Padres CEO Moorad chats with fans
Executive wants to keep Peavy, Gonzalez for years to come
Padres CEO and vice chairman Jeff Moorad took time out to chat with San Diego fans exclusively on padres.com on Wednesday afternoon. Here's a transcript of the candid discussion:
23gonzalez: Is there any chance that like in 2010 we can give Adrian Gonzalez a long-term deal, say like 5,6 years?
j_moorad: Why wait until 2010?
Kaybee: How do you think the Padres will do this year?
j_moorad: My goal is to exceed expectations - in fairness, there isn't a high bar this year, but I'm confident that this team will perform better than many expect.
23gonzalez: Are you willing to keep Jake Peavy, even with his contract?
j_moorad: Absolutely -- I'm convinced that Jake is one of the elite pitchers in the game today -- that said, we have said that no one player is untouchable -- I hope Jake is on the club for years to come.
MelvinNieves: Hey Jeff. Will you be involved in much player personnel decision-making? If so, what is your philosophy on talent evaluation? Do you believe in the more advanced metrics?
j_moorad: Very little -- I believe in letting the club's GM take a leadership role in all personnel decisions -- I'll be available as a resource as needed. I do believe in any and all forms of scouting, old-school or sabermetrics included.
Kaybee: Do you read any MLBlogs?
j_moorad: Not often -- I believe in keeping abreast of what our fans are saying; for that reason, I check in periodically, but, in fairness, I spend most of my time on padres.com
miatamx5: Will new uniforms be considered now that a new era of Padres baseball is upon us?
j_moorad: I'm a big fan of the Padres colors -- unlike Arizona, where we changed the colors completely, the only thing I'm open to is an occasional tweak to the designs.
dopadres: Previous Padres CEO, Sandy Alderson, spent a significant amount of effort on baseball strategy (Specifically, to not keep the ball in play in PETCO Park) as CEO, will you stress your personal baseball strategy?
j_moorad: Some, but, again, I believe in letting the baseball operations people do what they do best -- as a result, I'll rely on Kevin Towers and his staff for most ballpark/strategy direction.
Kaybee: What's your favorite kind of music to listen to?
j_moorad: Hands down, R&B (huge Stevie Wonder fan)
champjpayn: Do you favor developing players through the farm system or acquiring them through trades and free agent signings?
j_moorad: Our market economics suggest that we will continue to rely on scouting and player development rather than be active in ML free agency.
23gonzalez: Are you going to spend more money on draft picks? Thanks for doing this chat.
j_moorad: Enjoy doing chats -- we are committed to spend in the Draft and for signing international FAs [a policy started by Sandy Alderson], but, not surprising, will only spend within reason.
mlbbest: what's your opinion of the "Moneyball" theory and how similar is your approach to the game?
j_moorad: I'm a big Billy Beane fan and believe the Moneyball theories are a significant part of player evaluation.
mlbbest: Apart from the new complex in the Dominican Republic, how committed are you to bringing in international talent from other parts of the world?
j_moorad: Totally committed
dopadres: Do MLB fans speak louder to MLB owners via traditional and new media outlets? Or via their pocketbooks through tickets and other sales?
j_moorad: The smart organizations pay attention to all forms of feedback.
dink52: It has been reported that the intent of the new ownership group is to assume total control within 5 years. Is this a normal process? How will this affect season-to-season player/personnel budgets?
j_moorad: John Moores and I are committed to a business as usual approach -- we will increase the player budgets as our fan support rejuvenates over time.
dopadres: The Padres are 'The Team of the Military'. Do you see that continuing into the future? Why or why not?
j_moorad: Absolutely -- San Diego has always been a military town -- I'm a huge supporter of tradition, especially that one.
dopadres: In light of the economy, the Yankees announced a new ticketing plan last night. Were you surprised by the move and do you expect it to be a trendsetting move in MLB this year?
j_moorad: I commend Hal Steinbrenner and Randy Levine for listening to their fan base -- to the extent the supporters of the team provided the feedback, I'm proud of them acting on it.
dajman_007: I'm a college student extremely interested in the business of baseball, what is the best route into the front office?
j_moorad: There really isn't a clear path ... I'd advise a well-rounded curriculum and a relevant graduate degree -- in retrospect, I wish I'd coupled an MBA with my law degree -- work experience in any aspect of the sports industry could be helpful during the summer months.
MelvinNieves: I've seen reports that depending on the team's success, there is room in the payroll for the Padres to be buyers midseason. Assuming this is true, how close to contention would you want to be before pulling the trigger to add salary?
j_moorad: Within striking range -- if the deadline was upon us today, we'd be open to adding an appropriate player or two.
mlbbest: Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?
j_moorad: Willie Mays -- still remember sitting on my grandfather's lap rooting for the Giants at Candlestick Park.
mlbbest: Are you guys planning on continuing the great food deals you have going on this year? (5 for 5, Coke program, etc?)
j_moorad: We're committed for the whole season -- it's the single most-discussed promotion that I've heard about as I move around the market.
dopadres: What relationship, if any, do you have with the owners of the Chargers, the Spanos family?
j_moorad: An evolving one; I have a great deal of respect for the Spanos family -- I've gotten to know Dean of late and look forward to hosting him at a Padres game in the near future.
dink52: "We will increase the player budgets as our fan support rejuvenates over time." Does this mean fan attendance must first increase in order to cover the cost of improved team quality?
j_moorad: I've said many times that our ownership group will plow any incremental revenues we are able to generate back into the product on the field as well as the facility.
dajman_007: I've done a few brief reports on how the business behind baseball [and turning a profit] can often conflict with winning games, especially with teams like the Yankees diluting the FA markets. Do you agree or disagree?
j_moorad: With all due respect to teams that spend heavily in free agency, I believe the models behind the 2008 Rays, 2007 Rockies, and the 2007 Diamondbacks work quite well with their focus on scouting and player development.
MelvinNieves: How does the debt on PETCO Park affect the team's sale, and the year-to-year finances?
j_moorad: The bond debt is a significant part of the team's annual expenses -- we look at it as a large "rent" payment and accept it as the team's part of a great stadium project.
sdpadres35: Are you happy with how PETCO Park plays or are you willing to consider moving in the fences at some point?
j_moorad: I love the ballpark, but am always open to the recommendations of our baseball operations folks.
mlbbest: How about Adrian!? just went yard...eighth home run in April, club record!
j_moorad: He is the best!
dajman_007: As the new CEO, what changes can -- and will -- you bring to the ballclub and management?
j_moorad: We're committed to a long-term process to insure that we have a competitive team year-in and year-out and to maintain a first class facility and fan experience at PETCO.
dajman_007: Give us a background of your baseball/professional experience.
j_moorad: Lifelong fan, 20 years in the player representation business, 4 1/2 years as the CEO/General Partner in Arizona.
dopadres: How important is it to you to bring the MLB All-Star Game to San Diego?
j_moorad: Very Important -- John Moores and I have spent some time discussing the subject -- I was thrilled to see the announcement about the 2011 game in Arizona and know that San Diego/PETCO lines up somewhere in the near future -- my goal is to work with MLB and insure that we are in the rotation sooner than later.
magicbeans: Considering the Padres' low payroll, why do the rumors persist that Jake Peavy will be traded this year?
j_moorad: It's part of the business of sports -- we think the world of Jake.
dajman_007: I assume from your picture off to the side that there won't be a "clean-shaven" rule in the clubhouse anytime soon?
j_moorad: Not by me.
j_moorad: Although I do trim...
sdpadres35: What do you feel the Padres organization can learn from the Diamondbacks, if anything?
j_moorad: I'm a fan of Josh Byrnes and the job the Diamondbacks have done blending a healthy player development philosophy with reasoned spending at the Major League level -- I'm confident the Diamondbacks are a role model to many on the baseball side.
dopadres: John Moores and Sandy Alderson are/were very active with MLB HQ Committee(s), what desire do you have to participate at that level?
j_moorad: I've always been committed to being a good partner at the MLB level -- I will continue that approach and pay particular attention to San Diego-centric issues.
Kaybee: How long do you think Kevin Kouzmanoff will be a Padre?
j_moorad: I hope a long time.
friarfansince1978: What can be done about lifting the local area blackout on any and all live coverage to the 17 percent of San Diego County that is not serviced by Cox cable or are dependent upon satellite for our telecommunications?
j_moorad: I'm a huge proponent of letting our fan base receive our signal (whether radio or TV) and will do everything I can to allow that to happen.
Kaybee: What's up with Jake Peavy this season?
j_moorad: It's a long season; Jake will be fine.
amcguire: Is there one player from your time as an agent that you wish you would have represented but didn't get the chance?
j_moorad: I may have been a bit before him, but Chris Young [of the Padres] represents my idea of a prototype client.
j9studt: Are you a fan of the DH?
j_moorad: No -- I'm a NL guy at heart...
j9studt: What are your plans for marketing to specific segments of the community (e.g. Latinos)?
j_moorad: Mexico will be an absolute focus for the organization going forward -- I'm committed to getting our message (and brand) out in Mexico and letting all know that our ballpark is a welcome place.
miatamx5: With San Diego having such beautiful summer weather, would you consider more day baseball games or earlier start times?
j_moorad: Although we are dependent on the MLB scheduling system/requirements, I'm a big fan of afternoon baseball.
magicbeans: I've heard that the exclusive television deal with Cox expires after next year. Will that be continued or will others get the rights to broadcast Padres games?
j_moorad: Our deal with Cox runs through the 2011 season.
sdgirl9: Have you thought about doing a specific ticket program to 92101 residents who can easily go to many more games?
j_moorad: I haven't, but interesting idea...
j9studt: Scott Boras floated a plan to revise the World Series so that it was held in a neutral city, like the Super Bowl, and to have the player awards given out during the World Series. What do you think and what happened to that plan?
j_moorad: Scott has a lot of creative ideas; that's not one of them.
j9studt: Can you tell us more about Tom Garfinkel?
j_moorad: World class business leader -- he's the epitome of a cutting edge thinker as it relates to management organization and culture.
peavy44fan: Do you think the Padres could win the World Series?
j_moorad: I won't rest until we do.
J-DUB: What has been the most challenging thing for you so far?
j_moorad: Still learning the community and look forward to that process continuing - as a native Californian, it's great to be back in the Golden State.
dopadres: Have you tried a Randy Jones 'Slugger Dog' yet? If not, treat yourself to one -- they're great! Along the same lines, former players Jones and Dave Winfield remain very active in the organization. Do you see any changes or additions along those lines?
j_moorad: I think the former players who are involved are great -- I'd like to have more involved. Randy Jones forced a "Slugger Dog" on me on my first day -- it was very good.
j9studt: What one thing that the D-backs do in the front office that you would like to replicate here?
j_moorad: Monthly talent show
dopadres: What is your favorite baseball movie? Field of Dreams, Ken Burns' Baseball, The Natural, etc?
j_moorad: For Love of the Game
J-DUB: As minority owner, are you in meetings alongside Moores?
j_moorad: John and I have worked well together and are committed to continuing to over the long term.
pbpaul: Dave Winfield has been on ESPN Sunday night games -- does that mean you're cutting back his role with the team?
j_moorad: Dave is excited about doing the broadcasts and we support him.
dink52: How would you feel about sharing the downtown area with a new Charger Stadium?
j_moorad: I'm a huge NFL fan; couldn't think of anything better for San Diego!
j9studt: What was your favorite baseball team as you grew up and why?
j_moorad: I grew up in Modesto and rooted for the San Francisco Giants; now, I'm a fan of the Padres!
j_moorad: Thank you everyone for tuning in -- hope to see all of you at Petco in the near future - Go Padres!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.