Christmas is done. Gift exchanges have begun. And thanks to the relentlessness of time, the pressure to come up with a resolution for 2008 has the baseball universe under the gun.
(Or so we'd like to think).
Good thing this space is here to oblige. With only a long weekend separating us from our New Year's glee, here are some resolutions involving the grand ol' game that one person would like to see:
From commissioner Bud Selig, a promise to utter two very simple words -- "I'm sorry," -- for his failings during the rise of the Steroid Era.
From Roger Clemens, a pledge to start his own reality show -- complete with a video camera that will track all his movements 24/7/365 -- documenting one final season in the majors. After all, the guy has absolutely nothing to hide, right?
From Derek Jeter, a promise to offer half the amount of support to Alex Rodriguez, his partner on the left side of the Yankees infield -- a man who has never been implicated in the performance-enhancing drugs scandal, by the way -- that he did for Clemens when the latter was fingered in the Mitchell Report earlier this month.
From "60 Minutes" correspondent emeritus Mike Wallace, a guarantee that his self-admitted friendship with Clemens won't prevent him from coming up-and-in at the Yankees pitcher when the two sit down for a interview that airs Jan. 6.
From one-time personal trainer Brian McNamee, an offer to inject Clemens, his former client, with truth serum before the interview.
From fellow one-time personal trainer Greg Anderson, a promise to supply McNamee and one-time Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski with a lifetime supply of cheese. It is the preferred food of rats.
From home run king Barry Bonds, a vow to pay that bill and any others for Anderson, his close friend who paid a far stiffer price for his loyalty.
From Giants owner Peter Magowan, a pledge to sell his interest in the Giants, after which he can take his proceeds and invest in a string of asylums for society's most shady people. The inmates would run it, of course.
From Giants general manager Brian Sabean, a promise to auction off the blindfold and earmuffs he wore to see no evil and hear no evil in the Giants clubhouse. The proceeds could go to a PED prevention program.
From former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, author of the Mitchell Report, a pledge to invite outspoken Congressmen Henry Waxman and Tom Davis to lunch, during which he'd slap their respective heads together in a reminder that the performance-enhancing drug scourge isn't just a baseball problem.
From Waxman and Davis, an assurance that, at minimum, they will invite NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NBA commissioner David Stern and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to their next congressional hearing.
From A's general manager Billy Beane, an assurance that he will look up the word "humility" in the dictionary, because by the time his rebuilding project is over, he figures to have gained some.
From Beane's manager, Bob Geren, a declaration that he'll invest in a voice teacher, the better to find his own voice in his team's clubhouse.
From Beane's former manager Tony La Russa, a promise to refrain from any late-night meals that involve imbibing. Failing to do so in Florida last spring set the tone for a miserable 2007 for the St. Louis Cardinals' skipper.
From Beane's former teammate Mark McGwire, a vow to come out of hiding and start using, as he told Congress he would, "whatever influence ... I have to discourage young athletes from taking any drug that is not recommended by a doctor."
From Beane's former employee, Red Sox manager Terry Francona, a pledge for more of the same. The man is one of the classiest, most humble, likable men in the game.
From the fanatics who pay Francona's salary -- a.k.a. Red Sox Nation -- a promise that they'll quit viewing their team as lovable underdogs. Simply put, the Bosox are the superior of baseball's two empires.
From baseball's other empire, a vow to let the sons of Steinbrenner -- Hank and Hal -- run the New York Yankees' ship exactly the way their father, George, did in his early days of ownership. It will be good for competitive balance.
From baseball's real underdogs, the Cubs, a promise that they'll allow the centennial anniversary of the team's last World Series crown to create 100 times the hype that their actual 1908 title did.
And finally ...
From Cubs fans worldwide, a pledge to look at things optimistically, starting this way: At least most of you won't be here when the drought hits 200 years.
Contact Rick Hurd at firstname.lastname@example.org and comment on his blog at http:/www.ibabuzz.com/chinmusic