May 29, 2012

It looks like “Lefty” may be moving from the green…to the diamond.

Golfing superstar Phil Mickelson has joined one of the collectives looking to purchase MLB’s San Diego Padres from current majority owner John Moores, according to a report. Mickelson’s group contains Kevin and Brian O’Malley and their cousins Peter and Tom Seidler — all grandchildren of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley.

“I’ve been talking to them about being involved with them, having an opportunity to invest in the team and being part of the ownership group,” Mickelson said. “I think it’s a very good investment opportunity. More than that, it’s opportunity to be involved in the community in San Diego, with something that gives the community a sense of pride. I feel like we can make the Padres a competitive team that can contend year in and year out, and we can do something for the community.

“It’s something I’ve loved since I was a kid.”

Mickelson and the O’Malley-Seidler group are one of five groups vying for the purchase of the club, with another group — headed by Legendary Entertainment CEO Thomas Tull — containing former Padres superstar Tony Gwynn.

Moores’ had previously agreed to a proposed sale to the club’s minority owner, Jeff Moorad, but the sale collapsed after owners voted against approving Moorad as the controlling owner. As it stands now, Moores’ ownes 51 percent of the club to Moorad’s 49 percent.

Mickelson, who would be making a “significant investment” if his group was to secure the bid, believes he’s with the right group because of the group’s ties to the San Diego community,

“I think the O’Malley and Seidler family is the right group,” he said. “They want to enhance the community tie, and that’s something I’ve wanted to be part of, as well. The tie between the community and the team has not been as strong as it has been in the past. I think there are some things where we can increase that relationship, the emotional tie with the community and the players.”

While the valuations of deals of this nature are always constantly in flux, it is believed that Moores’ proposed 2009 sale to Moorad was worth somewhere around $500 million dollars, with that number expecting to increase due to the market (the Los Angeles Dodgers just sold for $2 billion) and the team’s new television deal with Fox.

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