Phil Mickelson is one of San Diego's biggest icons. The San Diego Padres need some kind of spark to get fans excited about the franchise as they go through a rebuilding process on the field. It would seem to be a perfect match.
Current Padres owner John Moores put the franchise up for sale in April 2011 again after a failed sale to a group led by Jeff Moorad, who still owns 49 percent of the team.
On Monday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Mickeslon wants to get in on the bidding for the Padres and is aligning himself with the O'Malley family.
While there are a lot of details that would have to be ironed out before anyone can buy the franchise, having Mickelson's name attached to the ownership group would be a major coup for the Padres and the city of San Diego.
“I always had a love for the team. But (recently) I just felt disassociated with the organization a little bit as a fan. I just know I didn’t identify with the players or have an emotional connection.
“Where I want to get involved is I want to get a personal involvement with the players and the community — personal interaction with fans, more community outreach. I want to create an emotional tie with the players and the community.”
That last part is what resonates the most with the fans—interaction. Since Adrian Gonzalez was traded to the Boston Red Sox prior to the 2011 season, the Padres have been searching for someone to sell the team to fans.
Their farm system is arguably the best in baseball right now, however those prospects aren't in San Diego right now so it is hard to sell fans on the unknown.
If Mickelson is able to get a share of the Padres, they will finally have that big-name who can represent the city and bring back some of those disillusioned fans who left two years ago.
He would serve in the same capacity as Magic Johnson will with the Los Angeles Dodgers—a financial partner whose greatest contribution will come from his celebrity and willingness to sell people on the team and city.
Hopefully things work out for the Padres, one way or another, because that city is too beautiful to not be interested in baseball.
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