When Tom Garfinkel took power, he was a complete opposite of the previous Alderson management regime. Alderson was a baseball guy, trying to use his experience with Moneyball to build a quality product on the field for not much money. His public interviews and image were gruff and standoffish, while the off field game experience was lackluster. Garfinkel was a gameday experience kind of guy who got elevated to President. He was a marketing guru with little to no baseball operations experience. Predictably, the gameday experience is light years ahead of where it was under Alderson. Garfinkel was accessible, responsive, social media savvy, and dare I say it, beloved by many fans. I liked Garfinkel, but think his hiring by Moorad was indicative that that ownership group hoped to improve the gameday experience and take the focus off the minuscule budget and mediocre infield product. After all, improving beer selection is a lot cheaper than signing a top free agent.
The firing/resignation of Garfinkel is sad for many, especially the chosen bloggers that have been dining on the free bennies trough, but also by those that care about gameday experience. It also builds hope that the pendulum might swing towards a new President that has a little more away over baseball operations, bringing more of a focus to this team winning. I’d like to someone somewhere between Alderson and Garfinkel on the spectrum. As far as specific hopes for the future, lets hope for:
1. A renewed focus on branding, specifically bringing back the brown. Bringing back brown to the color scheme is critical for the Padres to differentiate themselves and build brand loyalty.
2. Put Dick Enberg out to pasture. Bring back Mel Proctor.
3. Don’t allow Fowler to screw up the beer selection.
4. Don’t allow Fowler to screw up everything.
In the interim, I think we can all agree that Ron Fowler, on his first day on the job, is now the most unpopular team president in recent history.