Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 22, 2013

Christmas Dreaming In The Bronx

A NOTE TO READERS: On Sports and Life will be traveling for much of the coming week, so there will be no posts next Thursday and Sunday. The regular schedule will resume on Thursday, January 2nd. Happiest of holidays, peace and goodwill to all. As for today’s post, my apologies and a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore.

Twas the night before Christmas, and in every city and town,
Fans of the Great Game had all bedded down.
Young and old alike were tucked snug in their beds,
While visions of grand slams danced in their heads.

Young Don loved the BoSox, champions they,
He dreamed of big beards, the Mike Napoli way.
Little Ernest lived in New England, but bled Dodger blue,
His dreams were of Kershaw, and Zack Greinke too.

Tyke Billy was a Mets fan, who so often fell short,
Perhaps with Grandy and Colon, better news will report.
Charlie rooted for the Phillies, from knothole gang days,
While Esther’s team was the O’s, but never the Rays.

Unable to sleep, I twisted and turned,
Fretting about my Yankees, whom Cano had just spurned.
They’d missed the playoffs last season, and that wasn’t right,
For games in October always proved Yankee might.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave the luster of stadium lights to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, pulled by players in game gear.

Pinstripes most wore, though some donned road gray,
And the driver he called to them, leading the way.
“Now Gardner! Now Ichiro! Now Tex and Kuroda!
On Sori! On Robertson! On CC and Nova!”

“To the top of the mound, to the center field wall!
Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”
So up to the housetop the teammates they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and that driver in blue.

And then on the rooftop I heard the firm beats,
Of the prancing and pawing of players in cleats.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Hal Steinbrenner came with a bound.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,
Passing out new deals to all who would ask.
Seven years for Jacoby Ellsbury, that’s a contract that rocks,
Like the Babe and Johnny Damon, a steal from the Red Sox.

Five years for Atlanta’s McCann, an All-Star catcher so fine,
From Yogi through Jorge, Brian’s next in a great line.
Beltran’s back in New York, Carlos stars at the plate,
Like Reggie of yore, in October he’s great.

283 million and counting, but Hal’s work isn’t done,
More pitching we need before another Series is won.
Andy Pettitte’s retired, and so has Rivera,
The Core Four’s down to Jeter, it’s the end of an era.

If he’s healthy at last, Michael Pineda can start,
And we’ll bid on Japan’s Tanaka, if he’s allowed to depart.
When the Yanks get to the ninth, perhaps Robertson can close,
Those are huge shoes to fill, the ones that were Mo’s.

It’s been a good offseason, but there’s still much to do,
More deals will be coming before the Yankees’ spending is through.
As if to signal he knew this, Hal gave me a wink,
Then disappeared up the chimney, gone in a blink.

He sprang to his sleigh, to the players gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim as the sleigh climbed toward the moon,
“Seven weeks to pitchers and catchers, spring training is soon!”

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