Tucson Padres: Possible final year not about to rein in motivated Feder

2013-01-04T00:00:00Z Tucson Padres: Possible final year not about to rein in motivated FederDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 04, 2013 12:00 am  • 

When Mike Feder left the New Orleans Saints over six years ago to move back home to Tucson, he thought he was done working in professional sports on a day-to-day basis.

"I just did it because I wanted to live here again and I was OK moving on to other things," said Feder, who served as the director of regional marketing and sales for the Saints.

But, in 2011 when the San Diego Padres moved their Triple-A team to Tucson on a temporary basis, Feder was sucked back in.

He has spent the past two seasons running the day-to-day operations for the Tucson Padres and will do so again in 2013 - the team's expected final season here before it relocates to El Paso. There is a possibility the Padres could play in Tucson in 2014 if the completion of the El Paso stadium is unexpectedly delayed.

So Feder, who already made his peace with being done in sports, enters the new year with little stress and lots of positivity. If this is it for him in pro sports, that's fine.

"I think the fact that I'm 60 years old gives me the ability to not freak out about this," Feder said. "I know it's lame, but we have a job to do and that's all I'm focused on right now."

Feder is staying busy in the offseason, currently working to help put on the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game, a college football event, set for next Friday at Kino Stadium. He's working hand in hand on the football game with Tim Hagerty, the Tucson Padres' media relations director and play-by-play voice.

Hagerty, 30, enters 2013 in a much different situation than Feder. Hagerty's dream is to be a play-by-play announcer for a major-league team.

If he is retained by the new owners when the Tucson Padres relocate to El Paso, Hagerty will be making his third move in five years. He moved with the Triple-A club when it relocated from Portland, Ore., to Tucson.

Hagerty said he has spoken with the new owners and is hopeful he will make the move to El Paso and continue announcing one level from the big leagues.

But he knows nothing is assured.

"It would be great to have a city where you feel like it's a permanent home," Hagerty said. "Being a part of a team from the ground up is an exciting opportunity, so I hope I go to El Paso."

Whatever happens in 2014, Feder and Hagerty are going to try to treat 2013 as business as usual.

Feder said he's eager for the start of the season and plans on celebrating some of the history and tradition of professional baseball in Tucson during what could be the Padres' final season.

"I'm keeping the staff motivated and one thing we've decided is if it is the final year, we're going to help a lot of people in the community," Feder said. "We don't want to just fade away. We want to work with as many people as we can and do things that really celebrate the past."

Feder is also hoping to bring three spring training games to Tucson in March like last season. He has yet to finalize the dates and teams, but said he has commitments from four teams to play in Tucson so far.

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