you get a great ROI, that's why horseracing is the only thing I would ever gamble on. It outdoes any investment portfolio I've ever seen. However, if you factor in time spent on studying, then yes, factoring that into ROI (perhaps as ROI/T, Return On Investment divided by Time spent) then you're correct. I don't play much anymore, I'm devoting more of my time toward writing and enjoying my daughter before she hits adulthood, but at one time I certainly did play a lot. And I think that you have to like it in order to spend so much time studying it.

Nothing comes easy.

Here is a story you might enjoy. There is a trainer named Roger Stein, he still trains but he used to have a radio show broadcast in San Diego on the weekends, it was quite informative. One time, many years ago, he held a seminar right here in Tijuana at one of the race books, I attended. They went through the race card at Santa Anita, and he had a horse running in a particular race that he touted as, while not a sure thing, worthy of consideration. After the seminar, I apprached him and asked him what he thought of a certain filly that would be running against his horse.

"She's never run on turf before, only dirt," he said.

"Exactly. And she's bred for it. And she's 20-1." I told him.

"Listen," he said, "I am going to give you some advice. Never expect a horse to do something it has never done before."

My horse won by six lengths and paid well over fifty dollars for a two dollar bet. His horse is probably still running, I've never seen someone so mad in my life as he was that afternoon (he blamed the Jockey, which is almost always ridiculous).

My point? I did my homework. I studied her breeding, and that twenty dollar bet paid well over six hundred dollars. Because I expected the filly to do something that she hadn't done before. Anyone who tells you they hit it rich playing the ponies is probably a liar, but slow and patient and intelligent wagers can pay off wonderfully.

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #154: I guess I'm too impatient to play the ponies. I don't even "play" the stock market. I put a modest amount of my portfolio (normally 20%) in stocks that have decent yields (normally above 4%). I do sell when they get too high or when I get creamed. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

gardenparty,I do admit that warm weather teams win just as many Super Bowls. It's the NFL's Greatest games that were played in inclimate weather.

Other games 1958 NFL Championship Game: Baltimore Colts at New York Giants ("The Greatest Game Ever Played") 1967 NFL Championship Game: Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers ("The Ice Bowl") 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Oakland Raiders at Pittsburgh Steelers ("The Immaculate Reception") 1974 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders ("The Sea of Hands") 1977 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Colts ("Ghost to the Post") 1980 NFC Divisional Playoff game: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons ("Duel in Dixie") 1981 AFC Divisional Playoff game: San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins ("The Epic in Miami") 1981 NFC Championship Game: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers ("The Catch") 1983 NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins ("The Forgotten Classic") 1986 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns ("Marathon by the Lake") 1986 AFC Championship Game: Denver Broncos at Cleveland Browns ("The Drive") 1987 AFC Championship Game: Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos ("The Fumble") 1990 NFC Championship Game: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers ("End of a Dynasty") 1992 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Houston Oilers at Buffalo Bills ("The Comeback") 1992 NFC Championship Game: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers ("Changing of the Guard") 1993 NFC Wild Card Game: Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions ("Favre to Sharpe") 1995 AFC Championship Game: Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers ("60 Minutes") 1996 AFC Divisional Playoff Game: Jacksonville Jaguars at Denver Broncos ("Ambush at Mile High") 1998 NFC Wild Card Game: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers ("The Catch II") 1998 NFC Championship Game Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings("Reversal of Fortune") 1999 AFC Wild Card Game : Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans ("Music City Miracle") 2001 AFC Divisonal Playoff Game: Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots ("Tuck Rule Game")

http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story?id=09000d5d80870a4e&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to post #156: Impressive list. Nobody has mentioned that god-awful playoff game that the Chargers played in Cincinnati. It was ice cold -- so cold and windy that there were thoughts of delaying the game or playing it indoors somewhere. But it was played outdoors. The Chargers lost, but that wasn't why it was a lousy game. The players were stiff as boards. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 31, 2009

Pete, I'm disapointed that you keep changing your arguement.Your last post was that only one game was played in warm weather and all the others were played in either extremly cold weather or really s***ty weather. Now what your saying is that all the really good games were played in cold weather. Make up your mind, dude. And only 3/4 of the games on your list were played in inclement weather; hell, 1 of them wasn't even played out doors(the vikings have played indoors since 1982). Like I said before, by virtue of the fact that 2/3 of the teams play in cold weather cities then of course the majority of the best games, especially if you want to go back 50 yrs, are going to be cold weather games. They have to be. And your link is Top 10 weather games in NFL history, not top 10 GAMES in NFL history. Not the same thing. I understand your passion for the Packers and all the great cold weather games. But that being said, not all of the greatest games have been cold weather and not all of the greatest players have been from cold weather teams.

Aug. 31, 2009

Actually, it's more like 40% (9 of 22) were not inclement weather with 2 teams playing inside; the other is Detroit. They played in the Pontiac Silverdome from 1975-2001

Aug. 31, 2009

I concede defeat to gardenparty. You ARE a rarity. ;-P I STILL think the best football weather is coooooooold. Something about football in 80 degree+ weather just doesn't make sense. It's too easy with a"perfect"climate. I watched the Viqueens beat up on the Texans tonight at Reliant Stadium. Boooooring. I can't stand dome games.

Aug. 31, 2009

But that being said, not all of the greatest games have been cold weather and not all of the greatest players have been from cold weather teams.

By gardenparty

The GREATEST game ever played was played in warm weather, in 1982, in San Diego, Chargers v Dolphins, AFC Play Off. Double overtime. Some of the most innovative and exciting offensive plays seen in NFL history (Dolphins "hook and ladder" lateral to end the first half with a touchdown).

Both QB's threw for over 400 yards.

Aug. 31, 2009

Response to 157 Don, that game was the AFC Championship game. A week after the Miami game, the Chargers end up playing in about -50 windchill. And it wasn't on that list because it was a s***ty game that the Chargers were never in. Also,it paled in comarison to the late game that day which was the epic 49ers-Cowboys game.

Aug. 31, 2009

Pete, I've just been around a little longer than you so I've seen a few more games than you have. And I agree that while there are exceptions, football is usually best when served cold, just not -50 windchill cold. LOL I remember watching the ICE BOWL game on tv when I was a kid and the reality is that it wasn't really that great of a game because it was so cold. It was just the last drive and the last play people remember. And alot of people forget that the reason Lombardi called the running play was that he wanted the game over one way or another because it was too cold and he didn't want to risk missing a field goal and going into overtime. And Starr kept the ball instead of handing it off because he said his hands were so cold, he was afraid he would drop the ball if he tried to hand it off.

Sept. 1, 2009

SurfPuppy619, I would debate you whether or not that was THE greatest game ever played, but lists calling things the greatest are by their very nature subjective and can never be definitive, since they are subject to the opinions of the people who created them. As for my own greatness, well I'll simply quote Woody: "The only thing standing between me and greatness is me."

Sept. 1, 2009

It isn't the fact that they are or aren't good games sometimes, it's the spectacle. I watched the ice bowl. I remember thinking, holy crap, what must it feel like to play when it's that cold? The score is sometimes meaningless.

I remember watching Rick Monday rescue an American Flag at Dodger Statium. Lots of people remember that, it was heroic. Hardly anyone is going to remember the score of that game. Sure, you can always look it up, but most people couldn't care less that the Dodgers won in ten innings. Most people thought that the center fielder for the Cubs was the hero that day.

It's like the immaculate reception. It was a remarkable and lucky play. But, as an important game, most people seem to forget that the Steelers went on to lose to the Dolphins the next week - the undefeated Dolphins who went on to win the Superbowl.

Sometimes it isn't the game, sometimes it's the play or the cold or a saved flag.

Sept. 1, 2009

BTW, the combined passing yards in that game are irrelevent. In the 82 season, the Chargers put 50 on cincinnati and Fouts thru for 435 yrds and Ken Anderson about 415, in only 4 quarters. And in that game, Chuck Muncie even thru a halfback option for a 60 yard TD. How often did that ever happen??? It was the effort both teams put out in the playoff game in that kind of weather. One could argue that had the game been played in San Diego, with the exact same plays and outcome, in typical january San Diego 65degree weather, it would not be as famous as it is.

Sept. 1, 2009

gringo, my point exactly. As I said people remember the cold and the last play. One lasting memory I have to this day is both teams lining up for the last play and seeing their breath as they came to the line. Kind of like one of the Budweiser Clydesdale commercials they show during football season.

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #158: Isn't the definition of "greatest game" rather subjective? Best, Don bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #159: In recent years, it seems, Detroit hasn't been able to play well either inside or outside. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #160: I can't see any particularly reason why players would perform better in the cold. Best, Don bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #161: That game wasn't played in warm weather. It was HOT weather. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #162: In Cincinnati, the game was as bad as the weather. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #163: I watched that game and didn't find it exhilarating -- even the ending. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #164: Woody Allen was a great defensive lineman in his days in the NFL. He had the build for it. He also kept the other side laughing. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #165: It goes to show that pro sports is entertainment, not sports. The question is how much of the NFL, MLB, NBA is too close to professional wrestling. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #166: Your recall of details is amazing. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #167: To some taxpayers, all the players look like Clydesdales -- the rear ends of them. But the taxpayers are still forced to bail out the billionaire owners. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Don, back in the early days of the NFL up to probably the mid sixties, players didn't get rich playing football. The owners might have but the players didn't.It's over simplifying but basically Al Davis and the other AFL owners started going after the NFL players throwning tons of money at them, like Joe Namath's 400k contract. As a result, the NFL approached the AFL and the merger happened. AD didn't want it because he thought he could knock the NFL out of the game. But up until about that time, all but the very elite players worked in the off season at regular jobs to be able to support themselves. The same for baseball. Until Curt Flood challenged MLB's reserve clause, players were basically nothing more than indentured servants to there teams. They had 2 choices; play for what their team offered ( and go thru it again every year because there were no multi year contracts) or refuse to sign, don't play and don't get paid.Unless your names happen to be Drysdale and Koufax. In 1966 Willie Mays was the highest paid baseball player at about 125k. Drysdale and Koufax held out, demanded a 3yr, 1 million contract split equally between them over 3 years. That's about 160k each and the Dodgers finally ended giving Koufax the same as Mays and Drysdale a little less. So the era of big bucks started in pro football and mlb at about the same time. Of course with lawyers getting involved as agents, I think Koufax and Drysdale were the first, the propogation of big bucks contracts began. Of course you can blame the players, but the fact is had the owners not treated the players as a commodity to used and discarded as they pleased, I don't think things would have gotten quite so out of hand, like paying Kevin Brown 107 million 10 years ago. It's kind of like not allowing your kids to eat candy and then taking them to a candy store, throwing open the door and telling them to have at it. You just know it's going to get out of control.

Sept. 1, 2009

Actually, Gardenparty, you can go all of the way back to Red Grange in football and Babe Ruth in baseball if you wish to talk about big pay. Obviously it's relative to the time, but it's relative, none-the-less.

Sept. 1, 2009

Gardenparty is 100% correct in his post.

Watch all the interviews with the Superbowl players from the 60's, they ALL had jobs in the off season.

I think Nolan Ryan changed the money structure in pro sports with the very first $1 million dollar per year contract-back in 77 I think. I remember that so vividly-thinking what the hell is going on with the money they are tossing around. And back in 77 a million bucks would be like $100 million today-it meant something.

Sept. 1, 2009

SurfPuppy619, Ryan was indeed the first million dollar player in 1979. I think it was 4 yrs, 4.5 million The interesting think is only 2 years earlier, Mike Schmidt became the first $500,000 player. Double the contract in only 2 yrs. And look where salaries are 30 yrs later.

Sept. 1, 2009

Gringo, Of course you are correct about big pay back in the day. As I recall, alot of the money Grange made was based receiving a percentage of the gate along with his salary. I looked up a quote that I read once that I think is cool: I was interviewing George Halas and I asked him who is the greatest running back you ever saw. And he said, 'That would be Red Grange.' And I asked him if Grange was playing today, how many yards do you think he'd gain. And he said, 'About 750, maybe 800 yards.' And I said, 'Well, 800 yards is just okay.' He sat up in his chair and he said, 'Son, you must remember one thing. Red Grange is 75 years old.' But salaries like those of Ruth and Grange were the exception, not the rule. If one were to go back and look, many, if not most teams in that era had a highly paid player or 2. But I was refering to Don's post about the high salaries today, for all players, comparing them to the salaries of players during the time when their teams literally owned them as players. In 1960 the average MLB player madeless that 20k; in 1970 it was still only about 30k. Ten years later it was about 150k and in 1990 it was over 1/2 million. Today, I believe its north of 3 million as an AVERAGE and the MINIMUM is over 300k. Salaries would absolutely never have increased that much were the old "rules" in affect. My point is/was that there were the "exceptional" players like a Koufax, Drysdale/ Ruth,Grange, Dimaggio, et al, who could get that kind of money because they were an integral part of both the teams success and popularity. But until things changed in the sixties, they were only ones. But now players get the best deal they can becuses they don't face the same restrictions. One only needs to look at Brette Favre and Michael Vick to see how much the "rules" have changed.

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #178: My understanding is that your account is correct. Football players, who accept the most risk, are still underpaid in relation to baseball and basketball players who are less injury-prone, I believe. Meanwhile, the owners refuse to take care adequately of injured retirees. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #179: One year, Babe Ruth made more than the president. Asked about it, Ruth said, "I had a better year than he did." Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #180: Yes, even adjusted for inflation, players are paid far more than they were decades ago. But can anybody explain how Michael Vick wound up with debt of something like $20 million? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #181: Look how much of that money is taken (stolen?) by players' agents. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #182: I recently saw the average and median pay of NFL players but I can't put my hands on it now because I am out of town. Google "rodney fort" and you will get to his website, which I think is rodneyfort.com. It probably has that information. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

[email protected] blackout for Friday. You Chargeless fans can't win for losing. The ONLY team getting blacked out right now. Even Lions fans haven't been blacked out! I LOVE it!

Sept. 1, 2009

Response: to post #188: Sadly, such irresponsibility is not uncommon among athletes and movie stars. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Response to post #189: You won't believe this, but I just found out what LMAO means: "laughing my a** off." I know, because I am with my youngest son and his fiance. I had to ask, of course. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 1, 2009

Mr. Bauder, do not feel badly. I finally asked another blogger what it meant last week. As soon as she finished LMAO-ing, she explained. There is also ROFLMAO to contend with, of course.

Sept. 1, 2009

Don, that's why you write for the business page instead of the technology section. Maybe you can intuit what "LMFAO" stands for.

Sept. 2, 2009

LMFAO.

Living Macroeconomically Forgetting About Obama

Sept. 2, 2009

Thank you surfpuppy. I totally agree. The ONLY reason Eli doesn't get credit in this town is because the majority of"fans"are still butthurt over the '04 Draft. That's the mentality of the people out here. I seriously thought Chargeless fans heads would explode during SB 42. Do we root for the QB who snubbed us in '04 or do we root for the QB that made us look like douchebags choke artists two years in a row? Only in Sandy Eggo will you find"fans"who think the Patriots are rivals and Eli's an a**hole because he KNEW he couldn't get a Lombardi out here.

Aug. 27, 2009

Pistol-slinging, blank-shooting Peter will soon be issuing another apology, which he does so well.

Avoiding local television blackouts will be a challenge as the NFL approaches its first full season in the economic downturn, commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday.

Goodell was asked specifically about the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose season-ticket base dropped from 42,000 to about 25,000 this season. The decline is such that the club might not even bother asking for extensions in hopes of avoiding blackouts this year.

Goodell said Jacksonville, one of the smallest markets in the league, is "one of the markets where we're seeing some challenges from ticket sales coming into the 2009 season."

Other teams that could have trouble selling out their home games include the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders, who both had blackouts last season.

"And we'll have other markets that'll have those challenges. It's all part of the challenges that we're seeing in the economy, and what our clubs are going through," Goodell said. "Our clubs have been working hard in the offseason to create other ways to try to get people in the stadiums and to have policies that are a little more flexible, and hopefully they're going to pay dividends for us."

Bottom line: Who cares?

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #189: The Chargers seem to have a great team but this recession is really taking bite out of discretionary consumption. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #192! Aha! You folks think I am a doddering old fool who does not know the meaning of your texting acronyms. I report right now that ROFLMAO means "Rolling on the floor, laughing my A** off." So there. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #193: Those are beautiful-looking characters with superb voices and articulation of the acronym. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #194: I suspect that letter "F" stands for a word that I have never used. Therefore, Russl, I refuse to comment, at least for the nonce. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #195: Now: there's an acronym I can understand. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #196: Of course, the Lions and Raiders appear to be horrible teams once again. It isn't just the recession; it's also the quality of the entertainment. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Correction-Green Bay has sold out every pre,regular and post season game since 1960.

Sept. 2, 2009

Why Green Bay sells out every year:

1 - The team is publicly owned. The fans own it.

2 - What else is there to do in Green Bay in the fall/winter? Ice fish?

I'm not anti-Green Bay, it's great that they sell out their games. I've enjoyed their teams over the years, I was especially fond of the rivalry with the Vikings and Bears back when Nitschke and Butkus played. But Pete, San Diego is diverse, and the climate is awesome, and people find a lot of different activities that people from Green Bay don't have the opportunity to enjoy.

I will admit, they travel well with their team. But think about it, anywhere is warmer than Green Bay in the winter!

Sept. 2, 2009

I've heard that argument and it doesn't hold water. You're right about there not being alot to do in Green Bay in the winter. However,if someone claims to be as much of a football fan as I am,why do they choose their climate over watching their Chargeless? I'm a straight up old school football fan. The Packers are just the team that I follow. I'm the NFL. Out here,it's different. It's"Whatever. The Chargeless are on? I can watch 'em next week". The playoff game on January 4th,2008 almost got blacked out because of that attitude. You either follow football or you don't. It's simple. Out here,football is an after thought. Out there,it's a way of life. THAT'S why the Packers will ALWAYS sell out their games. People love the Packers because they have a storied history with ALOT of serious wins. Last year I looked online for three tickets to a Chargeless game. When all was said and done,it would have cost me just under $500.00 for three tickets,food and drink and parking. $500.00 for a team that chokes on a consistent basis every year,was a cellar dweller for the longest time and thought Ryan Leaf was the 2nd coming of Christ himself? ROTFLMMFAO!!!! For that kind of money,I'd rather watch the Packers lose. At least they've done something.

Sept. 2, 2009

1-I prefer ROTFLMMFAO

and

2-Duhbya? I won't be issuing an apology for anything. If your team is as great as the 10,000 fans claim it is,why can't you sell out your pre-season games? Green Bay has failed to sell out ANY of their games for 50 years. I WILL however admit that I wrong in saying that the Chargeless were the only ones who have been blacked out thus far in the season. I did some research last night. And don't give me the lame excuse my GF gave me last night-"The economy affects us harder out here in Sandy Eggo". BULLS***!!!! If you adjust the cost-of-living from Sandy Eggo to Green Bay,the economy hits them just the same as it hits you here. The reason nobody wants to pay regular season prices out here for a pre-season game is simple-Your team hasn't done a goddamn thing since 1963! The Packers are a football institution. The Chargeless are a Special Olympics sandlot team. Never in my life have I met more bandwagon riders,homers,fair-weather fans and complete football morons than I have living out here. THAT'S why you've suffered two blackouts so far. There WILL be others in the regular season. Bank on that!

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #203: My guess is that the San Diego economy has plunged more than the Green Bay economy: unemployment has probably risen more and to a higher level, home prices have plummeted more, foreclosures as a percentage of home sales are higher, etc. etc. But I haven't looked. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #204: Maybe, but in the 1950s the team had problems herding fans in the gate. As I said earlier, some of the games were played in Milwaukee because fans were staying away in Green Bay. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #205: Don't those cheeseheads keep them warm in minus-10 weather? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

LOL! Yes. Did you also know that if you flip a Cheesehead upside down,it doubles as a holder for 3 Leinenkugel's and a container of nachos?

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #206: One reason Green Bay has a more storied history is that, I believe, it was in the NFL in the early years -- in the 1920s, along with the Canton Bulldogs and Decatur team (were they named the Staleys?) Check me if I am wrong on when the Packers started out. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 2, 2009

Pete, I completely disagree with our statement that the Chargers haven't done anything since 1963. From 1963 thru 2008, the Chargers have made the playoffs 14 times and won their division 12 times. During that same period the Packers made the playoffs 16 times but won their division only 9 times. Or put it another way, in 2 less appearances, the Chargers won 3 MORE division championships the the Packers. So you can't say that the Chargers have done nothing in the last 35 seasons. Granted, the Packers have been to 4 Super Bowls and won three and San Diego Showed up once, but you didn't say Super Bowl victories, and if you did then you would be saying that Green Bay failed 40 out of 43 times. However, I do agree with your assessment that football is an afterthough, for alot of people, in San Diego. The diehards fans show up for regular season games and most I still know don;t give a Krap about preseason. With theirI expect at most only 1 regular season game doesn't sell out, Probably the Cincinati. That is unless that start out really badly, and fans run away in droves. LOL BTW, I read a report today in Sportsbusiness Journal saying that the NFL expects at least a dozen teams to have at least 1 game blacked out this year. I also read something I wasn't aware of 2002 was the first year that 90% of all games were sold out.

Sept. 2, 2009

As much as I respect your opinion regarding my comment,it's true. Sandy Eggo hasn't done anything since 1963. The point of each season is to go to the top. They've failed to do that since 1963. The Packers have failed their fans since 1996. NONE of either of our team's division or conference wins matter because they didn't win the Big Dance. And I will admit that I'm not a fan of blackouts no matter how stty the team is. It should be about the fans and not the almighty dollar. I think we both can agree on that. I'll be honest,I don't really care what happens to the Chargeless. It IS however ALOT of fun giving s* to their fans. :-D

Sept. 2, 2009

Response to post #212: The recession is crimping all kinds of entertainment -- not just pro sports. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 3, 2009

Response to post #213: For owners, the point of each season is not to go to the top. The point is to maximize profits. That's profits from operations, as well as profits accumulated by gambling on games with inside information. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 3, 2009

In 1998 I had been living in SD county for 11 years. Admittedly a lifelong SF Giants fan I puzzled over why the the voters in San Diego would put themselves on the hook for this ballpark when Pac Bell Park was under construction, privately financed. It seemed to me that John Moores manipulated the team and for voter support, a classic case of using other people's money. The Giants are still paying 20 million a year on a 30 year mortgage and have remained competitive with a few off years, playing games that mean something into August and September, which puts people in the seats, which boosts overall revenue. Hopefully for the Padres the new owners group will commit to a quality product, they have a good group of youngsters who will be fun to watch, the question is will people show up to watch them?

Sept. 4, 2009

Response to post #216: The reason that the Giants' ballpark was ultimately financed privately (except for infrastructure) is that the team had been repeatedly rebuffed by voters. And that is the lesson. If government will refuse to provide the subsidies, the owners will eventually cough up. Another example is the stadium of the New England Patriots. The Kraft family tried every ploy in the book -- including moving to rundown Hartford, for heaven's sake -- but governments wouldn't back down, and the Krafts finally built it. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 4, 2009

San Francisco pitched in $70 million towards their new baseball park in China Basin.

I think that ballpark is the most beautiful, well designed park in MLB. It didn't cost all that much either. Petco is a just a square brick box compared to the Giants stadium.

Sept. 4, 2009

Response to post #218: That $70 million must have been for infrastructure. It's always said that the ballpark itself was built with private funds. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 5, 2009

Yes Don, the SF ballpark was built with private funding.

I am trying to think of the overall cost-I thought it was $145 million in private funds.

I am going to have to check on this.

OK, I just pulled this off of Wikipedia;

Design and construction

Groundbreaking on the ballpark began on December 11, 1997, in the industrial waterfront area of San Francisco known as China Basin and South Beach. The stadium cost $357 million to build and supplanted the Giants' former home, Candlestick Park, a multi-use stadium in southern San Francisco.

When it opened on March 31, 2000, the ballpark was the first Major League park built without public funds since the completion of Dodger Stadium in 1962. However, the Giants did receive a $10 million tax abatement from the city and $80 million for upgrades to the local infrastructure (including a connection to the Muni Metro).

The Giants have a 66-year lease on the 12.5-acre (51,000 m2) ballpark site, paying $1.2 million in rent annually to the San Francisco Port Commission. The park opened with a seating capacity of 40,800, but this has increased over time as seats have been added.

Sept. 5, 2009

Response to post #220: Those figures from Wikipedia seem to be in the ballpark (pun intended). Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 5, 2009

I am surpriosed the SF ballpark is on leased land. If I was the owner of the Giants and I paid for the park privately then I would not do deal under those terms, not a land lease. I would want ownership of the land. Sort of weird. Cihna Basin was not part of downtown, it was just ship yards.

Sept. 5, 2009

Response to 221, $150 million loan from Chase, $70 million from the sale of charter seat licenses, $102 million from the sale of naming rights and sponsorships and $15 million in tax increment financing by the city. This is a great place to see a game.Have you ever heard the saying "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"? Candlestick could be terrible; always cold and windy at night or so it seemed. But AT&T, well not so much. We've been to a 20 or 30 games there vs at maybe a hundred or so at the Stick and there is no comparison. And no suprise that the attendance is better. I've seen games at the Stick that maybe had 6-8km at most, but most every game we've been to at AT&T has been close to, if not a sellout. I think last year was the first year the Giants didn't beak 3 million in attendance and they only missed it by about 150k. And they have has some BAD teams.

Sept. 5, 2009

Yes, Candlestick Park was/is AWFUL! Bad location, bad weather, everything about it sucks.

One thing that is nice about the new ballpark is the much smaller seating capacity, much closer to the playing field. An intimate setting.

I am sure the $$$ are rolling in for the Giants owners, wish I owned a piece of that team, or the Dodgers (or even Anaheim now)- these teams have tradition and a solid fan base.

Sept. 5, 2009

Response to post #222: I don't know about that lease situation. Best, Don Baude4r

Sept. 5, 2009

Response to post #223: Yes, I hear one can freeze at Candlestick. I also understand that the owners didn't do their homework on that land. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 5, 2009

Response to post #224: Here's a question: the owners screwed up when Candlestick was built. Should the taxpayers have to make up the difference? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 5, 2009

Don, not sure what you mean by the owners screwing up when the Stick was built and the taxpayers paying for it.

Sept. 5, 2009

"Here's a question: the owners screwed up when Candlestick was built. Should the taxpayers have to make up the difference?"

The ownership of the Giants were stuck. They needed a new stadium in New York (the old Polo Grounds were literally falling apart), and were already contemplating moving elsewhere (Minnesota I think), and when the O'Malley's were told by the MLB that they could only move to Los Angeles if another team also moved to California, opportunity struck (Walter O'Malley was very influential in this).

The Mayor of San Francisco made an offer.

The voters in San Francisco approved a 5 million dollar bond for a new stadium, and the city already owned about half of the land where Candlestick would be built, so they bought the other half for a smidge over 2 million (trust me, this was a bargain), so basically, they built a stadium on the cheapest land available in San Francisco.

Basically, the city government did everything it could to save the taxpayers as much money as possible.

And, you know I'm going to say it because you know how I feel about Qualcomm: You get what you pay for.

So far as the taxpayers go, they simply need to vote down the bond issues if they don't want to foot the bill for a new stadium.

Sept. 6, 2009

Wow Gringo-excellent history lesson. Did you know that or did you Google it?

As for the bond issues, I think if the voters were given honest information and didn't have mayors' and other elected cheerleaders rah-rahing corporate welfare to the roof tops then most of the bonds would never even coem, close to passing. The bonds pass based on undue influence and pie in the sky whoppers/promises (sort of like how Bush said the Iraq war would "pay for itself", remember that whopper??...didn't work out that way did it).

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #228: As I hear it, real estate people in San Francisco knew that the location of Candlestick was a wind tunnel and deep freeze unsuitable for the location of a sports stadium. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Shawne Merriman was arrested at 3:45am this morning for choking and restraining Reality TV star Tila Tequila. Say goodbye to Steroid Boy and say hello to Larry English. :-D

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #229: What I meant was that the location was hideous, and sophisticated people in San Francisco knew it. Yet construction went ahead. That's what I meant by "screwed up." Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Surfpuppy: I knew it, but I double-checked some of it to make sure of the numbers. I grew up a big Dodger fan and hated the Giants (it was mandatory), during the O'Malley ear of ownership. I was fully educated in Dodger-Giant lore by Vin Scully ;)

Oh, and one thing I did find out from internet research was this: The other half of land that the city of San Francisco purchased at Candlestick for a ridiculously low price? It was owned by the person that would become the contractor to build the stadium.

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #230: The voters weren't informed. People in real estate laughed; they knew about that location. The media probably didn't do their job of informing the public. This may make another fascinating study of asymmetrical information. Economist Joseph Stiglitz won a Nobel Prize doing work on asymmetrical information. Basically, that boils down to this: some folks know the inside skinny and others don't. In the investment world, Wall Street knows the inside skinny and the suckers don't. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #232: I heard about that incident. If Merriman gets in trouble with the NFL, his absence could hurt the Chargers, as I understand it. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

With or without his absence he's already hurt the Chargers. Regular season is a week away and we've already got the first arrested Charger. It's not lookin' too good for that Super Bowl run.

Sept. 6, 2009

Let me add a few things to gringo's post. The SF voters approved the $5 million GO bond to be used for construction of a stadium in November of 1954, way before the Dodgers had decided to move, because they wanted a major league team. San Fran already had a pretty good PCL team, the SF Seals., who were bringing in over 600k fans as far back as the 40's so the fan base was there. When the new mayor took office in 1956, he publicly stated that bringing a major leagure team to SF was one of his priorities. Walter O'Malley made his first stop in LA in late '56 on the way to Japan for some exibition games. By Jan. of '57 he and Horace Stoneham both agreed it made more sense for both teams to move at the same time. A few weeks later, O'Malley bought the LA Angels of the PCl, giving him the MLB territorial rights in LA. In May of '57, the NL owners voted to approve both teams moving. They never said the Dodgers couldn't move alone; what they said was that if either team wanted to move alone, they would have to seek permission an there own. In July of '57, Stoneham announced the Giants were moving to SF; in early August the Giants received the "official" offer from SF and on August 18th, the Giants Boeard approved the transfer. Those are the basics. As for the stadium, I guess there's a reason that the SF city people never took Horace Stoneham to the stadium sight in the afternoon; that's when the winds pick up. One thing that people always get wrong though. The Stick isn't really colder than the AT&T. A study was done during the construction and the first season. If showed that the actual temp was within 1-2 degrees of the Stick, without the wind. The problem at Candlestick is that when the wind comes in from the Pacific, it hits the hill to the west of the park, it flows over the hill right down into the park. What used to happen was the wind would come in from right towards home plate and swiorl around and head back out towards left field. After they enclosed the stadium, it got worse and now the wind comes in and just swirls around. I once read an article that said if the stadium had been built as little as 1-20 feet further away from the hill, it's affect would have been greatly diminished. And to anticipate your question, no surfpuppy, I didn't google it. I knew most of it because I own a pretty good book on the Giants, The Original SF Giants - The Giants of 1958.

Sept. 6, 2009

gardenparty: Good job. Two notes - It was assumed that MLB owners would vote to block the move of one team but not two teams to the West Coast. I shortened it and inadvertently gave the wrong impression. Also interestingly enough, the Giant's shareholders did not vote unanimously on the move, there was some dissention for reasons that escape me at the moment. Maybe it's in your book.

Sept. 6, 2009

Gringo, the vote was 8-1. The dissenting vote was M Donald Grant, who later became chairman of the Mets. He was voting on behalf of Joan Whitney Payson. Appeaently he was some sort of "confidante" to her regarding baseball. She was the majority founder of the Mets and hired Grant. Grant is the one who traded Tom Seever because he was "too expensive". I partially agree, sort of, with your assessment of the owners' vote. From what I have read over the years, it seems most likely that single team part of the vote was a feeble attempt to call what they thought was a bluff by Walter O'Malley. O'Malley had originally wanted a new ballpark that would be built, financed and owned by the ballclub but the guy in charge of development, interestingly named Moses, wouldn't play ball, pun intended, because he didn't think the Dodgers would move. Good call on his part. But I think at that point the move was a fait accompli (O'Malley had already sold Ebbets and 2 minor league parks for about $5 million). I belive the league thought that if they made the move contingent upon both teams moving, when O'Malley relented to Moses(lol!!) or Stoneham got what he wanted, then the other team would withdraw their petition. But as I said, by January of '57, Stoneham and O'Malley had pretty much already agreed to move together.

Sept. 6, 2009

Thanks, gardenparty, great information.

Sept. 6, 2009

O'Malley had originally wanted a new ballpark that would be built, financed and owned by the ballclub but the guy in charge of development, interestingly named Moses, wouldn't play ball, pun intended, because he didn't think the Dodgers would move.

HMMM.....if the club was going to pay for all the costs why would "Moses" not play ball???? I am assuming "Moses" worked for the gov?

Reminds me in a way of the Raiders in 1981 when Al Davis wanted major improvements made to the Oakland/Alameda coliseum and they would not pay up because they knew the NFL would not allow the Raiders to move (which didn't hold up in court).

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #237: OK, suppose he is suspended for a game or two. Look how many other bounders on other teams will be suspended for periods. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Surfpuppy, The piece of land O'Malley wanted was one of the problems. He wanted to buy the property at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Prospect Heights which is still in Brooklyn. Moses wanted the Dodgers to move out of Brooklyn to Flushing Meadow. He didn't think the Dodger's choice was the right area for that kind of development. Problem two was the city wanted to build and own the stadium, with the Dodgers paying rent. LA was willing to sell Chavez Ravine to O'Malley.End of story. O'Malley's reply: If the Dodgers moved they would be the Flushing Dodgers, not the Brooklyn Dodgers." Coincidently, the New Jersey Nets are SUPPOSED to start breaking ground for thei arena at the same site before the end of the year, but we'll see. Shea Stadium ended being built where Moses had wanted the Dodgers to build. Moses, by the way, is credited with being the MasterBuilder of NYC. From an NYT article: Mr. Moses was close to a number of city, state and Federal Government officials. But with the exception of Gov. Alfred E. Smith, to whom he owed much of his early power, he seemed, to many observers, to be less in debt to governors, mayors and even Presidents than they appeared to be to him. His era of power had begun long before the election of many of the chief executives for whom he worked, and it continued long after many of them had passed from public view. Many officials frequently suggested that they did not know how they could get public projects built without Mr. Moses' help. He often threatened to resign when he did not get his way and, having called most mayors' and governors' bluffs, he usually did get his way - until 1962, when Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, to Mr. Moses' shock, accepted his resignation from several of his positions. Apperently, mosed thought he could beat O"Malley in a showdown.....I guess he was wrong. Bur at least NY got the Mets.

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #238: If your account is accurate -- and there is no reason to believe it isn't -- you have an excellent memory. I believe I have also heard that story that Stoneham was never taken to the site in the afternoon when the winds pick up. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #239: My guess is that the minority shareholders who did not vote for the move were inbred, chauvinistic New Yorkers. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Wow! What an awesome history lesson.

O'Malley certainly made the right move (no pun intended). He was able to get the land for his stadium, and the land is where the money is, and always will be, at.

I love baseball history, so much a part of the country. I love hearing stories like this.

One of the highlights of my entire life was visiting Cooperstown, and the Baseball Hall of Fame, after seeing the Penny Marshall movie "A League of Their Own" about the womens professional baseball leagues in the mid 40's through the mid 50's. At the end they closed out the movie with a section devoted to the womens league at the Baseball Hall of Fame. I said after I saw that movie I was going to Cooperstown and was going to see the Hall of Fame. It was everything I had hoped for and more.

I had a buddy in grad school who knew an awful lot about baseball history-especially the negro leagues. This guy would send baseballs out to all the old timers who were alive-along with a sharpie and a return envelope with the postage paid-for signing. He had a collection of thousands of these autographed balls. He also obviously had the letters from these old timers to go with the balls.

Great stuff.

Sept. 6, 2009

Response to post #247: A few years ago the Wall Street Journal had a front page feature on a guy who had spent years trying to prove that Jackie Robinson was not the first African-American pro baseballer. This guy claimed that in the very early days of pro baseball, back in the 1880s or so, a graduate of Brown University who was black played 3 or 4 games with one of the early pro teams. This guy had obviously spent years trying to prove this. It must be interesting to have baseball history as an avocation. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 6, 2009

Don, I remember reading about this. You probably mean William Edward White. ESPN had a story about him some time ago ( which was picked up by the WSJ).There is a record of him playing in one game in 1879 but really not much else is documented. If he was the first, he would also be the only former slave to play major league ball.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1723322

Sept. 7, 2009

Surf, I remember that story. Amazing stuff. I remember thinking how cool it was that he got to get a little bit of fame those finally months of his life. Although...now that I think about it...I think this guy was in a nursing home in New York (the one I'm thinking about, who was well over 100 years old).

There's a local negro league player I saw at a book store recently, with a local artist that wrote/illustrated a book on the leagues. His name starts with a "K" but can't remember it right now. His illustrations seem to work perfectly with those old players and games.

Sept. 7, 2009

Back in 2001 the Detroit Tigers (and all the negro league team cities) had an old timers day honoring the negro league players. All of the cities which had negro league teams used this day to honor the old timer negro league players, and the teams wore the negro league uniforms

The Tigers wore the old "Detroit Stars" uniforms (negro league team) and they had 3 of the old timers at this game signing autographs and baseballs, old time negro league players, including Ron "School Boy" Teasley- don't recall the other two.

This buddy of mine with the baseball collection knew (from the autograph baseballs) this really good old time negro league player named Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe (he received the nickname because he played both catcher and pitcher), anyway Ron Teasley also knew this Douby Duty Radcliffe, then these people who were behind us ALSO knew this guy Radcliffe (who was appearantly one hell of a player). Teasley asked about Radcliffe-who was living in Chicago in a nursing home and was up there in age- and we were able to shoot the s*** with this old time negro league player who was a little bit in shock that we (as in my buddy) knew so much about the negro leagues, and then also had a personal relationship with one of the leagues biggest stars, whom Teasley hadn't even seen on years. That was a living history lesson.

Radcliffe just died within the last couple of years, and the reason I know is because the LA Times ran a fairly large obit column on him.

http://www.negroleaguebaseball.com/teams/Detroit_Stars.html

http://www.negroleaguebaseball.com/players/Radcliffe.html

http://coe.ksu.edu/nlbemuseum/history/players/teasley.html

Sept. 7, 2009

Response to post #249: Yes, he must be the one. I remember reading WSJ story and thought he played more than one game, but my memory is fading. It was only a handful in any case. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 7, 2009

Response to post #250: I can remember when Satchel Paige came up to the big leagues from the Negro leagues. He was one of the greats. He was in his 40s or 50s when he finally made it to MLB. Right around that time, Larry Doby and Luke Easter were starring, but I don't remember if they had played in the Negro leagues. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 7, 2009

Response to post #251: There is some fascinating history here. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 7, 2009

I recently lost out in an auction, on a signed business card of Satchel Paige. What an interesting character, and the batters that faced him, said he was the best ever.

I think when Cleveland had him play for those few years of MLB ball, that had a huge rocking chair in the dugout. At least that's what I heard.

Sept. 8, 2009

Response to #253: Ask any (San Diego) old-timer about Luke Easter, and they'll likely relate the story about the longest home run ever hit. It was at the legendary Lane Field at the foot of Broadway, home to the PCL Padres from 1936 until they moved to Westgate Park, which is now the northeastern section of Fashion Valley. Easter was signed by the Cleveland Indians in "black wave" year of 1949, and spent most of the season setting new home run distance records in many PCL parks. The most memorable one at Lane Field was a dinger that bounced across Pacific Highway and landed in a boxcar. It was found 120 miles away in LA. Thus, the longest home run ever hit. For the record, this feat was attributed variously to 3 or 4 other Padres from that era. As you may recall, Easter was gunned down in 1979 as he was leaving a bank in which he had just cashed $5000.00 in payroll checks.

Sept. 8, 2009

Response to post #255: Satchel Paige was a legend. Yes, I understand he could do things on the mound that nobody else could do. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2009

Response to post #256: I have heard that story about the ball that traveled to LA for years; in fact, I think I read about it when I was in high school (1950-54) or before. But for some reason -- probably a bad memory -- I hadn't connected it with Luke Easter. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2009

Response to post #257: Luke Easter was a great one. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2009

I hadn't heard of Luke Easter. Here's an article:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime...

By gardenparty

Good find. Very sad eneding.

Also very cool that Luke Easter once played the Padres at the old Lane Field.

I have seen many pics of Lane Field (that location blows Petco in the dust), but I don't think I have ever seen a pic of Westgate Park. Obviously this was in the C. Arnholt Smith era.

Sept. 8, 2009

Just Googled these pics of old Lane Field and Westgate Park.

Lane Field would be like the current Giants ballpark, sitting pretty right on the water.

Westgate Park looks very nice also.

Westgate; http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/local/images3/1958Westgate.jpg

Lane; http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/local/images3/1936Lane.jpg

Petco; http://history.sandiego.edu/GEN/local/images3/CAN04869b.jpg

Sept. 8, 2009

Response to post #216: Yes, Lane Field was in the C. Arnholt Smith era, as I understand it. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 8, 2009

C. Arnholt Smith built Westgate Park for the Padres. I went there several times as a kid. During that time period the Chargers played at Balboa Stadium, behind San Diego High School.

Sept. 9, 2009

Response to post #264: It looks like this is one that someone will have to do homework on. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 9, 2009

I believe Lane Field was named after the guy who bought the PCL team that became the PCL Padres. I think the city built the stadium when Lane moved the Padres to San Diego in the 30's. Smith didn't buy the Padres until the late 50's. That's when they moved to Westgate Park. They played at Westgate until The Murph opened, playing there in '68 in their final year of existance. I was only about 6 when the PCl version played at the Murph so don't remember if I saw them either their or at Westgate. I know my parents and grandparents did because I remember them going to watch baseball before they started taking me with them to see the major league Padres at the Murph.

Sept. 10, 2009

From the voice of san diego.org artice in August about Bill Swank: http://www.voiceofsandiego.org/articles/2009/08/07/people/900swank080709.txt "Baseball became a bit more official in 1936, when Lane Field opened at the corner of Broadway and Pacific Highway and the newly renamed San Diego Padres began playing. How did the ballpark end up being built? Bill Lane agreed to bring his Hollywood Stars to San Diego in 1936, but there wasn't a suitable place for them to play. This was during the Depression and remarkably, in two months time, the WPA built Lane Field for $20,000.

Lane Field was a typical wooden minor-league park of that era. Everything was painted green, and billboards were on the outfield walls. The Broadway entrance had some charm because it resembled an early California mission.

What was the ballpark like when you began watching games there? When I moved to San Diego in 1955, it was starting to fall apart. By then, it was a good place to get splinters in your butt. Sections of the original bleachers had been condemned and removed, and termites had destroyed hundreds of reserved grandstand seats.

When it was finally razed in 1958, sportswriter Phil Colliers wrote, "The termites are crying. They lost their dinner."

But it remains a place of beauty and charm to those who remember it as the original home of the Padres.

The setting was perfect, right on the water, and the view of downtown San Diego was quite different back then. The El Cortez, the Santa Fe depot and the smokestacks at SDG&E stick in my mind. Downtown San Diego was very small."

Sept. 10, 2009

Re 267: "sportswriter Phil Colliers..." should read Phil Collier. No "s".

Sept. 10, 2009

Wow, the "Hollywood Stars". Of course in Hollywood the perfect name would be the "Stars".

Las Vegas' minor league baseball team are called the "Stars" today.

Sept. 10, 2009

Response to post #266: Sounds like I was wrong. Smith was not the owner when the team played at Lane Field. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 10, 2009

Response to post #267: I remember reading that the setting was perfect. However, was that the stadium that was sometimes engulfed in fog? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 10, 2009

Response to post #268; Yes, it was Phil Collier -- singular. And a singularly good sports writer, too. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 10, 2009

Response to post #269; That team should be called the Las Vegas Craps. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 10, 2009

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