Don't worry, baseball fans, Phil Mickelson promises not to pull a George Steinbrenner – he’ll leave the San Diego Padres' baseball decisions to the baseball people.
Mickelson is a member of an ownership group that finalized a deal to buy the Padres earlier this week, and the transaction is expected to be formally approved by Major League Baseball in the near future. Leading the group is former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.
Mickelson stresses that he won't meddle in lineups, pitching changes, trades or managerial moves, like the notorious Yankees owner and some other owners have done with their teams down through the years. Instead, Mickelson said on Thursday, he plans to concentrate on community relations, an area that he, as a San Diego native and longtime Padres fan, saw as a shortcoming in recent years.
"There's been a bit of a disconnect the last few years and understandably so, where the community of San Diego has really been faithful and loyal to the team and put a lot of money in to give us one of the best ballparks in the baseball," Mickelson said. "The last few years I think the fan base has lost a little faith in the team and we'll see if we can turn that around."
And the first time he gets to sit in the owner's box as an owner? It will be, he says, "awkward, but exciting nonetheless."