99 problems, Cubs-style

They'll be done with this to-do list in no time. Right?

April 07, 2013|By Jimmy Greenfield @jcgreenx | For RedEye

The pieces aren't in place yet for the Cubs, but the plan is and so is the braintrust. Whether Tom Ricketts, Theo Epstein and Dale Sveum will succeed remains a mystery, and the fact is there's more to be done. A lot more.

So on the cusp of Wrigley Field's 99th birthday, RedEye presents 99 things the Cubs need to do before they can return to glory.

99. Win the World Series. Duh.

98. Make Carlos Marmol go bye bye.

97. Tell the rooftop owners to go pound sand. And do it publicly.

96. Prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Theo Epstein is not a robot.

95. Stop signing players named "Scott."

94. Let fans participate in the annual spring training bunting contest.

93. Reward your incredibly patient fans by doing something wonderful for them.

92. And no, a Dale Sveum bobblehead night does not count as "something wonderful."

91. No more statues unless it's one commemorating a World Series title.

90. And yes, I do mean a Cubs World Series title.

89. Hire that young upstart John McDonough away from the Blackhawks.

88. Give Steve Bartman four season tickets for life. Don't make it public.

87. Find a way to bring Sammy Sosa back. And not in a Fredo Corleone sort of way.

86. Keep demanding more than just nickel and dime additions to Wrigley Field.

85. Move out for a year if needed and get it ALL done, or find a new home.

84. Should that home be in Rosemont? Don't be stupid. The Cubs can be cheesy, but not that cheesy.

83. Create a promotion called "Bill Murray's Groundhog Day" and then do it every year. With the same teams and, in a perfect world, the same fans.

82. Let kids run the bases after every game.

81. Trade Matt Garza the morning after his first decent start.

80. Under no circumstances re-sign Garza.

79. See No. 47.

78. Understand that if Javier Baez becomes Corey Patterson or Felix Pie, we will turn on you.

77. Whomever you draft No. 2 overall in June should make his MLB debut in 2014. Or we will turn on you.

76. Brett Jackson and/or Josh Vitters are only part of the future if they're traded for players who will be part of the future.

75. The honeymoon ends the day after the 2014 season is over.

74. This means any success before 2015 is gravy, anything less than playoffs afterward is failure.

73. OK, let's talk about third base. As soon as it's humanly possible, stop giving Luis Valbuena at-bats. Just stop.

72. Yeah, I know he's the best third baseman they have. I just can't bear that this is true.

71. For the love of God, don't try and tell me Ian Stewart still may get his swing back.

70. Get off to a hot start this season to find out if Dale Sveum knows how to manage.

69. Cool off in time to make trade deadline deals.

68. So what happens if the Cubs are contending in late July? I will eat this entire issue of RedEye.

67. Even the iPad version.

66. Start a contest for fans to guess when Starlin Castro will get his 3,000th hit. (Put me down for July 23, 2027.)

65. Swap teams with the Kane County Cougars one day this season. See if anyone notices.

64. Pray Travis Wood turns into a quality starter. Unless the Cubs don't think young, cheap and lefty is their thing.

63. You want to keep morale up? Finish above .500 at home.

62. Open a Starbucks inside Wrigley Field. If only to drive White Sox fans crazy.

61. Win a season series from the White Sox for the first time since 2007.

60. You don't think beating the White Sox matters? It matters.

59. Hire @OzzieGuillen as your Social Media Coordinator.

58. Love the new seventh-inning stretch rules, but don't stop there: Don't let anyone in the booth.

57. Nothing kills the tension of a tight game than mindless banter with a guest, any guest.

56. Lock Jeff Samardzija up until 2018; he's the real deal.

55. Admit that locking up Edwin Jackson until 2016 will backfire.

54. If the Angels can trade Vernon Wells (who stinks), then the Cubs can trade Alfonso Soriano (who doesn't).

53. One difference: The Angels gave up next to nothing, the Cubs should expect at least one decent prospect for Soriano.

52. Don't worry about trading Soriano within the division. The Reds just lost Ryan Ludwick and have no good replacement. Make the call.

51. When the Cubs are actually good, please don't mindlessly stick with your closer.

50. Because I'm starting to think Marmol's real last name is "Ricketts."

49. Actually, keeping Marmol as closer seems more like part of the long-term plan to get higher draft picks.

48. Take your slogan "Committed" off your website and I'll stop assuming Wrigley is an insane asylum.

47. See No. 79.

46. Send the San Diego Padres a bouquet of flowers every year Anthony Rizzo is a Cub.

45. Fleece a general manager who doesn't work for the Padres.

44. Get lucky.

43. Albert Pujols was a 13th-round draft pick, the 402nd pick of the 1999 draft. That's getting lucky.

42. Have a public 30th anniversary party at Wrigley Field next year for the 1984 Cubs.

41. More than any other, that Cubs team turned the franchise around.

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