Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 23, 2018

Another Visit From Saint Hal

A NOTE TO READERS: With the calendar about to turn to a new year, thank you for your continued support, and may your holidays be happy and peaceful. 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 Opening Day, that so soon would be there;

‘Neath team logo blankets the children did snore;
Dreaming of presents from the Yankees team store;
Mamma in a Judge jersey, I in a Luke Voit,
Were ready for sleep after words quite adroit,

When from out in the stands there arose a great shout,
I hurried out 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 little red sleigh pulled by the starting rotation,

With a blue-suited driver both lively and quick,
But too tall and beardless, 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! Now Masahiro you!
On, J.A.! On, Paxton! On Montgomery too!
To the top of the mound! To the center field wall!
Now strike one! Strike two! Strike them out all!

As Giancarlo’s homers launch into the sky,
Big blasts 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,
Fresh off a year without 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:
An even hundred wins; last season was great!

But the Red Sox are champs, that ruined our day,
They will aim to repeat, can we bar the way?
With Didi banged up, the curse of Tommy John,
And the pitching has holes, but Corbin is gone.

Hal said not to worry, we might sign Manny,
Though we need to be sure he’ll bust his fanny;
We’ll look at free agents and our prospects too,
And consider a trade for a hurler or two.

He turned from me then, and went straight to his task,
Filling the stockings; but I had one last ask,
Is this our year, because I’d like to know soon;
But this is the Great Game, which plays its own tune.

Hal rose up the chimney, then whistled his team,
And away they all flew as if on a light beam.
But I heard him exclaim, as they shot to the moon,
“Happy Christmas to all, for Spring Training comes soon!”

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