December 24, 2006

The Night Before Christmas or A Visit From Saint Manny

Courtesy of Jack Marshall (frequent commenter and JoS poet laureate):
'Twas the night before Christmas, and at Fenway Park
Theo Epstein was plotting alone in the dark.
The bullpen was painted and furnished with care
In hopes that a closer would soon settle there.

Poor Tito had wakened, upset from a dream,
In which Manny was traded for cash and Sid Bream.
While John Henry, in secret (you can probably guess),
Was printing more millions on his personal press.

When suddenly outside arose such a squall
That they ran to the field and looked up at the wall.
Why, was it a vision? A joke? Or a stunt?
No, a vintage year Porsche, with eight Red Sox in front!
And driving the sports car, costumed to appear as
St. Nicholas, there he was: Manny Ramirez!

And he shouted, "I've flown from the Gulf, past Atlanta,
Just to give you a gift, so let Manny be Santa!"
Then down from the Monster the flying Porsche came
Pulled by all of the line-up as he called them by name:

"Now, Youkilis! Coco! Now, J.D. and Papi!
Let's deliver our present and make the brass happy!
On Varitek, Lowell, Pedroia and Lugo!
Make sure you pull straight, 'cause I’m going where you go!"

As a Wily Mo homer blasts into the sky,
That Porsche went soaring a Coke bottle high!
Then it swooped to the infield and stopped on the mound
And out of the car Manny came with a bound.

A mysterious bag he had flung on his back,
And its contents were squirming, 'til he gave it a whack.
"I've read all your letters," Manny said, "and it's clear
"That a superstar closer's what you all want this year.

"So the guys pooled their pocket change, hired a lab,
"Got Bill James to advise us and picked up the tab
"For some scientists, cloners and grave-robbers too
"To whip up a closer both classic and new!

"He's got Eckersley's fastball and Gossage's nerve;
"He can throw Wilhelm's knuckler, and Flash Gordon's curve;
"With Bruce Sutter's splitter, and Bob Stanley's sinker
"(We would have used D-Lowe's, if he wasn't a drinker...)

"Plus Stu Miller's slow-ball, with Jeff Reardon's head,
"On Dick Radatz's body, even though he's still dead."
Then out of the sack, all covered with stitches,
Crawled a composite closer who had six perfect pitches!

"DADDY!" he cried, as he hugged and kissed Tito,
While Epstein's mouth gaped, and John Henry said, "Neat-o!"
"And the best part," said Manny, as he slammed the car's door,
"Is he'll play just for fun, and wants nothing more!"

He revved up his car, gave the line-up a holler
"But the rest of us promise to earn every dollar!"
As the car flew away, Manny's voice rang out clear:
"Happy Christmas! Let's win the World Series next year!"
Jose "Keys to the Game" Melendez has a Christmas offering also: 'Twas The Night.


Timmy Mac said...

Wow. Mad props for "appear as" rhymed with "Ramirez."

JimLoomis said...


Don't pity Angel fans for the 7:05 a.m. start (their time) on Patriots Day. Pity us Sox fans here in Hawaii. That's a 5:05 a.m. start for us! (But we'll be there!)

You were right on with your praise of Gordon Ede's piece on the Wooing of Matsuzaka ... a truly fascinating account and that all-too-rare sports story with real meat to it. (Imagine how fascinating the Matsuzaka-Boras half would be!)

Things are really looking up for '07, aren't they!

Jim Loomis
Ha'iku, Maui

Peter N said...

Happy healthy holiday to you and yours. And thanks for reading over at my place. Take care, be healthy.

DanM said...

Great little poem JM! Loved it.

Jose Melendez said...

How odd that both poems would invovle Manny, St. Nick and cars.

Jack Marshall said...

Well, at least it's odd that both poems would involve Manny.If one is writing a parody of "A Visit from St. Nicholas," it's rather required that that it have some relationship to the original, and while one could put Manny in a sleigh,I guess, it makes more sense to put him in something he actually might drive.

On the other hand, if your poem had turned out to be about the search for a perfect closer, I'd be in the hospital right now, recovering from the removal of the microchip sensors you somehow installed in my brain earlier this month.