Padres' new owners stress community spirit

A day after their purchase of the San Diego Padres from John Moores closed, the new owners met the press and the players at Petco Park before the Padres' 8-2 win over the Braves.

Led by members of two families that trace their baseball heritage to former Dodgers owners Walter and Peter O'Malley plus San Diego business and civic leader Ron Fowler, the new group spoke about a bright future for the Padres without divulging many details.

Fowler, who will be the control person for the new group, said the new ownership group takes over with three key criteria: "Continuity, consistency, community."

"We want the Padres to be part of what makes San Diego great," said Fowler. "We're going to take it up another notch."

Questions about future payroll, the continuing impasse in the television distribution, possible changes to Petco Park and even the composition of the ownership group were answered in generalities.

The heirs to the O'Malley Dodgers legacy -- Walter's grandsons Peter and Tom Seidler and Kevin and Brian O'Malley -- are, as Fowler described them, "the primary owners" among a group of a dozen owners that includes eight members of the minority faction that previously owned 49.32 percent of the Padres.

The group also includes Rick Barry, Glenn Doshay, Alexis Fowler, Patrick Graham, Alfredo Harp Helu, Harvey Jabara, Lee Ross and Wayne Seltzer.

Harp, a native of Mexico City, is believed to be the only member of a Major League Baseball ownership group who is a citizen of Mexico. Harp is the owner and chairman of the Mexico City Red Devils of the Mexican League.

And while professional golfer Phil Mickelson wasn't among the owners identified Wednesday, Peter Seidler said "we have a spot for Phil" and said he expects to meet with Mickelson within the next couple of weeks. "We have a spot in our group for Phil and only Phil," said Seidler. "We expect that to be finalized in two weeks."

Fowler said the purchase of the Padres was an "all cash deal."

"We are not taking on any debt," said Fowler. "The new ownership group is over-subscribed."

"In terms of debt, outside of the ballpark, the Padres have less today than they had yesterday," said Peter Seidler.