Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 24, 2015

A Christmas Visit In The Hot Stove League

A NOTE TO READERS: As with similar efforts in past years, this post is presented with both apologies and a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore, who in 1823 authored “A Visit from St. Nicholas;” a poem far better known almost two centuries later by its first five words. Happiest of holidays, peace and goodwill to one and all; and thank you for your support.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and at every park,
All the grandstands were empty, clubhouses were dark.
The equipment was packed, locked in storage stalls,
Until next season’s games need new bats and balls.

Great Game fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of championships danced in their heads.
Mama in her Trout jersey, and I in my Nats cap,
Turned off Sports Center and were ready to nap.

When out on the field there arose such a shout,
I sprang from my bed to see what ‘twas about.
Away to the cheap seats I flew like a flash,
Racing to the upper deck in a mad dash.

The moon bathed the diamond below in bright light,
It lacked only players, a most beautiful sight.
When then it appeared, in the moon’s glow,
A sleigh pulled by free agents, each wearing a bow.

That sled was quite packed, with thirty drivers in all,
Every franchise GM, each one making a call.
More rapid than eagles those players they came,
The GMs texted and phoned, and dealt every name.

For Greinke, Cueto and Zobrist, new contracts quite nice,
Plus Heyward and Zimmermann, and of course David Price.
That sleigh rounded third base and headed for home,
Then it took to the air and passed right over my dome.

Up to the house-top those free agents flew,
With the sleigh full of presents and general managers too.
And then from above me I heard the sharp beats,
Of the prancing and pawing of players in cleats.

Back to the bedroom I headed, not wanting to lurk,
When down the chimney came the GMs, ready to work.
They were all dressed in suits, one wore a World Series ring,
I had to laugh when I saw it, so much overdone bling.

Still the GMs were dressed sharply, they all looked quite spiffy,
Though when it came time to deal, some budgets were iffy.
They looked right past me and each went straight to his job,
Giving presents to his team’s fans, every Susie and Bob.

David Price to the Red Sox, and Craig Kimbrel too,
Two new All-Stars in Boston made Yankee fans blue.
Zack Greinke left Hollywood for the desert southwest,
He’ll help the D’Backs contend in the divisional test.

San Fran got J. Cueto for their even-year run,
And Zimm went to Detroit, bringing Tiger fans fun.
It wasn’t just pitchers who reaped winter’s riches,
But batters as well, who hit the ball on its stitches.

The Cubs signed Ben Zobrist, and J. Heyward soon after,
Hoping to end their long drought and replace it with laughter.
The Nats inked Daniel Murphy, the Mets’ postseason star,
Perhaps he’ll help in the playoffs, where DC’s never gone far.

There were so many presents for fans south and north,
But the GMs all knew there was still work henceforth.
The hot stove’s not over, for some it’s barely begun,
Till pitchers and catchers report, more deals will get done.

So they sprang to their sleigh, to the players gave a shout,
And away they all raced, as if it was the last out.
But I heard them exclaim as the sleigh took to the sky,
Merry Christmas to all, Spring Training is nigh!


  1. This is fantastic stuff. I’ll be sure to share it with some of my friends.
    I hope you had a great Christmas, and have a Happy and safe New Year.

    • Thanks so much Bill. Hope Christmas was grand for you and your family, and all best wishes for 2016!


      Michael Cornelius


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