Tom Garfinkel, President and CEO of the Padres, spoke with season-ticket holders about the Zack Greinke/Carlos Quentin brawl, and he placed the blame on Greinke for the incident.
While somewhat deluded, it’s not all that surprising. However, also included on the tape that Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports acquired is audio of him essentially mocking Greinke (who has social anxiety disorder) as autistic.
“He threw at him on purpose, OK?” Garfinkel told an estimated crowd of 40 or 50 at Petco Park on Friday, a 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.”
What a class act.
The ignorance of equating autism and anxiety is astounding, and it speaks to the general notion that anybody not considered “normal” between the ears can be generalized with a catch-all “head case” pejorative.
I expect as much from players and managers, but from the President and CEO? Disgusting. One would think they would at least know better.
Garfinkel went on to apologize to Stan Kasten and Greinke … but not really:
“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.
The thing is though, he doesn’t care. Remember, this was a private meeting with a group of season-ticket holders, so he only cares that he got caught.
I mean, he said as much himself:
“This is my opinion, and I can’t say it publicly,” Garfinkel told the crowd, “but I guess this is public, so please don’t tweet it out. We’re in the trust tree here, in the nest.
In his apology, he doesn’t specifically address what was wrong about his rant. Rather, he just gives a stock ‘sorry’ because he’s in damage control mode.
As if to pile on with his ignorance, he goes on to literally make up justifications for Quentin charging the mound, blames Greinke for getting hurt, and makes a comment in opposition to what Quentin has said to the media.
“Obviously, I don’t condone fighting and I wish it wouldn’t have happened. You never want to see any player get hurt.”
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m 6-3, 225,” Garfinkel told the ticket holders. “If Carlos Quentin was running at me, I would not put my shoulder down.”
I got into a few arguments over this logic on Twitter, but to me, arguing this is completely asinine. Basically, he’s criticizing how Greinke choose to defend himself.
Why … why is the person being attacked responsible for the damage done to him?
“I mean, yeah, he got punched in the face. But your honor, why didn’t the victim turn his head away to lessen the damage?”
Then there’s this
point lie he told, which Passan called him on:
Garfinkel’s certainty about the purpose of the pitch stemmed from information he received about Greinke’s predilection to avoid pitching inside as well as the belief in the Padres’ front office that the count and situation didn’t necessarily absolve him from intentionally hitting Quentin. Garfinkel told the crowd he saw a heat map, which highlights the locations a pitcher has targeted in the past, and that it showed over the last three years Greinke had not thrown a single pitch on a 3-2 count to right-handed hitters on the inner half of the plate.
The heat map was misleading. PITCHf/x data provided by Baseball Prospectus’ Dan Brooks and Harry Pavlidis shows of the 219 full-count pitches Greinke threw to right-handers from 2010-2012, 81 were on the inner half of the plate. While the 37 percent inside rate is among the bottom one-third among starting pitchers, the data shows, Greinke is nowhere near the unlikeliest to throw there on full counts – and had gone there plenty of times, both in and out of the strike zone, in recent years.
Welp, so much for that.
Also amusing was this part of the speech, in which he blames Greinke for not starting a dialogue with Quentin:
Greinke also knew the potential consequences of hitting Quentin, Garfinkel told the crowd. A threat for retribution had been relayed to him following the second time he plunked Quentin with a pitch, in 2009.
“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,” Garfinkel said. “This was a couple years ago. So Zack was very aware of that and Zack never apologized and never told him, ‘Hey, I didn’t mean to throw at you. It got away from me.’ Whatever. This was a couple years ago. He knew darn well that was going [to happen].”
Let me get this straight, Tom. You insult the guy for being “Rain Man“, but you expect the same person, who actually has social anxiety disorder, to open up a dialogue with a rival who’s pissed at him?
Again, sound logic. Seems like Tom really thought this one through.
Perhaps dumbest of all, though, is his admission that neither the organization nor Quentin knows what Greinke said to Quentin prior to him charging the mound:
Following the brawl and his ejection, Quentin insinuated that Greinke had said something to him, prompting him to charge the mound, and that it “was the final straw.” Garfinkel said neither he nor Quentin is certain of what Greinke said, and that even some people in the Padres’ baseball-operations department who can read lips were unsure.
“We don’t know what he said,” Garfinkel said. “I asked Carlos. He doesn’t know what he said. I do know that, I mean, everybody saw the tape. 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.”
1) He threw his glove down after Quentin had started charging him. You have to be seriously delusional to dispute this … which is why he’s disputing it.
Carlos Quentin to media: “I charged Greinke because of what he said to me.” Padres CEO to fans: “Carlos doesn’t know what Greinke said.” OK.
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 18, 2013
Way to call your own player’s truthfulness into question.
So not only did Garfinkel represent the Padres poorly by showing off his ignorance, lack of rationality, and by outright lying, but he also indirectly called Quentin a liar by revealing that nobody has any idea what Greinke said, despite that being used as justification for fighting him.
So if there was any doubt that all of this was nothing more than the result of a Quentin temper tantrum (he once ended his own season with one), and that Quentin’s excuses for the incident after the fact are all baloney, then there shouldn’t be anymore. None of them knows what happened, and they can’t even get their stories straight, but they’ll go to the media saying they know the reason stuff went down, they’ll take offensive jabs at the opposition, and they’ll lie to their fanbase to justify it all.