I don’t like shopping. In fact, I would go as far as to say that I hate shopping, despite the fact that everyone says we shouldn’t say hate. It’s too crowded and I can’t seem to find the patience to wait in long lines to return items I received that either don’t fit my body or my wants. Instead, I’m waiting until the day after the day after Christmas. It should be shorter lines and far less stress this way. The same goes for the Cubs. I’m sure we all have things they’ve given us over the year that we would like to return. It’s easy to be non-creative and say you want to return the time spent watching futility all these years, but what fun is that. Instead, let’s talk about things more creative. I’ll give you some of my returns and hopefully that will spark your ideas and allow you to reap the benefits of this new return day.

Mark Prior – With him signing with the Padres, officially parting ways with Chicago, I’d like to return him. I’d like to return all games pitched by Prior for the Cubs. I understand that it means we probably don’t get 2003 and the memories involved in that year, but I think I’m willing to forget that as well. It was a tough draft overall in 2001, but I think I would have settled for David Wright, who was picked by the Mets in the supplemental first round at number 38.

Michael Barrett vs. Carlos Zambrano – I’d like to return this one because it meant the exit of Barrett from the team. I was a big Barrett fan. I would love to have him back for this year in case Geovany Soto doesn’t pan out. I’m not sold, just yet on Soto. In seven minor league seasons, he had a high batting average of .273 before last year. I understand guys can finally figure things out and have a breakout year, but it sure would be nice to have someone else in the mix beside an aging Henry Blanco who could handle the everyday catching duties should Soto fail.

Manager Excitement – After being burned by Don Baylor and Dusty Baker despite incredible excitement over their signing with the team, I’m returning my excitement over Lou Piniella. I’m not saying I want Piniella to get fired or that I think he’s doing a bad job. He’s doing a great job, but I know that eventually, like every manager before him, he’ll fall from grace and have to go elsewhere. I’d like to return my excitement over a manager and pour it into individual players instead.

So there you have it. Those are the Cubs things I stood in line to return. What are yours? Be creative.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail