Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 24, 2017

A Christmas Visit From St. Hal

A NOTE TO READERS: Hoping your holidays are happy and peaceful, and thank you all for your continued support.  As is the tradition here at On Sports and Life, the post nearest to Christmas Day is offered with 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.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town
Not a ball fan was stirring, all had bedded down;
The tickets were stored in a safe place with care,
For the home opener that soon would be there;

‘Neath team logo blankets the children did snore;
Dreaming of presents from the Yankees team store;
Mamma in her Judge jersey, and I in Greg Bird’s,
Made ready to nap after exchanging kind words,

When from out in the stands there arose a great shout,
I hurried off to see what it was all about.
Away to the cheap seats I flew like a flash,
To the third deck I ran, all in a mad dash.

The lights shining down on the infield below,
Made it seem like a day game to my eyes you know,
When what did I see in that same location,
But a tiny red sleigh and the starting rotation,

With a blue-suited driver not lively nor quick,
I knew in a moment it wasn’t St. Nick.
More rapid than fastballs his pitchers they came,
And he shouted, and whistled, and called each by name:

“Now, Sevy! Now, CC! And yes Tanaka you!
On, Jordan! On, Sonny! Maybe Gerrit Cole too!
To the top of the mound! To the center field wall!
Now strike one! Strike two! Strike them out all!

As Giancarlo’s bombs launch into the sky,
Home runs by he and Aaron away they do fly;
So into the air all those pitchers took flight
With that sleigh and the driver up into the night.

And then from the rooftop I heard the sharp beats
The prancing and pawing of players in cleats.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney Hal Steinbrenner came with a bound!

He was dressed in a suit, and his shoes had a shine,
About what you’d expect, for he owns the Bronx nine;
He carried some contracts, he hadn’t been lax,
He wanted this year to escape the luxury tax.

He gave me a wink and a nod of his head
Which led me to think I had nothing to dread;
So I ventured to speak, and this I did state:
’17 was a good year; in fact it was great!

But now hopes are high, we fans always want more,
After coming so close, is a Series in store?
With so many sluggers, the lineup’s absurd,
But the defense has holes at second and third.

Hal said not to worry, Cashman’s on the case,
And young Gleyber Torres can play either base;
We’ll look at free agents, and our prospects too,
Maybe re-sign Todd Frazier, or somebody new.

Hal turned from me then, and went straight to his task,
Filling the stockings; but I had one last ask,
Will this be our year? Please, I’d so like to know.
He said they’ll try hard; the longest season will show.

Then he rose up the chimney, and whistled his team,
And away they all flew as if on a light beam.
But I heard him exclaim, as they took to the sky,
Happy Christmas to all, for Spring Training is nigh!

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