With 2017 less than a day away, even the San Diego Padres have resolutions for the new year. Here are 17 for the young team to consider.
- Be honest with fans. Don’t quibble over words like build and rebuild. Admit it: the Padres will not be in the World Series this year.
- Stick to the plan: to build a farm system and a competitive organization. This franchise has never achieved that common sense goal.
- Hire smart, fan-friendly replacements for front office vacancies. The head of baseball operations should be a man or woman who actually knows something about baseball (unlike Mike Dee).
- Win back the local media, which rarely mentions the team in part because of the organization’s attempt to control the message completely.
- Create stability in the front office, which has been a revolving door.
- Promote the exciting young Padres players like Austin Hedges, Luis Perdomo and Hunter Renfroe.
- Replace Ron Fowler as de facto voice of the franchise. His rants may voice many of fans’ frustrations but accomplish nothing else.
- Reach out to season ticket holders turned off by Dee’s machinations.
- Take advantage of Andy Green’s passion and knowledge, especially in a concerted attempt to bring back fans.
- Hire a marketing wizard to fill Petco Park with casual fans attracted by events like Beerfest.
- Support the development of Hedges as a team leader, a natural role for a catcher.
- Don’t get too cute with Christian Bethancourt. His value as the backup catcher and relief pitcher should not be diluted by trying to turn him into everything from a part-time outfielder to peanut vendor.
- Have a heart when considering a trade of Yangervis Solarte, who has suffered the devastating loss of his wife and been left to raise three little girls on his own.
- Reach out to all fans through social media, surveys, questionnaires, committees and any other avenue.
- Emphasize the financial commitment made by the franchise in both the national and international draft.
- Encourage fans to travel to spring training and see the future on the field.
- Drop off the new uniforms at the Goodwill on the way to Petco Park and honor the past as well as the future with a brand new version designed with fan input.
Happy New Year to all San Diego fans! Go Padres!