This week the San Diego Padres became the second NL West team to change ownership this season when the O’Malley family was unanimously approved as their new ownership group. John Moores, who was hardly a popular figure among Padres fans due to his airtight budget, is no longer the man in charge.
Like the Dodgers, the Padres also have a famous professional sports figure who now owns part of the team. That figure would be the golfer they call “Lefty,” Phil Mickelson. Granted, Magic Johnson’s notoriety is hard to match and Mickelson most likely will not appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated with, say, Carlos Quentin or Chase Headley (one can dream!). But as the axis of power continues its shift westward, it never hurts to have someone whose fame extends beyond Major League Baseball attached to your team.
One cannot help but wonder if Mickelson’s influence will actually be apparent to the casual fan, say, in the form of Nascar-style sponsorships on uniforms that do not quite fit.