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For the Loser Nov. 8, How Does ‘Hail to the Padres’ Chief’ Fit?

Once again, it is time to take a sabbatical from my normal job and go into a little business on the side. Put up the neon sign and print the stationery.

PrezSearch is open and operating.

It should be mentioned that this service is available free to the Padres, who only recently have discovered that they have been without a president since Ballard Smith resigned more than 15 months ago.

As a matter of fact, PrezSearch has been opened solely to help Joan Kroc select the right person for the job.

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Understanding that the final decision will be Kroc’s, I have assembled an impressive list of candidates. Should she choose to hire one of my candidates, I ask only that she leak me the news so I can put on my normal hat and go back to my computer terminal.

BUSH OR DUKAKIS

One of these guys will be available after Nov. 8.

Dukakis might be preferable in terms of efficiency of operation. After all, since he has made the point that he mows his own lawn, he might be agreeable to the dual title of president/head groundskeeper.

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Of course, Bush likely also has experience mowing lawns, what with eight years as vice president.

Neither of these guys has experience running a baseball team, but that should not be an obstacle. Neither of them has experience doing the other job they have in mind either.

TED LEITNER

The Padres could use a president with charm, humility, charisma, good looks and unabashed enthusiasm. They could use a person to give them spark and sparkle at the top.

OK, so maybe Ted wouldn’t be such a good idea.

How about Florence Griffith Joyner instead?

Indeed, it would be interesting to see the new-look Padres. Can you imagine Ed Whitson pitching in one-legged pants? Garry Templeton with a psychedelic glove? And Keith Moreland with red, white and blue fingernails?

DENNIS CONNER

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It would be awful tempting to put this individual in charge of the local nine.

With his record, I can imagine it would not be too long before the Padres were so good Tommy Lasorda would be complaining that they were making a mockery of the National League West by intentionally keeping the race closer than it should be.

Of course, Conner’s players would be hitting with aluminum bats, fielding with jai alai cestas and pitching with bazookas.

“Hey,” he would say, “how could Doubleday write bazookas into the rules? They hadn’t been invented in the 1800s. We’re just taking advantage of technological advances.”

ELTEN SCHILLER

This capable man has spent four decades in baseball, the last 16 years of which have been in the Padre organization. Indeed, he has been the Padres’ senior vice president of business operations since 1981.

He is now retiring . . . and thus a logical candidate to step up to the presidency.

BEN JOHNSON

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Poor Ben, all muscled up and nowhere to go.

Let’s give him a break. Put him in charge, and the Padres would be strong and swift, hitting baseballs to the far corners of the universe and circling the bases with such speed that the pitchers’ mound would seem like the eye of a hurricane.

If Ben Johnson is not available, the same end might be reached by hiring Johnson & Johnson.

GREG BOOKER

Greg Booker? You say I’ve got to be kidding?

OK, I guess maybe I am.

I just think it would be fun to have someone walk up to Jack McKeon and say, “McKeon, you jerk, the only reason you’re managing this club is because your son-in-law is the president.”

CHARLIE JONES

It is not a part of the job description that the Padre president be able to match names with faces. Hence it is of no consequence that poor Charlie called the wrong winner of the Olympic 800. It’s only important that he know it was not Lance Kruk.

He would not need to know who’s on first, who’s playing center or who’s rounding third.

For his convenience, the folks in the front office can probably keep the name tags they presumably already have.

A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI

What more could you want in a club president?

I understand he is leaving his job as president of the whole National League . Obviously, he knows baseball, and he knows the league, and he knows the ropes.

The idea would be to jump on him quickly before he starts something else.

JOHN THOMPSON

You want a guaranteed winner?

This is a man who specializes in the single-minded pursuit of victory.

Of course, sacrifices must be made under such a leader. The players would have to go without seeing their families for seven months. There no longer would be those idyllic trips to Yuma for spring training, because the Padres would be cloistered in a secret location. And fans would have to wait until after pregame practice to take their seats.

All of this will turn the Padres into a power . . . provided the Soviet Union does not get an expansion franchise in the National League West.


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