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Everyone in San Diego likes the idea of moving the new fences in. But should it wait?

Apr 26, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

Petco Park

Yesterday we heard that the Padres are thinking of moving the fences in at Petco Park.  Today the reviews are in, and they’re uniformly positive among Padres people:

The idea of bringing in at least some of the fences at Petco Park received the unexpected backing of Padres manager Bud Black Wednesday.

“I’d be in favor of moving them in,” said Black, who was a major league pitcher and pitching coach before becoming the manager of the Padres in 2007.

Actually, both Black and general manager Josh Byrnes support the idea of adjusting the dimensions at Petco Park – a proposal forwarded by interim CEO Tom Garfinkel Tuesday.

It’s that last part that has me wondering about this. Garfinkel is the “interim” CEO because the team is for sale. I wonder if MLB would prefer to wait until a permanent owner is in place of the Padres and let them dictate thing.  That is addressed some in the article, but only in the form of an assumption that new owners would want the same thing.

But it doesn’t have to be just a “move them or don’t move them” thing. What if there is a “move the fences in and build a new bar/restaurant/cool feature” in the extra non-field space that is created?  What if it requires a bigger investment than the interims want to make?

Not a big deal, I realize, but I’d think that this should wait until the Padres have new owners.

  1. singingfriar - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    It should absolutely wait. The timing of this is really suspicious. Eight full seasons of playing baseball in Petco Park and an interim CEO with a fetish for focus groups decides the fences need to be moved in during a season with an abysmal team? It’s just a distraction that won’t fix the horrible product on the field.

  2. natstowngreg - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Makes sense.

  3. randygnyc - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Maybe they figure with 81 games being played there that this is a quick and inexpensive (no draft, trades or FA signings) way to “help” their offense. It’s widely believed that although most people appreciate good pitching, they pay to come see homeruns/offense. Maybe an increase in attendance can attract higher bids.

  4. The Baseball Idiot - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    It has to wait. Major League rules prohibit changing the field during the season.

    And the club has to have permission from MLB. Call it the Charley Finley rule.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      True, but Craig’s point still applies. Leave the decision on asking MLB for permission to the new ownership.

  5. xpensivewinos - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Garkfinkel is also the same idiot who said “the Padres are going to own breakfast in San Diego.” I believe that may be the second stupidest thing anyone running a baseball team has ever said (Marge Schott comes to mind as number one). There’s only so many stupid things you can say and do before the quality of the team has to be addressed.

    Let whoever ultimately owns and runs the team make these decisions. It’s not like anything is happening while the season is going on anyway and Garfinkel will be kissing some other wanna-be owner’s ass in another town soon enough. Sounds like he’s looking for busy work to make it look like he’s doing something.

    The only real question I have is how much more will it cost to “fix” the ballpark, relative to actually paying for a major league quality power hitter. Crazy thought, but people may actually pay to see that. What the Padres put on the field is not a major league caliber team……..that might have something to do with why they can’t score runs. The teams that beat them repeatedly seem to have no problem scoring…….

    • Alex K - Apr 26, 2012 at 4:56 PM

      A “major league power hitter” has a choice if they would like to sign with the Padres. Why would a power hitter want to sign somewhere that will hurt his game?

  6. Walk - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    If for nothing else they should wait to move the fences in until after the season to be fair to all who have played there. The biggest effect of moving the fences in would be on the type of free agent that park attracts in my opinion. I would think if they moved the fences in they would have a better chance of signing and keeping their sluggers.

  7. icanspeel - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    Padres figure it is cheaper to move in the fences than to pay a few legit MLB hitters to come play with them.

  8. vanmorrissey - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    So, one of the worst teams in MLB, with one of the lowest payrolls and a lame duck owner, comes out and is now saying it wants to move the fences. Well with only 40% of local viewers able to watch the ‘team’ play due to the Fox Sports West SD buy, who really cares if they get beat 3-1, or 8-2? This speaks of an effort to try and keep from losing what little fan base they have in an effort to try and attract free agents. Kind of like giving a baby aspirin to someone getting a root canal. Another season done after the first week and the plan to develop a team around pitching and defense, failed. Guess they have to try something so applaud them for that.

    • gloccamorra - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:14 PM

      Van, 60% of people in the city of San Diego CAN watch on TV, and 80% of people in the county can too. The cable/dish systems that don’t carry the games have 220,000 subscribers out of 1.1 million households.

      BTW, No team is doomed after the first three weeks of a six month season, or the Red Sox, Phillies, and Angels would be throwing in the towel. Get ahold of yourself, man!

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    I think this is crap. Home runs don’t have to be easy everywhere – this trend of bringing the fences in just cheapens them. I like having a few places where home runs can really be earned.

    Fill your lineup with speedy line-drive hitters, give yourself a decent pitching staff and the Padres could readily compete. Home runs aren’t vital.

  10. xpensivewinos - Apr 26, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Alex K –

    You make it sound like the Padres are going to offer big money to free agent hitters and they’ll decide not to come. The Padres didn’t keep Adrian (who figured out how to hit home runs there), so they’re certainly not going to pay someone else.

    They haven’t grown any of their own (which they’re supposed to do since they’re a small market team, right), nor have they traded for any (Quentin may prove to be serviceable until they trade him), but don’t make it sound like they’re aggressively seeking quality talent and they’re being turned away because of the ballpark.

    They have the lowest payroll in baseball this year and the quality of the team more than reflects that.

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