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A Visit from St. Jer, Alas

With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

’Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town
not a Hot Stove was burning, since the lockout came down.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes a new CBA’d come from somewhere.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while dreams of free agents danced in their heads.

And ma in her Sox kerchief, and I my Sox cap
had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there came a weird clatter,
like Tony La Russa, after a hit batter.
Away to the window I flew in a flash,
just like Luis Robert, on a mad fly-ball dash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
gave a game night-lights lustre to objects below.

When before my wondering eyes, so it seems,
came a miniature sleigh full of free agent dreams,
With a little old driver, so pale and wan,
I knew in a moment he must be Rick Hahn.
More rapid than fastballs, his wishes they came,
and he tried real hard to remember each name:

“Now, Marte, Conforto and Nick Castellanos,
on, Bryant, Suzuki, and Correa named Carlos!
To the top of the major league’s weakest division,
so bad that it’s subject to massive derision!”
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
his wishes disappeared, and he gave a big sigh.
Because even an empty Santa suit knew
that with his team owner those dreams won’t come true.

So off to other teams, his wishes, they flew,
and he waved good-bye to the free-agent crew.
But then, in a twinkling, I heard ’bove the ceiling
a sound that was, in itself, revealing.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney Saint Jerry came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, and covered in jewels,
as he muttered that fans were suckers and fools.
A bundle of money he had in a great pack,
as he dared the tax man to take a single dime back.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His grasping quite merry,
with Scroogey-ness epitomizing Saint Jerry.
His droll little mouth shouted a chorus
of how he’d never put up with Scott Boras,
he ground Rick Hahn’s self-esteem in his teeth,
as he stomped on Ken Williams’ pride down beneath.

He had a broad face and a little round gut,
and said. “I know you don’t like me, but …
we still will win the divisional prize
with José, Tim, Yoán and the rest of those guys.
And the level we have our pitching staff at
is certainly nothing that you ought to laugh at,
especially since we don’t need big bruisers
to beat out those AL Central losers.

As for fans wanting more, that’s really too bad,
all I care for’s the billion or more to be had.
I get to keep a much larger portion
’cause the idiot state fell for my extortion.
And now the city’s allowed much, much more
by letting sports betting take place at my door.”

He spoke no more words, but went straight to his work,
grabbed all our stockings, then turned with a jerk,
and rubbing some big wads of cash ’neath my nose,
and shouting “Bah. Humbug!” up the chimney, he rose.
He sprang to his sleigh, shouted in a loud voice,
and away the team flew, for they had no choice.
But I heard him explain, ’ere he drove out of sight —
“I can do what I want, money makes it all right!”

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