Padres say new television deal will lead to increased payroll

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With an Opening Day payroll of just $45 million the Padres rank 27th in player spending, but chief executive officer Jeff Moorad said yesterday that the team is negotiating a new local television contract that could increase the payroll by 10-20 percent as soon as 2012.

Cox Communications’ current 10-year deal to broadcast Padres games expires after this season and Moorad told Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune that “there are several active discussions going on at the moment.”

Padres ride double-decker tour bus to AT&T Park

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On Sunday morning, the Padres planned to take a bus from their hotel in San Francisco to AT&T Park ahead of their afternoon game. The bus never showed. MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell reports that team director of player and staff services TJ Lasita flagged down an empty San Francisco tour bus, negotiated a rate, and got his players an impromptu ride to the ballpark.

The Padres’ Twitter account and Annie Heilbrunn of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted pictures and video:

The Padres and Giants are playing the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon. The Padres will then travel to Arlington for a series with the Rangers. The Giants will welcome the Rockies.