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Padres' Tom Garfinkel apologizes for remarks about Zack Greinke

San Diego exec says he was 'emotional' after incident in which Dodgers pitcher hit Padres' Carlos Quentin with pitch and was injured in brawl.

April 18, 2013|By Steve Dilbeck
  • San Diego Padres president and chief executive Tom Garfinkel has apologized for comments he made regarding Zack Greinke in which he appeared to mock the Dodgers pitcher's social anxiety disorder.
San Diego Padres president and chief executive Tom Garfinkel has apologized… (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated…)

Tom Garfinkel, president and chief executive of the San Diego Padres, has been welcomed to the world of texts, tweets, Facebook and smartphone recordings. And Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke has an apology to show for it.

In a meeting with season-ticket holders at Petco Park the day after the Greinke-Carlos Quentin brawl in San Diego, Garfinkel accused the Dodgers right-hander of hitting Quentin intentionally, blamed Greinke's broken collarbone on his decision to lower his shoulder protecting himself, and appeared to mock Greinke's social anxiety disorder by implying he has autism.

Garfinkel asked the crowd to keep his comments private, saying, "We're in the trust tree here, in the nest." But someone recorded it and an audio tape was obtained by Yahoo Sports.

"He threw at him on purpose, OK?" Garfinkel told a gathering estimated to be between 40 and 50. "That's what happened. They can say 3-and-2 count, 2-1 game, no one does that. Zack Greinke is a different kind of guy. Anyone seen 'Rain Man'? He's a very smart guy."

Garfinkel also questioned Greinke's decision to meet Quentin's charge by lowering his left (non-throwing) shoulder, though he didn't offer advice as to what Greinke should have done with the 240-pound Quentin bearing down on him.

Instead, Garfinkel noted the history between pitcher and hitter: "When Zack Greinke threw at his head a couple times, [Quentin] let it be known through teammates and intermediaries and others that if he does that again, he's going to have a problem.... So Zack was very aware of that and Zack never apologized and never told him, 'Hey, I didn't mean to throw at you.' ... He knew darn well that was going [to happen]."

Quentin has said that Greinke cursed at him before he charged the mound. But Garfinkel said, "I asked Carlos. He doesn't know what he said.... Everybody saw what happened. He didn't say, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hit you.' He threw his glove down, stuck his chest out."

Questioned by Yahoo reporter Jeff Passan, Garfinkel said he was "emotional" the day after the game, adding, "I was out of line and I apologize."

The Dodgers were off Thursday and Greinke could not be reached. Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten had no comment.

sports@latimes.com

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