Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Jim Hendry would soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their bed,
While visions of World Series championships danced in their heads,
And mama in her Cubs tee, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap…
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to baseballs below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature Cubs Caravan, and eight Cubs with Old Style beer,
With old Yosh Kawano, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be a first round pick.
More rapid than Cardinals his players they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
“Now, Cedeno! now, Soto! now Wuertz and Zambrano!
On, Ramirez! on Theriot! on, Pie* and Soriano!
To the top of the bleachers! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the broadcast booth the beat writers they flew,
With the rack of corked bats, His Samminess too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the tarp
The plucking and sounding of each little harp.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the clubhouse tunnel Jim Hendry came with a bound.
He was dressed in hospital scrubs, from his head to his shoes,
And his clothes were all tarnished with pizza and booze.
A bundle of free agent signings he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled — his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His most recent contracts were drawn up like a bow,
And the whites of Trib ownership’s eyes were as white as the snow.
The stump of a cigar he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the players’ bank accounts; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the VIP elevator he rose.
He sprang to his limousine, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

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