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The legacy of Padres owner Peter Seidler

 November 17, 2023 at 2:15 PM PST

S1: This week on Kpbs roundtable. The life and legacy of late Padres owner Peter Seidler.

S2: You know , he was , as you know , salt of the earth. We don't like the rolling Stone song. He really was. And he carried himself with no airs whatsoever.

S1: Sadler's Championship aspirations and how he was involved with more than just baseball.

S3: That's one of the things that I'm not sure gets talked about enough in the wake of all this Peter Seidler stuff , was that , yes , he was a good baseball owner , but that sort of generosity , I think , really expanded beyond baseball and into the San Diego community.

S1: Don't go anywhere. Roundtable is coming up next. Welcome to Kpbs roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. San Diego Padres star pitcher Blake Snell won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday. It's given to the best pitcher in the league. But there's another story that's weighing heavily on the minds of San Diegans. This week , Padres owner and local philanthropist Peter Seidler passed away at the age of 63. For fans , he was a larger than life figure , not only saying that he wanted to bring a championship to San Diego , but putting hundreds of millions of dollars behind that effort. A two time cancer survivor , Seidler and his family donated to numerous medical and health causes. This week on roundtable , we're taking a look at how Seidler transformed the Padres organization and how his efforts will be felt for many years to come. Joining us to break it all down are San Diego Union-Tribune sports editor Ryan Finley. NBC seven sports anchor Dani Tripp is also with us , and Bernie Wilson is here. He's a sportswriter with the Associated Press. I want to welcome you all back here to roundtable. You know , one thing that's jumped out to me about the reporting on Seidler death was how much of it was about how he was not just as the owner of the San Diego Padres , necessarily , but like as a human being. And , Bernie , I know you've talked with Seidler many times over the years.

S2: He was humble. He was a third generation member of one of the most legendary sports families in the United States. Yet he didn't act entitled or selfish or spoiled like some second and third generation owners that I've known and dealt with and experienced. So , you know , he was , as you know , salt of the earth. We don't like the rolling Stone song. He really was. And he carried himself with no airs whatsoever. He was approachable. He was quotable. He returned calls and texts , and you could run into him down at the ballpark and get a minute of his time. He oftentimes would be just walking around on the warning track , sometimes greeting fans , sometimes talking to players he didn't have a , for lack of a better term , a PR bobo on his hip like some of these owners do , or a security detail. Didn't wear tailored suits , which he could have. I mean , he , you know , based on being part of the O'Malley family , he he could have done all that stuff , but that wasn't his way. He he was Peter Seidler and he was just he was a fan as well as the owner and , you know , a billionaire. So he just carried himself like a commoner. And I think we can all relate to that. And it's it's just incredibly sad that he's gone.

S1: And I know so many fans could relate to that. And we know that Seidler bought into the Padres back in 2012. Then he became majority owner in 2020. I was actually covering his passing earlier this weekend and talking to fans , some of whom who say they've been watching the Padres for decades , say that Seidler was the best owner and team history.

S3: You know , again , I you know , by way of background , I grew up here , grew up watching padre owners trade and sell off good players often , not for very much in return. John Moores brought some respectability back to the Padres , but seemed pretty intent to run them on a shoestring or shoestring ish budget. Peter Seidler didn't seem to care that he was going to lose money. Peter Seidler didn't seem to care that that what he was doing was being panned throughout baseball by owners who didn't want to spend money the way he did. He was beloved because he saw it's sort of a why not us thing. And if you're a fan to to hear your owner say , hey , you know , the Padres are going to spend money just like the Dodgers do , and they're going to , you know , aim for a championship and not in one of these , you know , work the edges , you know , gimmicky kind of ways. But hey , he's going to go sign superstars. I think that fans love that. He after 50 years of owners talking about why the Padres couldn't be the Dodgers , Peter Seidler took the Dodgers on head on.

S1: And Darnay , let's get some initial thoughts from you here.

S4: They'd obviously handed out the big contract to Manny Machado , but the investment grew dramatically pretty much immediately after Peter Seidler took over. And you just got the sense that this was an owner that was really going for it that , you know , wasn't just lip service. Every owner says they want to win championships. They want to win a World Series. But Peter Seidler , you know , as as the guy at the top of the organization , as the , the source of , of the money for the organization , I mean , put his money where his mouth was quite literally and was not shy about handing out more big contracts and bringing in high priced stars like John Soto , with the aim of accomplishing that main goal and doing something that had never been done in San Diego sports history. And so I think on top of what Bernie said about him just kind of being an everyman and so relatable , him being somebody that kind of almost operated as an owner , like a fan would in the just kind of aggressive , bold approach to try and bring a championship to San Diego , I think endeared him , obviously , to the fan base. And like Ryan said , he kind of flew in the face of what the norms were for how baseball franchises and markets the size of San Diego typically operate. He ruffled some feathers , but he did that with the aim of bringing a competitive team to San Diego and hopefully eventually , a World Series winning team.

S1: And Dani , we know that it's easy for sports owners to sort of be vilified by fans , right ? Like what comes to mind for me as Chargers owner Dean Spanos as an example. But as we've been talking about , Sather was not afraid to spend the money. But I remember hearing , like all these reports about , there's no way that he can afford this. There's no way the Padres can afford this. How is this possible ? They're disrupting the game , losing money. And I know Peter responded to some of that.

S4: And yeah , the word sustainability got brought up a bunch when the Padres payroll started to balloon really last year. And obviously this year going into this year as well. And there were people around the game. There were there are owners. Dick Monfort of the Rockies kind of spoke up and said , well , I don't know about what's going on there in San Diego. And it kind of makes it a little bit more difficult for us. And , you know , writers , insiders around the game wondering about the sustainability. And when it came up in spring training , Peter Seidler and his typical just kind of jovial , optimistic , gracious manner said , you know , why do we keep bringing up this word ? Let's , let's talk about whether the parade will be by boat or by by land and , you know , kind of joked about it , but then circled back and said it is sustainable to have a winning team in San Diego. And for fans to know that there's going to be star players every year , that they can come out and enjoy watching. And so , yeah , he doubled down. And you know , now they're in a position where , you know , maybe they can't I think it seemed like they kind of maxed out , you know , or at least got an idea of like what their ceiling was in the last year or two. It'll be interesting to see where it goes from here , but at least you had an owner that was willing to push it , rather than just kind of playing it safe and protecting their money and protecting their investment , rather than doing whatever they possibly can to give the fans what they want , which is stars , which is a winning. Team and hopefully a championship.

S1: And we know that Seidler was a billionaire too , or at least the company that he was in charge of , you know , had billions of dollars in assets. But there is one interesting part about Sadler's story , and I think Bernie mentioned it a little bit earlier , and that's that one. He's from Los Angeles. And not only that , but his family were actually longtime owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Talk about a juxtaposition there for San Diego sports fans.

S3: And there were stories in the Union-Tribune in the last couple of days about this. He made it his home because he chose to make it his home , and he chose to to really separate himself from the Dodgers. Maybe one of the reasons why fans loved Peter Seidler is because Peter Seidler wanted to beat the Dodgers just as bad as they did. This was his family's team , and he knew that if he was going to own the San Diego Padres , he had to be all in on owning the San Diego Padres. And , you know , our Nick Canepa wrote a column that ran. And one of the things that he said was , you know , Peter Seidler asked him one day about Little Italy. That's where Nick lives. It's where Nick grew up. And next thing you know , Seidler is on his front door and they're walking around Little Italy. And Nick's pointing out , you know , what used to be there and what's here now and what the best restaurants are. And they got lunch. Seidler the fact is Seidler had so much money he could choose to live wherever he wanted and he chose San Diego. And I think that that is another one of those things that just resonated really well with fans.

S1: And it just sort of felt a little bit different for fans of when I expand out a little bit , like to the greater San Diego community , I think back to 2022 and that run and the playoffs. And I remember just going downtown. I was leaving an event and every single , I mean , all the bars on the street were just packed full of people and they were all just going crazy for the Padres. And that's something that Peter had a great hand in building. Right , Ryan ? I mean , that speaks to like the greater impact that it can have on the community. Absolutely.

S3: Absolutely. I mean , I think that that's why we all sort of like sports and follow sports , right ? Is it has a way to bring all sorts of disparate groups of people together in San Diego. I think that the Padres are maybe the one thing left that everybody can kind of get behind. It's it's the one local professional sports team , you know , it's not a college. It's not a place where you have to have a degree from to cheer for , you know , it's sort of equal opportunity and it's something that brings people together. And , you know , long before I took this job , I was in the stands the night the Padres eliminated the Dodgers in the rain from the , you know , 2022 Division Series. And Bernie , you were there. Darren I'm sure you were , too. That was a singular moment for me. Just as somebody who grew up in San Diego going to to all games all the time , you know , if Peter Seidler , if he were only known for that , I think that he'd be considered one of the better owners in San Diego baseball history , in San Diego sports history. But , you know , he was so much more than that. You know , even this year , you know , when people were ripping on the team and they were really disappointing all year long. You know , somebody asked him if he got frustrated with the way his team played and he said , no , I get frustrated when , you know somebody treats a homeless person poorly. I get frustrated when you know , people don't have enough to eat. And that's one of the things that I'm not sure gets talked about enough in the wake of all this Peter Seidler stuff , was that , yes , he was a good baseball owner. But , you know , that sort of generosity , I think , really expanded beyond baseball and into the San Diego community. And I think that's another reason why people liked him so much.

S1: And we're certainly going to get into that in just a minute.

S4: But obviously Peter Seidler being part of the ownership group , you know that came in 2012. I do remember you know , I've , I don't have the lengthy history with San Diego that Bernie and Ryan do. My wife is from here. I moved here at the end of 2018 , but I went to a game in the 2017 season , middle of the week , and us two and a friend got tickets along the left field line for like $30 a pop. We're in a whole lot of people there , and I think they beat the Phillies that night. And when you think about what the scene was like for midweek games this season , Mondays and Tuesdays and you're talking about sellouts , and even if they're not sellouts , you're talking about like 30,000 plus and the scene is electric. There was kind of an if you build it , they will come element to what he did and the investment in the city , the investment in the franchise and kind of that clear aim and DirecTV that we're going to bring a winner here. We believe we can have a sustainable winner. And by doing that or in order to do that is you go out , you get these star type players , you get these big names , you create that excitement. And I think they kind of showed what type of passionate fan base exists in San Diego because , you know , it's it's easy to kind of slap the label of it just kind of being a laid back , casual type of town. But when you see the scene not just in the playoffs in 2022 , but just like on a Tuesday in June or in May , you get a real sense of the passion that is here. And and Peter Seidler , when you hear people talk about them , one thing they say is like he sees the best in people and he's always seeming to kind of reach out and try and help them reach their potential. He believes in that , wants to bring that out. And he brought that out of the San Diego sports fan base.

S1: When we come back , our conversation continues with a look at Peter Sellers impact on San Diego beyond the baseball diamond.

S2: I don't remember an outpouring of grief like this for an owner ever.

S1: That's coming up just ahead on roundtable. You're listening to Kpbs roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. This week , we're talking about the passing and the legacy of Padres owner Peter Seidler. We're joined by NBC San Diego's Darnay Tripp , the Associated Press as Bernie Wilson and Ryan Finley from the Union-Tribune. You know , guys , not only was Seidler passionate about making the Padres better , he was also a very charitable person , donating to numerous causes and one that might come to mind for many as about his efforts surrounding homelessness addressing homelessness. Here's what Seidler told me back in 2019 , when he helped fund the first of the city's two big homeless shelters.

S5: The cost of doing nothing is huge , and I think what we can do in the private community are a lot of things. We can help with the analysis and make sure that it's based on facts. We can push the politicians to do the right thing , to have the political will and right.

S1: I know that the team of the reporters over there at the UT , you guys have all been following this very closely , especially as outside efforts outside of baseball.

S3: Homelessness , addiction , things like that. You know , he was in Bernie and Dani. You guys know this , a very private person when it came to his health , when it came to some of his inspirations. Beyond all this , you know , I'd like to just simplify it and say he was he was being a good citizen , you know , he moved to San Diego and threw himself into making San Diego better. And , you know , yeah , some of that was with , you know , by putting a better baseball team on the field or by extending the third baseman's contract. But a lot of it was this other stuff , you know , the Lucky Duck Foundation , something he's very involved in. And , you know , that turned its focus almost entirely to combating homelessness. You know , he was active with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation , with all sorts of other charities in town. And , you know , again , it would be one thing if he was just a rich guy cutting checks , but , you know , he would walk , you know , Pacific Beach at night , you know , buying hotdogs for some of the unhoused people who he found sleeping on benches. He would he would check in on people and make sure that they were doing better. It was this was a very personal and I think ultimately very private thing for him that he just happened to do sort of in this public space.

S1: And we actually have some more sound from Seidler here. This was during a sit down with Kpbs , actually , earlier this year , where Seidler said that he wanted to use the Padres profile even more to create a larger impact.

S5: The ballpark is a place for joy. You know , people come out here and they want to forget their worries. And for a long time I thought , you know , this is my personal endeavor. But I think now that the homeless population has grown and currently is growing with real visibility to bring it back on the decline , we've decided in here to put our foot to the accelerator and what the Padres can do to help.

S1: And actually , the Union-Tribune is reporting that due to silent leadership , the Padres charity arm , their nonprofit , increased their annual giving by 1,000%. And Dani , you actually said on NBC Seven's on Friar podcast earlier this week that Seidler sort of had the courage to do things differently.

S4: More importantly in the big picture is , is what we've been talking about and what he he spoke about there is helping those around him and doing it in the manner that Ryan mentioned. You know , those walks late at night , you know , around whether it be around Petco Park or different parts of town through tough , gritty neighborhoods where , you know , a lot of people don't feel comfortable. And I think , you know , it's it's telling that it is the so much of the unhoused issue is right on the front door of Petco Park. And so it would be easy for him to just go right into the players gate and skate past that and to not address that , but to be there , you know , on foot , to interact with these people , to rally others , to help out. Yeah. It speaks to who he is. And another thing you hear people say is like , he he just wanted to do the right thing. It wasn't a matter of who is involved or who it would impact. I think at his core , he was somebody that felt compelled to do the right thing because it was the right thing to do. And I think , you know , his his efforts there to help in a variety of ways , you know , kind of came down to that. But we have this image of the owner and the owner box in the. Well , well fitted suit like Bernie mentioned. And that wasn't Peter Seiler , who was one that was kind of street level interacting with people , whether or not they were in the stands , whether or not they would ever purchase a ticket because they're a part of the fabric of the city of San Diego. And he had a heart for people that that were struggling and who were less fortunate than him. And that's not something you see enough in the world , period , but certainly not of somebody of his stature and background.

S1: And we know that he did raise ticket prices while he was owner. I don't know if it was him directly , but the organization did , and they said that was to pay for some of these big investments. But , you know , we talk about the kindness. You guys have talked about it a lot here. But Bernie , you know , I know you wrote about this earlier this week about , you know , the special relationships that he had , not only with staff but with players too.

S2: Peter was in a coat and tie. He must have had a presentation or some downtown thingamajig that , you know , bigwigs were at where he had to actually dress up. So he was in a coat and tie on the field during batting practice. And Manny Machado came walking out wearing a hoodie and some Padres shorts from , like , look like 1998 or something and wearing black socks and slides. And you can really see Manny's chicken legs. But Machado walked over to Peter and put his arm around him , and they just had a talk , like , they're two bros talk and you know , about whatever fish tacos or surfing or something. And he could really see a connection there. I took a picture of it , and it's on Twitter from a couple of days ago. But to me that was the essence of Peter.

S4: And I think on top of that , Bernie , if you heard what Blake Snell had to say about winning after winning the Cy Young and he was asked about Peter Siler , you know , this is a guy that's been around for , what , three seasons ? You know , we know about Manny Machado's relationship with Peter Seidler. Pictures like the ones that that Bernie tweeted and posted out. You know we're circulating like crazy Tuesday after the news , just as a snapshot of who Seidler is and how he related to people. But Snell said he was the first owner he's been around who he had like an hours long conversation with face to face on the field , and so I thought that was telling. That was , you know , Snell used words like pure and genuine and loving , like just so much love for the people around him. But he just interacted , seemed to interact with with his players in ways that that you don't typically see with team owners. Yeah.

S2: Yeah. And one thing , if I could I don't remember an outpouring of grief like this for an owner ever in any sport. Granted , we haven't seen a lot of it here. Other cities may be a friend mentioned maybe when Jerry Buss of the Lakers died , but I just don't remember this type of outpouring , you know , to the extent and , you know , here we are , what , 2 or 3 days later and still talking about it. So just so that that again , just shows you the impact that Peter made , you know , while he was fighting , you know , and to piggyback on what Darnell and Ryan said about his kindness and generosity , he showed compassion to others while he was fighting a pretty insidious disease. You know , I don't know when he got his first and second bouts of cancer , but he had his own problems to worry about. Yet he was showing compassion to many other people , you know , who are far less fortunate than him.

S4: I was just going to say , dovetailing off what Bernie just said , not just how much we've talked about Peter , but what have we been talking about. You know , when you talk about other owners , it's probably like , how many championships have they won ? That sort of thing. Maybe they built a stadium or something like that. But at least half of the conversation , maybe more , is about Lucky Duck going on walks , helping the homeless , that sort of thing. And I think that speaks to him even more so just the way we're talking about him. But what we're talking about when we talk about Peter Siler , not just team oriented things , is what makes him special , or.

S1: Just even fans having like a Peter Seidler jersey at the Padre games , like , I mean , you know , you would never think you would see that anywhere. But let's look a little bit forward looking now , Ryan , we know that Seidler has said that he intended this team to remain in his family for generations.

S3: We know very little , but. But here's what we know. Eric Senda is the Padres new control person or point person. He will interact with Major League Baseball on behalf of the Padres. Major League Baseball has a rule that says that every team needs basically one designated person who can act on their behalf. So that's who that will be. Eric is not a family member of the Siders , but has been a colleague and friend of Peter Siders for at least 25 years. They've been officially partners in Seidler Equity Partners since that company was founded. He took on a larger role with Peter's health failing. He took on a larger role with the Padres. The decision to attempt to keep Bob Melvin and Preller on staff was made in part because of Eric Senda , so he's going to be at least the short term Inter rim temporary point person. Peter Sellers brother Tom works for the Padres. He's like an outreach coordinator with the military. He's very involved in fantasy camps. Is somebody who's been around. I don't know if he would be a choice or if somebody from his family would be a choice. I mean , we reported yesterday that , you know , the the plan is still very much to keep the team in the Seidler family stewardship that Peter's wish was that it stayed within the family for years and years and years to come , and that their plan for now is to honor that. So that's what we know. Obviously , things can change. You know , I don't know if there's a natural sort of person who can step up and run the team before Peter Seidler , but this is what we're looking at at the moment.

S1: And as we wrap up the show here , we want to get some final thoughts from everybody. You know , we know about the legacy that Peter will leave on this team. But for a question for everybody , how will his absence change this team ? I know you guys don't have a crystal ball , but , you know , this is a very crucial point in the franchise looking for a new manager and coming off this disappointing season. And Bernie , we can start with you.

S2: Well you know like Ryan mentioned there are a bunch of unknowns. I mean , Peter was a unique individual with a unique background. I mean , he grew up in the game , you know , stuffing programs , lineup sheets into programs at Dodger Stadium , working menial tasks at Dodger Town and Vero Beach during spring training , because that's what the Seidler and O'Malley boys did. They were part of the family. They grew up in baseball with the Dodgers , and then he made the most of it and became a self-made billionaire. So , you know , you got to wonder , you know , how much of that spirit and whatever is going to survive in the organization. Now , you know , the I believe that Eric guy was has been described as an equity bro. Maybe it's a good thing you get a non-baseball guy in there to help guide things , because it does sound like , you know , they have financial concerns as far as wanting to reduce the payroll from 258 to about 200 million , but you do hope that it can remain a family run owned franchise. And Tom Seidler worked in baseball as well for several years. In fact , he ran some minor league teams up in NorCal or a minor league team. So , you know , and Peter was a smart guy , you would think that he left his affairs in order. He battled cancer twice. He was very ill. Obviously , you know , when they released a statement in mid September saying that he had had a medical procedure in August and would not be back at the ballpark. And at that point , you know , everybody's starting to say , how bad is it ? What's really going on out of concern , more so than being gossipy , because , I mean , it is a shattering thing when you start reading that stuff. But you would think that he had a plan and , you know , left a plan behind. And to see that his vision can be carried out as best possible moving forward.


S4: The investment in the team , the boldness to go for it , the desire to give fans what they were looking for and what the city's been hoping for for a long time , to not play it safe and then to have real , genuine investment in the community beyond the gates of your stadium. I think both those things will be significant parts of Peter Sadler's legacy. I think both those things are deeply valued here , I think all over , but I think you see it here and how people interact with different franchises and teams. And so regardless of of how it plays out and who ends up being the owner or the chairman who ends up being in control , hopefully they follow in the footsteps of Peter Sadler and do their best to put a competitive , exciting team on the field in pursuit of a championship and caring for and nurturing for the people in the community , no matter their status or stature.

S1: I think a lot of fans would agree with everything you just said. And Ryan , you have the final word here. Sure.

S3: Sure. Peter Seidler treated Padre fans with respect. He didn't try to fool them. He didn't try to lie to them and convince them that the roster they had was good when it wasn't. You know , I just hope whoever takes over the the ownership stake in the chairmanship of the San Diego Padres learns that lesson and treats the people who come to their games and spend their money with the same level of , I think , respect and dignity that that Peter Seidler did. You know , the reason why fans liked him was because a he spent money and cared about their team as much as they did , and B he wasn't trying to pull one over on him. And , you know , I think that that's the lesson that we can learn here is if you put a good team on the field and if you spend some money , San Diegans will support them. Even if it's a Wednesday night against the Brewers , you know , they will show up because they certainly did this year and last year. And I guess I see no reason why that would change in 2024 unless there's just a total tear down and I can't see that happening. You know , with the Padres , I think that that's the lesson here is , is treat fans well , put a good roster on the field and they'll support your team.

S1: I've been speaking with Ryan Finley from the San Diego Union Tribune , Darnay Tripp from NBC seven San Diego and Bernie Wilson from the Associated Press and all of you guys. Thanks so much for being here.

S2: Thank you , thank you.

S3: Thank you. Matt.

S1: When Kpbs roundtable returns its round up time with producer Andrew Bracken. And we're also answering a listener question from last week's show about a proposal for an income based electric bill.

S6: If it makes you feel any better , San Diego Gas and Electric says it doesn't want to have your financial data either.

S1: We're back in less than two minutes. You're listening to Kpbs roundtable. I'm Matt Hoffman. It's time for the round up. Now it's where we take a look at some other top stories happening in and around San Diego. And as always , producer Andrew Bracken is here with us. Andrew. What's up ? Hey , Matt , how's it going ? We are extremely close to Thanksgiving plants. Yep.

S7: I'll be staying in Southern California , but driving up to the LA area and that kind of leads to my first story is I'm kind of like a big turkey trot person. Like , I really like.

S1: Those , like , run to feed the Hungry.

S7: Well , yeah , you kind of get up early on that Thursday and you get a nice run in or like if you want to walk even , they're pretty low key. But just to kind of like earn your , your meal earn your meal a little bit. Yeah. And are you doing the five k.

S1: The ten K.

S7: Oh definitely five K range. Yeah. I'm not sure I'm in a position yet to do.

S1: That's very honorable because I don't know if I would do either one of them.

S7: Well , we'll see if I run the whole thing or do the walk. But and Axios San Diego actually has sort of like a list of some of the turkey trots taking place across San Diego. You know , for a lot of us , the pandemic is sort of like interrupted these sort of traditions over the holidays. And now they're coming back. You know , the last couple of years , Father Joe's village run for Hope. That's that's a big one here. But there's , you know , it has lists of five KS all across the county Fallbrook , Oceanside , all over the place. There's one like you mentioned , you know , for longer distances. There's this black mountain turkey burner they write about at Black Mountain Community Park. And that's like , you can do a half marathon there , a ten K , five K. But yeah , it's just it's kind of like a nice way to just get a little daily exercise before you kind of set in with the family and eat. Absolutely.

S1: Absolutely. And if you're hearing this and you're saying , well , I don't really want to like run or walk , maybe you can always volunteer. I've done that before when I was a kid with my dad. And , you know , whether it be handing out meals after the little medals , lots of opportunities at these. Okay.

S7: I think Triple A's predicting that it's going to be one of the largest on record. The UTS Natalie Rocha has a story about just kind of like some things to keep in mind in times to avoid the worst of the traffic. She writes that Wednesday , the day before Thanksgiving , between 2 and 6 p.m.. Worse time to drive. So I'm definitely going to try to avoid that. And also talks about the state of the airport. You know , you may have heard there's a major renovation going on at the airport. They've changed some entrances and exits there , so it's a little different. And she quotes San Diego airport officials just kind of recommending coming , you know , about two hours before for a flight just to kind of give yourself extra time as they're , you know , expecting I think it's 580,000 passengers potentially in San Diego next week during that holiday week. Wow.

S1: Wow. Well , I know I am going to be flying out actually on Thanksgiving Day to Sacramento. So hopefully the airport is not chaotic.


S1: Hopefully I'm going to get dropped off by a friend or I'll do the dreaded rideshare ride. Okay , so you're covered. Okay , so covered there , but yeah , expecting some delays there , but definitely good notes for people listening. And glad you're going to be able to join some family. Family in. LA.

S7: LA. Yeah yeah. Family outside L.A.

S1: Very cool. Okay.

S7: Axios San Diego kind of had a breakdown about , you know , the lower gas prices. So they have fallen quite a bit. Fallen $0.52 this month compared to October. So the average now is 525. You know , the good news is it's come down , you know , $0.50 over the last month. But it's still , you know , seems high. I mean I recently took a trip elsewhere , you know back to Chicago and from and you know , you you go to other areas and seeing the gas prices , it's a little jarring. I was.

S1: In Florida. It was $3 a gallon on the dot in Sarasota. And but I actually got it for 4.97 the other day. So I'm very proud of myself. And I think it's been down a little over a dollar over the last 45 days or something. So it is certainly going through the fall.

S7: It's been it's coming down. I think they say the lower price is largely due to like the winter blend. It's like , you know , works better in lower temperatures. And they were able to basically release that earlier than in years past.

S1: Definitely noticeable. Definitely something that impacts a lot of San Diego.

S7: She won that race. But David Garrick has a piece in the UT.

S1: Is like with filling Fletcher seat.

S7: Yeah , well , it's a little different. But her term runs through 2026. I think. She said she's leaving office in early December , but what it looks like they're going to do is they're going to make that special election part of the upcoming March 5th primary. So that statewide primary that's already going to kind of be on the books. So they're going to work it in there. And and I think that would , you know , save a lot of money sometimes these special elections , that's one sort of argument against them is that they can be pretty costly.

S1: Not a lot of time to campaign though. So these candidates are going to have to get that name recognition out there quick.

S7: Well yeah. And that's what Garrett's piece says. You know , the nominations kind of opened up this week. And candidates have until mid-December to get those signatures in and kind of just try to get their names on the ballot. Okay.

S1: Okay.

S7: And I think it's kind of a hidden world. Like when we think of court , you you can get it , you know , like in a criminal court , you can get a lawyer appointed to you.

S1: Public defender.

S7: Right ? Yeah. Immigration courts run much more differently. You don't necessarily have legal representation. And this county program allows for that. And he spoke with a few different people , one of whom was Bartosz Vakili. He's a he's an immigration lawyer. And here's a little of what he had to say.

S4: Life or. Death.

S7: Death.

S8: Proceedings of tremendous gravity done in this crazy sort of. Sometimes you call it like a fast food setting where like , you don't get a lawyer , you don't get right to access evidence.

S7: And it's just like an interesting story kind of unveiling , like how that process works. I mean , we know we've seen these large increases along the border , people arriving. But yeah , in that story , you know , Vakili later says the point of the program isn't necessarily to stop deportations. It is to ensure the process is fair. And it just really opened up that world to me in an interesting way. I thought it was a cool story. Absolutely.

S1: Absolutely. And I know we've had Gustavo on when we do our kind of border reporter shows in the past , and he's mentioned this before , too , about how a lot of people don't get representation. You know , obviously it costs money if you're doing outside counsel and that it's just such a it can be like a daunting uphill task for sure. But you got to wonder , because we know we heard this story about the county maybe running out of funding for that immigrant welcoming center. You got to wonder how much funding is behind this and how many actual attorneys we're talking about here. Yeah.

S7: Yeah. And with the increased demand that's been that's come over the last few months for sure. Absolutely.

S1: We'll have to get Gustavo on soon to hear more about that. Okay.

S7: And what they have this program where employees can bring their babies into work. And we know child care is a major cost for families. It's a big issue for anyone with young children. You know , the struggle of of going to work. It's also interesting coming out of the pandemic , this a lot of companies are trying to get people back into the office. And , you know , we've been kind of gotten used to working from home. And this is kind of an interesting way to sort of engage with young parents to bring babies in , you know , they talk to to an expert who kind of talks about some of the pros and cons of bringing young children into work and then even brought up like this , oh , potential legal issues , you know , if kids kind of get into something. So I guess they say some companies do is they cut off kids once they get old enough , where they can kind of really wander around. So it doesn't help you all the way there. But definitely an interesting perk for this company to to do for for new parents.

S1: It definitely sounds interesting. I don't have any kids yet myself , but just quickly curious if you had the opportunity to do that.

S7: I mean , even right now , I'm like , I need to raise home at some point. It's kind of a constant issue , and it's one of the largest parts of your budget for families. So it's something you're always thinking about. So absolutely. Yeah.

S1: We'll have to see if other workplaces take note and start doing it themselves. Okay. What else.

S7: So this isn't a San Diego story. Sometimes I kind of bring in these sort of more national pieces. Hannah Co in The Atlantic published a little article about loneliness , but also this idea of of how we spend more time indoors and just exploring this , which is like , quote , growing estrangement between humanity and the natural world. As we know , loneliness is like been a major problem. It's been called an epidemic by the Surgeon general in recent years , and we've been finding more and more of its like impacts to not only our mental health , but also physical health. But she kind of ties into this bio phobia , I guess. It's like a fear of nature connecting this idea of our happiness. With spending time in nature , and I just thought it was an interesting , thought provoking piece.

S1: I think a lot of times maybe we spend too much time on our phones or on our computers , like when you see that little notification that says your screen time can be scary. Okay.

S7: It's pretty short , but you know , with the time change and everything you kind of get out of whack with , like when sunsets are and when the sun goes down , you're just like , you go outside and it's dark. So it has a little breakdown of just some updated sunset times. And I thought it was really interesting. The earliest sunset will be Thursday , November 30th , shortly before 5 p.m. and December 21st. That's the winter solstice. That's the shortest day. The sunrise that day is going to be 647 , and then the sun's going to set at 447. But for Thanksgiving Day , the sunset is going to be at 444. So I just was going to put that in , you know , maybe it's like a nice time before you eat , after you eat , depending when you eat to go out and catch the sunset. Yeah. And spend some time outside. Absolutely.

S1: Absolutely. It sounds like you got one more.

S7: Last week , we spoke with Kpbs environment reporter Eric Anderson about SDG and E and some of these potential pricing changes , these fixed fees. We received a comment from a listener , Judy Heights , and she had a question , where will SDG and a private shareholder owned company get my income information to share a flat fee ? I don't trust them to keep my confidential information. I have solar and wouldn't mind paying a bit more , but I am mindful of my private info. So we went and had and asked Eric if he could answer that. And here's what he had to say.

S6: Well , Judy , if it makes you feel any better , San Diego Gas and Electric says it doesn't want to have your financial data either. This was SDG and E Vice President Scott Crider last April , when the utility first unveiled its plan for the income based flat fee.

S9: We do not want customers financial information. We don't think our customers want us to have their financial information. So our perspective is the state already has that data and they can provide that information to us without us having to really go out and ask all of our customers for their financial information.

S6: So how is it going to be done ? That's a question that's still being mulled over by the administrative law judge , who's crafting a proposed blueprint for the fixed fee. Now , there are several ideas being kicked around SDG , and E suggests having California's Franchise Tax Board review income data and then notify utilities which group A household falls into. Another possibility out there is to allow residents to self report , and there are proposals to allow credit agencies to verify income data. Now , once the administrative law judge decides how that's going to be handled , it'll be up to the California Public Utilities Commission to make a final determination.

S1: We appreciate that , Eric. And if you have any questions about anything you hear on the show , you can always call the roundtable voicemail (619) 452-0228. Or you can email us roundtable at Kpbs. Org Andrew Bracken , always great to have you here on the roundup.

S7: Thank you Matt.

S1: That's going to wrap up roundtable for this week. We appreciate you being here. If you missed any part of our show , you can always check out the Kpbs roundtable podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Our show airs on Kpbs FM at noon on Fridays and again on Sunday at 6 a.m.. Roundtable is produced by Andrew Bracken. Rebecca Chacon and Ben Lusk are our technical producers , and I'm your host , Matt Hoffman. Have a great weekend and a happy Thanksgiving.

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San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler talks about the 11-year contract extension for third baseman Manny Machado during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at the team's spring training baseball facility in Peoria, Ariz.
Charlie Riedel
San Diego Padres owner Peter Seidler talks about the 11-year contract extension for third baseman Manny Machado during a news conference Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at the team's spring training baseball facility in Peoria, Ariz.

San Diego Padres majority owner Peter Seidler passed away Tuesday at the age of 63. Part of San Diego's baseball franchise since 2012, Seidler helped to transform the Padres into a championship contender, investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

But his legacy exceeds what he brought to baseball. Seidler will also be remembered for his philanthropy, particularly on homelessness in San Diego.


Ryan Finley, sports editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

Darnay Tripp, sports anchor, NBC 7 San Diego

Bernie Wilson, sports writer, Associated Press