Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 26, 2019

A Special Christmas Present In The Bronx

A NOTE TO READERS: This time of year is filled with traditions, and in keeping with a well-established one here at On Sports and Life, today’s post is offered with apologies and a tip of the cap to Clement Clarke Moore, whose 1823 poem “A Visit from Saint Nicholas” lives on nearly two centuries later, known to young and old alike not by its formal title but by its first five words. Also, there will be no post on Sunday due to planned travel. The regular schedule resumes next Thursday. Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when in every room
Yankee fans were discouraged, the feeling was gloom;
A full decade was ending, ten years had gone past,
Since pennants were won at the Stadium last;

‘Neath team logo blankets the children did snore;
While dreaming of Bronx Bombers from days of yore;
Mamma in a Jeter shirt, I in one for Mo,
Were preparing to rest although feeling quite low,

When from off 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, Paxton! Now Tanaka and Happ!
You four are the core for the new title we map!
To the top of the mound! To the center field wall!
Now strike one! Strike two! Strike them out all!”

As Aaron Judge homers launch into the sky,
Big blasts by the big guy o’er the fence 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;
A bagful of deals he had flung on his back,
I was hoping the big one was down in that sack.

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 say:
“We need to improve, it’s for titles we pay!”

“Your sled’s pulled by four; a rotation is five,
Who will be our ace? Please don’t give me no jive!
CC has retired, he’ll be in the Hall,
But Strasburg stayed put, who will answer the call?”

“The Nats are the champs, putting Houston to shame,
They will aim to repeat, can we raise our game?”
Hal said “Not to worry, we have a good plan,
I am spending plenty, just like my old man.”

He turned from me then, pulled the prize from his sack,
The best gift of all – the top starter we lack.
“Cole in my stocking! That’s just want I wanted!
The rest of the teams will surely feel haunted!”

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 sky,
“Happy Christmas to all, for Spring Training is nigh!”

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