During a chat with an estimated 40-50 season ticket holders on Friday at Petco Park, a day after the incident, Tom Garfinkel, the president and CEO of the San Diego Padres, laid all the blame on Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke for the brawl that occurred last week between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Greinke, who suffered a broken collarbone in the fight after Greinke charged the mound, taking the brunt of the contact when the two collided on his shoulder, is out for two months.
In audio obtained by Yahoo! Sports and reported on by Jeff Passan, Garfinkel blasts Greinke for throwing at Carlos Quentin and plunking the Padres outfielder, an incident that sparked the aforementioned on-field melee. Garfinkel then appears to make a disparaging remark about Greinke’s social-anxiety disorder by referring to the Dodgers pitcher as “Rain Main.”
“He threw at him on purpose, OK? 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.”
Garfinkel added in his chat with Padres season ticket holders: “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m 6-3, 225. If Carlos Quentin was running at me, I would not put my shoulder down.”
Once the audio became public, Garfinkel not surprisingly went into full damage control mode, apologizing to both Greinke and Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten for his seemingly insensitive comments.
“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,” telling Yahoo! Sports, “I was out of line and I apologize.
“Obviously, I don’t condone fighting and I wish it wouldn’t have happened. You never want to see any player get hurt.”
There is no way to ascertain for certain whether or not Garfinkel’s “Rain Man” reference was an intentional and malicious barb at the expense of Greinke’s social-anxiety disorder, a condition he addressed candidly in 2011 when he was a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Either way, it came off horribly for Garfinkel, with or without the “Rain Man” comment. When a high-profile individual is speaking publicly, it is best to always assume that their comments are being recorded by someone.