To scare everyone, I was going to post a picture of myself drinking champagne, while in a diaper. A creepy Baby New Year, if you will. You’ve all been spared. There’s no way I could convince my wife to take such a picture, and I’d have needed to start drinking about a week ago to get the courage up to do so. Although, being a Cubs fan does lead to drinking quite often…and heavily.

For the New Year, here’s a short list of what I’m happy about, and what I’m going to piss and moan about next season.

Happy Items:

1.) The signing of Kosuke Fukudome. No matter what we put out in right field last year, surely they could not be any worse than this unproven Japanese maestro of the On Base Percentage. I’m looking forward to seeing if his OBP is a Japanese baseball enigma, or if it will measure up to the levels of the MLB. I’m confident that he’ll continue the trend of quality Japanese players joining the ranks of the MLB.

2.) Another notch on the belt for some of our young arms. Rich Hill now has two years to build off of, as does Sean Marshall. It’s time to turn the corner gentlemen and prove yourself as number three to five starters. Remember the days when the Cubs had all righty starting rotations? We could have a southpaw majority in 2008

3.) Carlos Zambrano. Oh, I know I beat you down, lift you up, and then smack you around here. BUT, this is it big man. It’s time to pony up to the bar and get your talent and head on the same page. Heck, I’d be happy if you could get them on consecutive pages. I don’t want to hear any more proclamations about how you’ll win the Cy Young. Just go out and do it.

Sad Items:

1.) Ryan Theriot love. I just don’t get it. He’s scrappy, I get that. But he sucked at the plate all year long, and really didn’t show much range at SS (which would explain why the organization had moved him to Second Base in the minors). I’ll be honest, the whole SS position scares me this year. The idea of Ronny Cedeno possibly manning that spot scares to p-o-o-p out of me as well.

2.) The loss of John McDonough. If there’s one thing the Cubs did (or do) right, it’s marketing. Good grief, is there ever a game you go to that doesn’t have some sort of a giveaway? They’ve packed the seats for one reason, John McDonough and his marketing staff. Let’s hope his departure doesn’t let this marketing machine falter. Kudos John, and good luck with making the Blackhawks relevant in Chicago and the NHL again.

3.) The unresolved bullpen. Dempster is a closer… wait, he’s a starter……no wait, he might be the closer. Holy shakalakadingdong, make up your mind Lou. It’s January and the guys don’t know their roles yet…..or is it still? I’m not sure, with the exception of Marmol, any of them really knew when they were going to go in. Is Dempster the greatest closer known to man? Of course not. But, is he serviceable with Marmol and Howry in front of him? Hot damn, yes. Let’s leave that three man end of game rotation in place.

I could go on, but honestly, there’s chilled champagne in the fridge, numerous morsels to snack upon, and dwelling on the Cubs can lead one to thoughts of suicide. One more year down, another year ahead to look forward too. At least April…maybe May, and June. Then we’ll see where we’re at from there.

Happy New Year everyone!

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Been blogging on VFTB since 2006. It's been a long silly run thus far. I still play baseball in the Chicago North Men's Senior Baseball League.