Surely, Jed York notices the lack of fans at Levi's Stadium these days. (Stan Olszewski/Special to S.F. Examiner)

49ers are a lost franchise, it’s up to CEO to find way

Hey, Jed York, what’s the plan? That’s the issue now. No one has to be told again your 49ers are a bad football team. That’s evident on the field, 12 straight losses. In the standings, second worst record in the NFL.

The question is how to make things better.

We’re well aware owners or executive officers never fire themselves, so anyone demanding your resignation is either naïve or ignorant. That understood, something has to be done. Or a lot of things have to be done.

Now fans who do show up at Levi’s — and surely you’re cognizant of all those empty seats — are wearing bags over their heads. Who would have imagined? Especially since these days you have to pay for the bags.

I’ve never been one to advocate terminating a coach or manager — or general manager — unless he’s a sociopath. In theory they know more about the sport than do we members of the fourth estate.

But you’re going to have to make a change just to give the fans hope for the future. That’s the way it works in sports. Don’t just sit there. With this team any move is a good move — not including the move to Santa Clara.

Everyone wants to tie the can to GM Trent Baalke, and yes his last few drafts and free agent signings have not measured up. Yet Baalke helped create the team that went to the Super Bowl in the 2012 season, even was chosen exec of the year by the Pro Football Writers. And then?

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.com wrote Baalke will be gone and then replaced in some capacity by Mike Shanahan. Which places Chip Kelly, where? Limbo one surmises.

Chip isn’t necessarily at fault for the defeats this season, although he hasn’t helped much either. You, Jed, might not wish to get rid of a third coach in three years, particularly someone in his first season, but a new GM would want his own people. Oh, the mystery.

Have you heard, the Los Angeles Rams — the only team the 49ers defeated this year — fired their coach, Jeff Fisher? One of the stories floating around is the new guy for L.A. might be Jim Harbaugh. Yikes!

It was only two years ago, that Thanksgiving night in 2014, when you were tweeting apologies because the Niners, Harbaugh’s Niners at the time, your Niners still, were smacked around by the Seahawks. Since that auspicious evening, the Niners are 7-26. Only the Cleveland Browns have a worse record.

To win, a team needs, yes, direction and leadership, but no less it needs in no particular order a quarterback, a defense and most importantly of all if the advice of the late Al Davis is believed, an offensive line. At the moment, because of various factors including injuries, the Niners have problems in each area.

Colin Kaepernick never may be Joe Montana, but he seemed quite capable as long as Harbaugh — the man who drafted him — was in charge. And the offensive line was strong. Invariably Kap always is under pressure. Well, Jed, so are you in another manner of speaking.

Your uncle, Eddie DeBartolo, was in a similar situation way back when, brought in the great Bill Walsh, took advantage of the lack of a salary cap and the Niners became the most dominant team in pro football.

The situation is different in 2016 than in the 1980s, certainly. Still, a properly run franchise should not be at the level to which the Niners have fallen. Your move, Jed — up, it is hoped.

Art Spander has been covering Bay Area sports since 1965 and also writes on www.artspander.com and www.realclearsports.com. E-mail him at typoes@aol.com.

Just Posted

City cuts to long-term mental health beds prompt protest

Elected officials, hospital staff call move to short-term beds for homeless ‘short-sighted’

SFPD sergeant accused of pulling false fire alarm at Pacifica police station

Sgt. Maria Teresa Donati under investigation after meeting on homelessness disrupted

Pelosi comes out against JUUL ballot measure

Local Democratic leadership largely united in opposition to attempt to overturn vaping ban

ACLU warns BART panhandling and busking ban is ‘unconstitutional’ — and could lead to lawsuits

Elected BART leaders are considering banning panhandling and busking — playing music… Continue reading

Jeff Adachi’s family disputes finding that public defender died of toxic drug mix

Independent expert concludes manner of death was natural

Most Read