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Twas the Night Before Christmas in Birdland

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports (minus the Santa hat)

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Birdland
Not a creature was stirring, not even Gausman.
The jerseys were hung in the lockers with care,
In hopes that Opening Day soon would be there.

The O's fans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Matt Garza danced in their heads.
And Paul in his jammies, and I in my cap,
Had just settled in for a long winter's nap.

When out on the infield there came such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to Camden Yards I flew like a flash,
Who would interrupt my sleep, who could be so brash?

The moon on the Hilton reflected just so
Giving the lustre of daytime to the ballpark below
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a baseball game, and nine players to cheer.

With a cranky old skipper, full of vigor and pluck,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Buck.
His players stood by him, loyal and tall
And he whistled, and shouted, and called on them all!

"Now Tillman! now, Manny! now, Wieters and Hardy!
On, Adam! On, MiGo! on, Nicky and Bundy!
From Crush at home plate! Over the top of the wall!
Now swing away, swing away, swing away all!"

As players themselves, they're nothing too shabby
But the loss of Jim Johnson had made them quite crabby
Duq' tried to appease them with a short-tempered Aussie
But his shoulder was bum, or at least that's the story.

And then, in a twinkling, what I heard was a treat
It was pitching and catching between Tilly and Wiet
As I drew in my head, and was turning around
Down the steps to the dugout came Saint Buck with a bound

He was dressed in all orange, from his shoes to his hat,
Except for the parts that were covered in black.
His foot up on the step, his eye had a gleam,
And he looked like a captain, his ship is the team

His eyes were determined, his demeanor not merry
Though his cheeks were like roses, some might call him scary
His lips were drawn in, pursed together in thought
As he worked out a plan to help his team win a lot

Alongside Saint Buck was a coach much more perky
A stout, happy fellow by the name of Wayne Kirby
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful 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.

Buck spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He filled out the lineup, then turned with a jerk
"McFarland, get out there," and T.J. was eager
He is, after all, a qualified major leaguer.

With a win in the books, Saint Buck gave a nod,
And away his team went as I stood to applaud.
I heard Buck exclaim as he zoomed like a comet,
"Happy Christmas to all, and put a bird on it"