Tal Smith and Roland Hemond, former general managers with the Houston Astros and the Chicago White Sox, respectively, are also regarded as candidates for the Padre job, but Feeney is believed to have a lock on it. Tal Smith is now working for a San Diego advertising agency, and Hemond is a special projects consultant to Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
Whatever happens next with the Padres, believe this about the decision by Kroc to withdraw from the sale to George Argyros:
--It stemmed from the pressure of (1) civic leaders angered by Argyros' leverage techniques in lease negotiations, and those civic leaders' fears that his ultimate goal was to move the team, and (2) National League owners determined to reject his purchase.
--It served as a strong rebuke to Ueberroth, who reportedly (1) joined Argyros in designing the scenario through which Argyros would sell his Seattle Mariners and buy the Padres, and (2) convinced Kroc that she could accept Argyros and the purchase scenario, before league and city reaction convinced her otherwise.
Now infuriated by Ueberroth's alliance with Argyros, who is perceived as something of a bully and a publicity seeker, and a situation that left two clubs in limbo for more than a quarter of a season, several owners are believed ready to excoriate Ueberroth at a meeting June 11 in Philadelphia.
The commissioner's contract does not expire until October 1989, but there is already speculation that National League President A. Bartlett Giamatti will receive significant support, no matter what Ueberroth decides about a second term.
Argyros, in the meantime, is already seeking additional concessions in a Seattle lease that city and county officials claim he has violated repeatedly.
They claim that it is his objective to move the team but that he has nullified the escape clause through his lease violations. They have written the commissioner about their concerns but have received no response.