AUBURN | The way Michael Voutsinas sees it, he has to pack nine months of offseason work into five.
Voutsinas, a former assistant general manager for the Syracuse Chiefs, was officially announced as the Auburn Doubledays' new general manager Monday. He dove right in by scoping out his new surroundings at Falcon Park and planning what tasks were ahead of him before the season opener in June.
"There's a lot that needs to be done, and I'm a person that always wishes we were farther ahead than we were," he said.
Voutsinas does have a head start. His experience with the Chiefs provides him with knowledge of the Nationals organization, as well as how the Doubledays front office has worked in the past, since both are Washington affiliates.
"We're going to keep doing well what has been done well in the past, and improve on things that need to be improved upon," said Voutsinas, who grew up in central New York and lives in Camillus.
A graduate of Northeastern University and Canisius College, Voutsinas spent eight years as either the director of ticket sales or director of promotions in Syracuse before being named the team's assistant general manager in 2009. The Chiefs underwent an overhaul in the front office this fall, with Voutsinas being one of several members in management let go.
In a strange twist, Voutsinas and former Auburn general manager Jason Horbal, who left the Doubledays in November, have essentially switched job titles. But that doesn't mean everything will be done the same way.
"It's certainly unusual, but both franchises are going in different directions, so I don't think the tasks that I'm going to do be doing going forward are exactly the way Jason (Horbal) was doing things and the responsibilities he had," Voutsinas said. "It's an opportunity for the Auburn Doubledays to take a look at our operation. Any time you make a change, you want it to be a change for the better."
Voutsinas is the fifth general manager for the Doubeldays since 2010. Facing turnover in the front office, declining attendance and poor weather last summer, the club needed a $125,000 loan from the city of Auburn in December to pay off debts to its vendors.
Of the 20-plus people who applied for the position and 10-plus people interviewed, Doubledays president Dave Daum said Voutsinas stuck out because of how highly he was recommended by the Nationals and others in minor league baseball.
"He has the business experience and he showed us during the interview he has the ability to resolve the problems we've had in the past," Daum said.
Voutsinas' first steps with his new team involve getting feedback from those who know Falcon Park best.
"We're going to have a focus on our fans and make things better for our fans," Voutsinas said. "We're going to bring our fans in here, particularly our season-ticket holders, and get their feedback and really be focused on the future."
Two of those new Doubledays fans are Voutsinas' wife and daughter.
"They're both big baseball fans, so they'll be spending some time here at Falcon Park," Voutsinas said. "That's one question a lot of my family and friends had when things happened with the Chiefs was 'Where are we going to go now to watch baseball?' We've filled in that gap, and now everyone has a place to come and watch a game in the summer."