Last week’s Dodgers-Padres brawl had serious repercussions for both teams on the injury and suspension fronts, but it’s also the impetus for some potential public relations problems in San Diego.
Mitt Romney may have lost the 2012 presidential election for what he said when he thought he was in private company, and it seems Padres president and CEO Tom Garfinkel has made a similar gaffe. Yahoo! Sports obtained audio of Garfinkel, who was speaking to a group of about 50 Padres season ticket holders (Who knew there were even 50 Padres season ticket holders?), not only blaming Greinke for the broken collarbone he suffered after Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin charged the mound, but poking fun at the pitcher’s battle with social anxiety disorder.
“He threw at him on purpose, OK?” Garfinkel said at Petco Park the day after the fight. “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.”
After the audio became public, Garfinkel went into damage-control mode, apologizing to Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten and Greinke.
“I was emotional the day after the game and regrettably, while defending our player, I said some things I shouldn’t have, especially as it relates to Zack Greinke,” Garfinkel told Yahoo! Sports. “I was out of line and I apologize.”
More than 15 million Americans are said to suffer from social anxiety disorder. Greinke nearly quit baseball after the 2005 season, missing all of 2006, due to his battle with depression and other symptoms.