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Still hard to believe: Peter O'Malley group nears Padres purchase

June 23, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Members of Peter O'Mally's group reportedly toured Petco Park in San Diego on Friday as negotiations over the sale price of the Padres were ongoing.
Members of Peter O'Mally's group reportedly toured Petco Park… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

You know that wild yarn about Peter O’Malley buying the Padres? It’s silly, I know.

The thing is, it’s actually starting to look like it’s going to happen, and possibly very soon.

There’s no getting used to it for anyone who’s been a life-long follower of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but O’Malley’s group appears to be zeroing in on purchasing the Padres.

The San Diego U-T reported that members of the O’Malley group toured Petco Park on Friday night with team owner John Moores, were continuing to negotiate the sales price Saturday and were hopeful a deal could be completed before to the July 10 All-Star game. Fox Sports reported the deal was imminent and O’Malley’s to lose.

Both reports said O’Malley was one of two finalists. The other is not Stephen Cohen -- who like O’Malley, made a failed effort to purchase the Dodgers this year -- nor motion picture mogul Thomas Tull, as previously reported, but Gary Jabara, described as an Orange County mobile communications magnate.

O’Malley, of course, is the former long-time owner of the Dodgers who mistakenly sold the team in 1998. Ironically, a main reason he gave for selling was that he was concerned about a significant inheritance tax.

Now he apparently wants to purchase the Padres with sons Kevin and Brian, and nephews Peter and Tom Seidler, sons of his sister Terry. Kevin and Tom operate the Class-A Visalia Rawhide.

The O’Malley group also reportedly includes San Diego golfer Phil Mickelson and businessman Ron Fowler. O’Malley, of course, made it clear when the Dodgers went into bankruptcy and for sale, that the new owner should have Los Angeles roots.

The U-T said the O’Malleys were hoping to complete the sale prior to the All-Star break, because they wanted to be in place prior to the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.

Said a source to the U-T: “I think the O’Malleys are already looking beyond the books and studying the product on the field. They know if they are selected as the next owners by Moores, Major League Baseball will welcome them back.

“The approval could come quickly, which would allow them to immediately start planning for the future.”

A future with Peter O’Malley as the Padres owner? What next, Hollywood moves to Chula Vista? O’Malley, 74, is actually only expected to lead the group for the first year or two, and then turn it over to his sons and nephews.

Reports claim the sale price is expected to be approximately $800 million, or about $1.35 billion less than what the Dodgers sold for.

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