Posted by: Mike Cornelius | December 24, 2020

A Visit From The Manager

A NOTE TO READERS: Even during a pandemic, the holiday season is a time of traditions, and in keeping with 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. These days it’s known to young and old alike not by its formal title but by its first five words.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when in every room
Yankee fans were discouraged, the feeling was gloom;
A sixty game season had all come and gone,
The Dodgers were champs but the COVID raged on.

‘Neath team logo blankets the children did sleep;
Dreaming of Bombers and a World Series sweep;
And mamma in her jersey, and I with my glove,
Feared missing the Series might cost us their love,

When from out in the stands there arose a great noise,
I sprang up to see what had upset the night’s poise.
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 coming out of the blue,
But a little red sleigh pulled by players I knew,

With a driver in pinstripes both lively and quick,
But too tall and beardless, it wasn’t St. Nick.
More rapid than fastballs those Yankees they came,
And he shouted, and whistled, and called each by name:

“Now, Gary! Now, Gerrit! Now Gio and Gleyber!
Our quest for a title depends on your labor!
To the top of the mound! To the center field wall!
Great hitting and pitching! Our fans want it all!”

As Giancarlo’s homers launch into the sky,
Big blasts by the big guy o’er the fence they do fly;
So into the air all those Yankees 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 Aaron Boone came with a bound!

He was dressed in a uni, it’s the baseball way
Though it is a bit odd, do the managers play?
A bagful of lineup cards hung from his back,
I was hoping some good ones were 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 told him my thoughts, ‘twas this I did speak:
“No title again, for the Bronx that’s so weak!”

“We need starting pitching to back up G. Cole,
And LeMaheiu re-signed in a starring role!
Cashman can ink free agents or get them by trade,
Do whatever it takes! I want a parade!”

“We need to get better, but before all of that
Will there even be games or just COVID at bat?
Boss Hal’s crying poor as are all of the teams;
The players are mad, hard days ahead so it seems.”

Boonie said not to fret but just to hold steady.
“When a season takes shape, the Yanks will be ready.
Baseball’s been through worse times and we’ll follow suit;
First we’ll beat the virus, then Tampa to boot.”

Then he rose up the chimney, and whistled his team,
And away they all flew as if on a moonbeam.
When I heard him exclaim, “Put this on a plaque!
Happy Christmas to all, the Great Game will be back!”

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