Congrats to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Greg Couch, the first columnist thus far (that I’ve seen, anyway) to imply that free agent SS Rafael Furcal might be a bad investment because of his single drunk driving conviction.

The Cubs have so many needs, including a star leadoff hitter, some speed, a leadoff hitter, a shortstop with range and a superstrong arm, a leadoff hitter, experience. And a leadoff hitter.

Furcal (above) is all of those things. He can be the answer, and the Cubs want him. The old Cubs, the ones who only pretended to try, would be announcing any day now that they had finished second in the Furcal sweepstakes. Darn luck. But these Cubs do seem to be willing to spend, and four years at $36million should land him. But there’s one big risk with Furcal:

“I play for the Braves. Can you give me a chance?”

That’s what he reportedly told the police officer last September, when he was arrested for DUI. It was his second DUI in less than five years, and it landed Furcal in jail for two weeks. He was going 88 mph in his $100,000 Mercedes, according to police reports, at 4:20 in the morning, with a blood alcohol content of .127. In Georgia, the legal limit is .08. Police said he had a woman and a large amount of cash in the car.

So this is what the Cubs are facing: A star shortstop who can make a difference. An amazing player with a drinking problem.

Yes, I said drinking problem. That doesn’t mean he’s an alcoholic, or even out of control. But it’s a problem, so recent that you have to keep it in the present tense.

I realize the laws in Illinois aren’t the same as those in Georgia, but what’s wrong with having a female passenger and/or a large amount of cash in a car? David Justice managed to drive around with the latter, and he turned out OK, didn’t he?