Baseball's paradoxical 2006 is about to end with record attendance during the regular season and awful TV ratings for the postseason, with labor peace in October and owners complaining about the money they're spending by December, with no major-league steroid suspensions during the regular season and no one naive enough to believe that performance-enhancing drugs have been eradicated.
Not that the sport is suffering through an identity crisis, by any means, but it's obvious that a few tweaks are necessary. And what better way to set goals for 2007 than with New Year's resolutions for some of baseball's biggest and brightest.
Alex Rodriguez: I resolve to win a World Series. Please stop laughing. That is not very nice.
Derek Jeter: I resolve … not to laugh … at – OK, do I really have to do this? You serious? Fine, I won't laugh at Alex Rodriguez. On Tuesdays. Maybe.
Kenny Williams: I resolve not to trade my eldest son because he doesn't play professional baseball, though if someone offers a pitching prospect, the boy is fair game – and I might just throw in my other four kids, too.
Barry Bonds: I resolve to never buy another woman a house in Arizona.
Scott Boras: I resolve to finally reveal the "mystery team" that's always involved in free-agent negotiations as the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks of the Northern League.
Daisuke Matsuzaka: I also resolve to learn English, so I can tell people to stop calling me D-Mat, because that sounds like something on which large-breasted women rest their chests.
George Mitchell: I resolve to continue a dogged investigation into baseball's steroid history despite lacking subpoena power, the cooperation of any players, the support of owners who wonder how many millions are being spent and the interest of fans, who seem to care more about big salaries than big muscles.
C.C. Sabathia: I resolve to lose 10 pounds.
C.C. Sabathia: OK, 20.
C.C. Sabathia: Fine, 30.
George Steinbrenner: I resolve to … wait, what was I saying?
Harold Reynolds: I resolve to take women to Sizzler and grope their thigh, because Outback and a hug got me fired.
Delmon Young: I resolve to throw my bat only at umpires who deserve it.
Joe Mikulik: I resolve to control my anger more like Delmon Young.
Jeffrey Loria: I resolve to endear myself to the fans of South Florida, whom I want to pay for a stadium, by again spending less on my team than Alex Rodriguez makes in a season.
Randy Johnson: I resolve to re-grow my mullet if traded back to Arizona, thus triggering the Samson-like powers I lost in New York.
David Eckstein: I resolve to trademark the words scrap, grit, hustle, guts and heart, and allow them to be applied only to sub-5-foot-9 white guys.
Jim Leyland: I resolve to quit smoking.
Jim Leyland: No I don't.
Kenny Rogers: I resolve to use Vaseline next time.
Joe Morgan: I resolve to finally read "Moneyball." And I resolve to still not like it.
Manny Ramirez: I resolve to start coasting in May.
Alfonso Soriano: I resolve to wait until at least June before I waive my no-trade clause.
Paul Lo Duca: I resolve not to cheat on my wife with a teenager, which won't be difficult because my wife left me after I cheated on her with a teenager.
Sammy Sosa: I resolve to hit 60 home runs again. For my club team in the Dominican Republic. Which happens to be in a slow-pitch softball league. Consisting of senior citizens.
Barry Zito: I resolve to write a song about the free-agent process called "Dude, Where's My Car? Oh, It's Right There, and It's a Bentley, and Now I Can Afford About 999 More."
Ken Griffey Jr.: I resolve to continue my mission of breaking all 206 bones in my body.
Mark McGwire: I resolve to add the present and future to the list of things I'm not here to talk about.
Roger Clemens: I resolve to pitch the fifth "final game of my career."
Jim Hendry: I resolve to shop until just before I drop.
Jason Grimsley: I resolve to celebrate my 40th birthday Aug. 7 by throwing a doping party. Messrs. Bonds and McGwire are invited.
Bud Selig: I resolve to honor baseball's "Golden Age" by dressing more like Mr. T.