The Padres have historically had a mixed track record dealing with domestic abusers on their roster. During Everth Cabrera’s tenure in San Diego, he was charged with domestic abuse during 2012’s Spring Training. The team chose not to separate with the player, nor would they commit to not playing him at the Major League level.
This occurred a few months before the Fowler/Seidler/O’Malley(LOL!!!) partnership purchased the team. Since then, domestic violence has been rare in the Padres organization, but when it has occurred, as was the case this Spring with Jose Torres, that player has not appeared in a Padres uniform. When violent domestic abuser Hector Olivera was acquired in a salary dump trade for Matt Kemp, Olivera was immediately released (although the team will still be cutting checks to him through the 2019 season). Given this track record of zero tolerance for domestic abuse from baseball operations, it’s alarming that the business side led by Erik Greupner and Wayne Partello has been not just tolerant of domestic abusers, but has actively promoted and linked them to their brand.
Before Ray Rice’s elevator video appeared, former Padres right fielder and Granite Hills alum Brian Giles had video evidence of domestic abuse released to the public. The video appears to show Brian Giles striking his girlfriend Cheri Olvera to the ground in a Phoenix bar. In the video several people run to the side of Olvera after she is struck. Giles plead no contest to the battery charges related to this incident, so this is not an ALLEGEDLY type situation, there is no question what was done here. On top of this incident, NBC 7 reported on other domestic abuse allegations that will make your stomach turn:
The most serious of the allegations involve Olvera’s pregnancies. The lawsuit accuses Giles of hitting and slapping Olvera in the face, shaking and kicking her, and battering her twice when she was pregnant with Giles’ child.
Olvera’s attorney Cary W. Goldstein said Giles physically abused Olvera while she was pregnant in 2002, but he said his client doesn’t blame Giles for her miscarriage in that pregnancy. Goldstein said Olvera became pregnant again, this time in early 2008, and that his client claims Giles threw her down a hallway, causing her to miscarry.
“Giles ‘struck Cheri [Olvera] with his forearm while they were at the McDonald’s drive-thru [in 2004],’ Giles’ ex-wife, Doddie,” said in court in 2004, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. During another incident at Giles’ home in the same year, he allegedly pushed Olvera off the couch to the floor and she left the room in tears, according to the same statement.
Meanwhile, former Padres second baseman and Granite Hills alum Marcus Giles was arrested in 2009 for domestic abuse, accused of striking his wife. He plead guilty to the charges in 2010, ensuring there would be no testimony providing additional details on the incident. Again, he plead guilty, there is no ALLEGEDLY here. Marcus Giles IS a violent domestic abuser.
And despite this, the Padres have continued to feature the brothers in Padres alumni events, fantasy camps, and military outreach programs. Featuring domestic abusers like the Giles brothers in military outreach is especially troubling given that the armed forces have had well documented and long running issues with domestic abuse being both highly prevalent and under reported among veterans.
The Padres referred to Brian Giles as “notable Padres alumni” in their 2018 Fantasy Camp press release, noting that the Padres alums would teach fundamentals and be available for meet and greets for the $4,500 camp.
Participants in the Padres Fantasy Camp will spend the week getting the full big-league experience while receiving instruction on the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, pitching and baserunning from notable Padres Alumni and current members of the minor league coaching staff. Alumni expected to participate include: Trevor Hoffman, Randy Jones, Tony Gwynn Jr., Kevin Ward, Garry Templeton, Andy Ashby, Steve Finley, Brian Giles, Brett Tomko, Mark Sweeney, Mark Grant and Mark Loretta.
They’ve featured both brothers in alumni softball games and military outreach in 2017 and 2018:
The alumni and military outreach programs have been a semi-recent addition to the marketing portfolio. But the featuring of Brian Giles in team charity/marketing efforts can be traced back to 2014, when the team featured him in a Boys and Girls Club charity golf tournament:
Wayne Partello was hired by the Padres in October 2013, meaning each of these instances has fallen under his tenure, and of which he is ultimately responsible. But hey, most of the Padres marketing staff are junior level having average tenures with the team of around 2 to 3 years, maybe they don’t know anything about the Giles’ sordid history. It’s almost as if longtime employees that live and breathe the team and understand the history and implications of that history are valuable resources, people like fifteen year employee Mike Grace that Partello boneheadedly dismissed in 2015. But here we are, and if we’re being honest, I’m fully expecting the team to ultimately respond with they weren’t aware of the past history but now, NOW, they will act. #PadresTwitter has brought this issue to the team’s awareness for years now, falling on deaf ears.
And so, as is the case with all of the other many Partello/Dee era blunders, nothing ever seems to change and problems never get acknowledged until they blow up into a massive public spectacle, creating the obvious need to turn this problem into a massive public spectacle just to get the team to act like a responsible community member and do what’s right. Partello has denied every request to address issues on our podcast, and most other podcasts, and so fans are left few outlets to express their concerns other than mounting campaigns that eventually turn into nationally reported embarrassments. The Kaiser Foundation stated that one of the biggest issues with domestic violence is a “code of silence” that can arise about cases, many times from those sheltering the victim, that ends up perpetuating and enabling the problem. The silence from both the Padres and the local media on this issue has been deafening. USA Today reported that “one in three women experience domestic or dating violence in their lifetimes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the vast majority of the victims are women harmed by men.” If the Padres want to see the impact supporting domestic abusers can have on their fans, look no further than the emotional plea from @PadresGeekster sent to team executives today:
As a husband and father of a four year old daughter, I want to know that the team we devote endless hours of time to, thousands of dollars to, and pieces of our heart to, values the interests of women as much as I do.
In the end, I believe the Padres will do the very minimum which is to not feature the Giles brothers in these events going forward. There will be no accountability for the executives and bean counters that sat down and reasoned that it was more worth it to ignore years of outcries about featuring domestic abusers and continue on the path they’re on today than it was to simply sever ties and find different players for these events. This is what we’ve come to expect in the era of this management team where despite botching the radio contract, having a nationally reported debacle with Kevin Klein, featuring a known anti-semite/misogynist/racist/no-talent-ass-clown on their flagship radio station, falling attendance, outcries about ticket pricing, a failure to adapt to economic reality, and a host of other embarrassing, well publicized blunders, Fowler and Seidler continue to give votes of confidence. Fans can be 100% content with the baseball operations side of the house (not coincidentally the side of the house that has publicly had zero tolerance for domestic abusers) while also being highly dissatisfied, if not disgusted, with the business side of the house. Fans deserve better than having violent domestic abusers like Brian Giles and Marcus Giles lionized by the Padres. Do what’s right. Finally.
I recommend everyone flood the e-mail boxes of team executives and express a desire to see the team show accountability and sever ties with the Giles brothers: