The Morning Report
Get the news and information you need to take on the day.
After an inauspicious start, new San Diego Padres CEO Mike Dee fired back Thursday, following a tried and true blueprint to temporarily win the fans back. I like to call this roadmap “The San Diego Blue Plate Special.” Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Tell the fans that a “small market” doesn’t matter, and that the Padres can be competitive against the Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox and other teams spending five times as much on players. Sure, the fans will bring this up in a few years when you complain about the market size, but you’ll buy yourself some time.
Step 2: Blame the poor fan experience on the stadium, and the way in which previous ownership ignored it, then pour money into a new sound system and a fresh coat of paint, along with bigger video screens.
Step 3: When all else fails, buy the fans’ love. Give them free beach towels and fedoras, and back their silly “Bring Back the Brown” campaign for a few days. Also, let the bloggers announce the promotions because bloggers are the loudest fans.
I swear I’ve seen new owners and team presidents use this same plan to quiet down an angry fanbase more than a few times over the last two decades. We love our baseball, and we want it to be good, but San Diego sure has a way of selling out for a beach towel and a hat.
Possibly lost in the fray of the promotional announcements were these two bits of news:
• A pre-season series between the Padres and Indians, which was set to take place at Petco Park, has been moved to USD’s Fowler Park (named after Padres new owner Ron Fowler) to avoid conflict with an on-field luncheon the team has scheduled. Priorities, people.
• Cory Luebke, who was one of the franchise’s bright young stars before having Tommy John surgery and missing the 2013 season, had another surgery on his left elbow and will miss his second consecutive season. History tells us that this may be the last we hear of Luebke as an MLB starting pitcher.
You’re reading the Sports Report, our weekly compilation of news and information for the San Diego sports fan.
The 2014 Winter Olympics Are a Disaster
• The Winter Olympics opening ceremonies are being broadcast tonight, but everyone who needs to be in Sochi, Russia, for the games has arrived and their tweets are mildly horrifying. They tell a story about a country that isn’t ready to host the Olympics despite seven years of preparation. Broken door handles, “dangerous” yellow tap water, hotels without lobbies, a pillow shortage and other adventures have kept fans glued to news from Sochi for all of the wrong reasons.
• San Diego’s own Shaun White will compete in the snowboarding halfpipe event, but pulled out of the first-ever slopestyle event due to a course that he deemed too dangerous. Take a look at this first-person video of the course and see if you would want to get back up and do it again.
• There are stray dogs all over Sochi, and despite the Russian government’s best attempts to kill them quickly, some have gotten away and are on the Olympic courses, barking at skiers.
• Don’t worry about reporting any of these issues to the Russians, though. They’re spying on everyone all the time, even in the shower, and are well aware of what is and isn’t working.
Who Will Be the Newest Chargers?
• The NFL’s free agency period is creeping up, and the Chargers might be looking for a backup running back to replace Ronnie Brown. Here are three guys who could fit the bill.
• Do you like your football broken all the way down to the point of mathematics? Well, do I have a treat for you. Andrew Tschiltsch dug through the numbers in an effort to find out the most important factors in building a winning NFL franchise, and even came up with a handy formula for regression analysis that I sort of understand. What I have gathered from reading that post is that I concern myself too much with the San Diego pass rush.
• If you ask the experts (read: professional speculators) who the Chargers will select in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they would apparently flip a coin to help decide between Bradley Roby and Jason Verrett. This is where the odd event known as the scouting combine will actually be of great assistance to San Diego’s GM.
• Ever wonder what scouts thought of your favorite Chargers players when they were coming out of high school? The answer might shock you.
Stories You May Have Missed
• The NBA has been having a fun season, and part of that has been due to the high level of play from the (one-time local) Los Angeles Clippers. However, if the rumors are to believed, the future is even brighter for the Clippers, because they could sign LeBron James next season and pair him with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.
• Curt Schilling, one of the greatest playoff pitchers in the history of baseball, announced this week that he’s battling cancer.
• GIF of the Week: In case you couldn’t tell from a giant Seahawk making confetti angels, the Seattle Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl and are your 2013-14 NFL Champions.
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I’m John Gennaro, contributor to Active Voice and managing editor of Bolts from the Blue. You can tweet me @john_gennaro or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.