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'Twas Just Before Winter Meetings

with many, MANY apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas just before Winter Meetings, when all through the air
Not a creature was stirring, not even Scott Eyre.
The stockings were hung by the old ballpark's eaves,
Fans wond'ring what Jim Hendry had up his sleeves.

Cubs fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Fukudome danced in their heads.
And Kerry Wood having re-signed to wear a Cubs cap,
We'd just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out in the park there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the window fans flew like a flash,
Hoping to NOT see Guzman in the cache.

The moon shining down on the re-sodded field
Gave the lustre of midday to new players revealed.
As we hoped that our wondering eyes would behold
A new shortstop and relievers getting holds.

There was a big old manager, hat-tossing, not new,
I knew in a moment it must be our Lou.
More rapid than Pie, his players they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

"Now DeRo! Now Soto!
Now, Alfonso and D-Lee!
On, Lilly! On, Marmol!
On, A-Ram and Z!
To the top of the dugout!
To the top of the wall!
Now pitch away! Hit away!
Let's win it all!"

As baseballs that before the wild Wrigley winds fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
So up to the clubhouse Lou and Jim's minions flew,
With the sleigh full of pitchers, and outfielders too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard from Tennessee
The prancing and pawing of old Jason Marquis.
As he wondered if he'd be traded, without a sound,
'Round the corner Jim Hendry came with a bound.

He was dressed all rumpled, from his head to his foot,
And his cellphone was all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of free agents he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled, seeing five-tool players!
Unfortunately, none of them could run like Gale Sayers!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
Thinking about how the Brewers must close with Turnbow.

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.

(Sorry, that one was too easy. Had to leave that part alone. Onward.)

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled the entire roster, with not a single jerk.
And after he'd bought all the players he might,
He and his team left Nashville that night.

He sprang to his plane, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he went out of sight,

"We're ready to win in '08, and to all a good night!"