’Twas the night before Yankees Opening Day, when all through the city
Yankees fans were praying the season wouldn’t be shitty;
The Dugout and Billy’s were stocked full of liquor and beer;
Knowing in a few hours at neither bar would you be able to hear;
Giancarlo Stanton nestled all snug in his bed,
Telling himself he wouldn’t let the Stadium boo birds get in his head;
All the new pitchers and players tried to get some sleep with all the hype,
As tomorrow would be the first time they wear the Yankees pinstripes.
When suddenly on Twitter there arose a bunch of chatter,
The entire Tri-state area sprang to the Internet to see what was the matter.
Away to the computer I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my dog’s water bowl and knocked over the trash.
My feed was full of tweets from the Yankees community,
Reminding everyone this is technically the first season of this team’s window of opportunity.
The loss to the Astros and the disastrous end to last year,
Had made us all forget these Yankees weren’t even supposed to be there.
Three years ago, 2019 was the expected year the Yankees would once again contend,
But they arrived two years early, despite Hal Steinbrenner not wanting to spend.
After the Game 7 loss to Houston, Hal cut payroll by 50 million bucks,
And then we had to sit there last fall as the Red Sox won and their fans chanted “Yankees suck”.
Sure, the lineup was already full with Stanton, Sanchez, Torres, Andujar and Judge
But when it came to the best free-agent class ever, Hal wouldn’t budge.
Ownership wouldn’t allow for Corbin, Manny or Bryce,
Thinking their long-term deals would turn into Heyward, Pujols and Price.
So the front office brought back Gardy, CC, Britton and Happ,
Scared away from the big names by the game’s fake salary cap.
They did sign Ottavino and LeMahieu is certainly no scrub,
Though they could have had one, if not two, 26-year-old superstars joining the club.
With Didi out from Tommy John to go along with his already-hurt wrist,
Cashman filled shortstop with a player who will likely join him on the disabled list.
Signing Tulo is the latest low-risk, high-reward move from the GM and his crew,
And how’d that go with Brian Roberts, Chris Carter, Randy Winn and Stephen Drew?
Sure, without Machado and Harper, the Yankees can still win,
Unless in the playoffs, Boone gives the ball to this year’s Lance Lynn.
After 2018, it’s nearly impossible to trust the manager with moves in the pen,
And if he didn’t learn his lesson from last October, there will be a first-round exit again.
With at least four relievers you would undoubtedly consider elite,
If the Yankees have the lead after five, they’re nearly impossible to beat.
That is if Boone has figured out who should get the ball and when,
Thankfully, his comfort blanket in A.J. Cole is no longer an option to bring in.
Now, Judge! Now, Stanton! Now, Gleyber and Gary!
Add in Andujar and Voit and the lineup is once again scary.
From the netting in Monument Park to the short porch in right and over the wall,
I’m not worried about the offense carrying the team if the starting pitching should fall.
The rotation is full of injury questions and depth is a concern,
But what rotation goes through an entire season without several minor leaguers getting a turn?
A lingering elbow tear, a knee problem, a shoulder and age are the issues,
If Luis Cessa is given another chance to start, I’ll need several boxes of tissues.
This October will be 10 years since the Yankees last won it all,
Enough is enough, there needs to be a Canyon of Heroes parade this fall.
I expect the Yankees to win the last game of the baseball season,
And if they don’t, their decision to be cheap better not be the reason.
One last time tomorrow, I will wish this offseason Hal had been more like his dad, The Boss,
As Masahiro Tanaka stands on the mound and throws his final warmup toss.
“Stepping up to the microphone is the voice of the New York Yankees,” I can hear Suzyn say,
With John replying, “Why, Suzyn, I thank you,” as the 2019 season gets underway.
My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!