Friday, January 2, 2004 Updated: January 5, 8:34 PM ET
New year brings new promises
By Alan Schwarz Special to ESPN.com
All of us can improve, and what better day for promises than Jan. 1? New year, new opportunities, new goals. For example, on Thursday, I vowed to stop being an incorrigible pain in the you-know-what.
Alas, like so many New Year's resolutions, this one bit the dust by halftime of the Rose Bowl. I had a column due. What better way to break the fast than to list other people's New Year's resolutions that probably won't last, either?
Having consulted with several player agents, a few wives and MLB's unencrypted Wi-Fi network, I have gathered the top 25 more intriguing pledges that'll be lucky to last into spring training. With no guarantees:
With 658 career home runs, Barry Bonds sits fourth on the all-time list.
Ivan Rodriguez: Change name to Alex. Maybe then someone will want me.
Alex Rodriguez: Change name to Ivan. Hijack delivery of Pudge's World Series ring.
Gary Sheffield: Get Uncle Dwight's tour of the New York nightlife. On second thought, maybe not.
Barry Bonds: When I pass Babe Ruth's 714 home runs in last weekend of the season, resist urge to thump chest, point to the heavens and yell, "Take that, you big, fat, white guy."
Keith Foulke: Get T-shirt for media that reads, "No, I don't mind coming in with the score tied in the seventh."
Pete Rose: Get ready for a Hall of Fame plaque that reads, "National League's longest fibbing streak."
A.J. Pierzynski: To ease transition to National League, enroll in Dale Carnegie class.
Kazuo Matsui: Find the idiot cabbie who got off the Van Wyck and took me to Shea instead of the Bronx.
Grady Little: Commit some sort of crime that forbids me from ever setting foot within 100 miles of Boston. Wait. Already did that.
Carl Everett: Either stitch my mouth shut for inevitable run-in with my new manager Frank Robinson, or check out Everlast web site for protective headgear.
David Wells: Make sure San Diego has plenty of dingy, late-night diners in which I can get beat up whenever the mood strikes.
Bruce Chen: After joining my eighth team in 3½ years, don't buy a Toronto apartment. Don't rent a Toronto apartment. Don't even exchange 20 bucks at the airport.
Roger Clemens: Scour family tree to find whiff of Greek heritage so I can pitch in Athens Olympics. Check Astros contract for permission.
Vladimir Guerrero: Sign with the Marlins. You can't beat Miami -- all the signs are translated into English!
Bud Selig: Figure out a way to draw distinction between my saying Rose won't be reinstated and his saying he didn't bet on baseball.
Jeromy Burnitz: Given that I've made about $8 zillion more in my career than I deserve and am about to play 81 games in Colorado, send parents a note thanking them for not having me nine years earlier, when I would have been Rob Deer.
Tom Hicks: Put someone at shortstop that will get Metroplex jazzed. That guy Emmitt can go in the hole, right?
Josh Beckett: Repeat 100 times -- "Four-letter words like 'Dude' are fine. Others make me sound like some kid outside the 7-Eleven."
Greg Maddux: Do one situp.
George Steinbrenner: Faint when the Sox get A-Rod, not before.
Terry Francona: Subscribe to Baseball Prospectus so I know what in the world Theo Epstein is talking about.
Curt Schilling: Call up shady broker and complain about carpet costs for Drew Bledsoe's rec room -- yardage shouldn't include Travis Henry swing passes.
Robert Fick: Find a team more suited to my style of play. Perhaps the Thrashers?
Kevin Brown: I'm 38, get to pitch for the Yankees and have a net worth near nine figures. Try acting like I don't have a jock full of itching powder.
Billy Beane: Figure out what works in the playoffs. Fast.
Alan Schwarz is the senior writer of Baseball America magazine and a regular contributor to ESPN.com.