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New Year's resolutions rarely last long.
For example, my resolution for 2012 was to not write any contrived, hokey columns. And yet here I am, delivering a proposed resolution for each of Major League Baseball's 30 teams for the year ahead. (Thankfully, my other resolution -- to work more ice cream and buffalo chicken into my diet -- lives on. I've got a good feeling about that one.)
Anyway, here we go. In 2012, the ...
San Diego Padres
resolve to mentally prepare Carlos Quentin for the power-sapping shock of Petco Park home games. And to remind Edinson Volquez that while Petco is a pitchers' park, it can't prevent him from walking people.
resolve to stop that trend of watching the average age of their lineup rise while the average number of runs scored drops. Oh, and to not be afraid of winning another 102 games, no matter how last year turned out.
resolve to avoid home/road splits as drastic as this one -- 5.4 runs scored per game at Coors Field in 2011, 3.7 runs per game elsewhere.
resolve to remember how impassioned, how determined, how motivated they played en route to knocking out the Red Sox last September. Six months of that would go a long way.
Los Angeles Dodgers
resolve to start shopping for one of those nifty "Under New Ownership" banners to hang outside Dodger Stadium. Something that'll really grab 'em.
resolve to stop fitting the fleetingness of New Year's resolutions better than any club on this list. The losing-seasons streak (19, at last count) ends here. And that mission starts with getting Pedro Alvarez back on track.
resolve to get ahead early. Those Major League-leading 48 comeback wins were great theater (and a show of great, ahem, resolve) in 2011, but the law of averages factors against them being the norm again in 2012.
New York Mets
resolve to offer, in addition to business cards and access to Mr. Met, potential ownership investors the opportunity to say, "Nice game, pretty boy" to Keith Hernandez after every broadcast.
resolve to protect their investment. Knee pads for Grady Sizemore.
resolve to extend Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum before or during Spring Training. Consistency with their pitching staff has never looked more important, in light of the current uncertainty in the middle of the order.
resolve to savor every Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ at-bat while they still can on a nightly basis.
resolve to strike the false optimism of "wait 'til next year" from the fan lexicon and replace it with "wait 'til Theo establishes a foundation of sustained success built on qualitative analysis as well traditional scouting and rooted in a strong player development system." Has a much better ring to it, doesn't it?
resolve to establish a catchy phrase of their own and see if "Cuetos" catches on in a rotation fronted by Johnny Cueto and Mat Latos. And to not rush Aroldis Chapman in the rotation role.
resolve to spread the word and generate excitement about little-known commodities Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper. And to get some worth out of Jayson Werth.
resolve to treat us to more Justin Verlander starts. Like, 60 or 70 should cover it.
resolve to use some of that leftover money from the Albert Pujols negotiations to buy bionic hamstrings for Jose Reyes.
resolve to stop using the disabled list so much after leading the Majors with 27 DL trips in 2011. They're going to help Joe Mauer achieve bilateral leg strength, whatever that is.
Kansas City Royals
resolve to clear room on the bandwagon, because "Mission 2012" has given way to 2012 itself. (Although "staff ace Bruce Chen" doesn't exactly have a nice ring to it.)
Tampa Bay Rays
resolve to note that Sam Fuld is currently listed as the DH on their depth chart and, you know, find a DH.
Toronto Blue Jays
resolve to find another established arm for a rotation that posted a 4.55 ERA in 2011, or else run the risk of wasting another of Jose Bautista's prime years.
San Francisco Giants
resolve, after scoring fewer runs (570) than any defending World Series champion in history, to build a barricade around Buster Posey.
resolve to not let Greg Walker out of the garage until he's fixed Jason Heyward. And to tell him not to take any cues from his old Adam Dunn instruction manual. Speaking of which ...
Chicago White Sox
resolve to find out where the real Dunn is being held in captivity. Perhaps they'll entice the kidnappers to let him go by offering up a lobster from Kenny Williams' freezer.
Boston Red Sox
resolve to remember that championships aren't won on paper (they're won on the field or, failing that, the MLB.com At Bat app) and to never get complacent. And to stick to grilled chicken, not fried.
New York Yankees
resolve to check the paperwork to see if Bartolo Colon has a player option for a second year on his deal with the devil, to know when to say when on A.J. Burnett and to not let either get in the way of the kids in-house when they're ready.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
resolve to give us more Mike Trout and less Vernon Wells. That's one way to help live up to the enormous expectations that will come after a winter of high-profile acquisitions ... like Chris Iannetta.
resolve to be patient and sing, "Do you know the way to San Jose? ... They've got a lot of space, there'll be a place where I can stay ..."
resolve to give serious consideration to a Prince in shining armor after averaging 3.3 runs per game over the last two years.
resolve to forget Game 6 and not pull from the playbook of the Boston Red Sox, who endured a comparably devastating collapse in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series and posted a 78-win season in '87.
St. Louis Cardinals
resolve to again follow that tried-and-true winning formula of losing a key piece (how about a departed Albert Pujols in the role of an injured Adam Wainwright?), falling 10 1/2 games back in late August and three back with five to play, facing the team with the league's best record in the first round and the team that beat them in the division race in the second and then finding themselves a strike away from elimination in the World Series -- twice, no less -- before winning it all. It works every time.