PGA Tour star Phil Mickelson has talked excitedly about joining his hometown San Diego Padres as a minority owner. But as the team’s new ownership group took control this week, Lefty was left out.
Mickelson was prominently absent on the list of investors revealed Wednesday upon the close of the sale by former owner John Moores. Instead, it was San Diego businessman Ron Fowler and four grandsons of longtime Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers patriarch Walter O’Malley — Kevin O’Malley, Brian O’Malley, Peter Seidler and Tom Seidler — who were presented to the media.
Those new owners pooh-poohed Mickelson’s absence.
"We have a spot in our group for Phil and only Phil,” Peter Seidler said, according to UTSanDiego.com. “We expect that to be finalized in two weeks."
If Mickelson’s intention to join the ownership group comes to fruition, he will hold a small percentage of the team and won’t be involved in team operations. However, his name was floated publicly and prominently as part of "local ownership" of the team as the O’Malley-Fowler group went through the Major League Baseball approval process.
Fowler, who will serve as the official control person for the team and represent the Padres at MLB owners meetings, said the investors were "oversubscribed" on capital, the City News Service reported. But, Fowler quickly added, Peter Seidler has made a commitment to Mickelson.
"If he wants in, he’s in," Fowler told CNS.
Fowler said Mickelson’s PGA Tour schedule has kept him from finalizing arrangements to join the Padres group.
The investors paid $800 million for the franchise. Moores had owned the team since December 1994. The Padres reached the playoffs four times in his tenure and reached the World Series in 1998.
During a messy divorce with his former wife, Becky, Moores struck an agreement to sell the club over time to a group led by Jeff Moorad. That purchase fell apart earlier this year in the face of opposition from other MLB team owners. Several of Moorad’s partners, including Fowler, then joined forces with the O’Malley family to get this deal done.