Padres CEO Tom Garfinkel made light of Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke’s social anxiety disorder, going so far as to compare him to the title character in the movie Rain Man while talking with a group of season-ticket holders, according to an audio clip obtained by Yahoo! Sports.
Garfinkel was speaking in the aftermath of last week’s Dodgers-Padres brawl – one that cost Greinke a broken collarbone. The melee started after Greinke hit Padres slugger Carlos Quentin with a pitch. Quentin charged Greinke, igniting a benches-clearing incident.
The blame for the incident falls squarely on Greinke, according to Garfinkel.
“He threw at him on purpose, OK? That’s what happened,” he said in the clip. “They can say 3-and-2 count, 2-1 game, no one does that. Zack Greinke is a different kind of guy.”
This is where Garfinkel really goes off the tracks:
“Anyone seen Rain Man? He’s a very smart guy. He has social anxiety disorder. He doesn’t interact well with his teammates. He doesn’t really eat meals with his teammates. He spends his life studying how to get hitters out.”
Because studying how to get hitters out when you’ve just been signed to the most lucrative starting pitching contract in history is….a bad thing?
Of course, Garfinkel later walked his comments back while talking to Yahoo! Sports.
"I was emotional the day after the game and regrettably, while defending our player, I said some thing I shouldn’t have, especially as it relates to Zack Greinke,” Garfinkel said. “I was out of line and apologize. Obviously, I don’t condone fighting and I wish it wouldn’t have happened. You never want to see any player get hurt.”