Padres promote stability

When you have 67 percent turnover, whom do you promote in your preseason spots? If you are the Padres, the answer is the front office.

In an effort to answer the most asked question of the offseason -- What are the Padres doing? -- the Padres last week filmed a series of television promos featuring CEO and president Sandy Alderson, general manager Kevin Towers and vice president of player development Grady Fuson.

The slogan: "On a Mission."

The message: "We know what we are doing."

"The focus of this campaign is to make people understand what we are trying to accomplish and who we are," explained Jeff Overton, the Padres' executive vice president of communications.

"There are four aspects ... the team, the ballpark, the community and the fans. To achieve our goals, we need to introduce some decision-makers."

Alderson, Towers and Fuson all have solid track records. But the Padres could have promoted Trevor Hoffman, the closer who is 43 saves away from being the game's all-time leader, or homegrown outfielder Brian Giles.

Instead, they elected to promote their plan for building a self-sustaining franchise -- starting with rebuilding the farm system.

"In the past, we were either winning or rebuilding," said Towers. "Now we want consistency. Each and every year, we want to be a consistent winner and a contender.

"We did win our division last year. But we also recognized that we needed a makeover. Success over the long term means being successful from within. I don't want to be in a position where we have to rebuild through free agency."

Hence, the presence of Fuson in the promos. Fuson has been handed the responsibility of rebuilding the Padres' player development program, from running the draft to rebuilding the physical camp the Padres have in the Dominican Republic.

"In baseball," Alderson said, "you create value by developing your own players. Prospects create value ... they are the coin of the realm. Plus, fans identify far more with the homegrown player than the free agent.

"We have to have more successful drafting and developing. We want to create a reputation for excellence across the board. We want the fans to believe and understand that we want a solid organization. It's important that the fans know and believe in what we are doing. We want to convey to the average fan that we are doing more than making a few phone calls and trading a few players."

"I don't think this is a reaction to the turnover," Overton said. "We wanted the fans to know we were doing some things."

The Padres said later spots would feature the players.

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