‘Twas the night before Yankees Opening Day, when all through the city
Yankees fans were praying the season wouldn’t end shitty;
The Dugout and Billy’s were stocked full of liquor and beer;
Knowing in a few hours fans would pregaming there for the first time in more than a year;
Giancarlo Stanton nestled all snug in his bed,
Telling himself he wouldn’t let having fans back at the Stadium get in his head;
Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon tried to get some sleep with all the hype,
As tomorrow will be the first time they officially 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 kid’s toys and knocked over the trash.
My feed was full of tweets with the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup,
There was Aaron Hicks batting third and I thought it must be a typo or fuck-up.
It wasn’t and Aaron Boone would be using the switch-hitter to unnecessarily break up the righty bats,
Completely disregarding common sense, logic, rational thinking or stats.
That’s OK, I thought, as not even Boone’s nonsensical decision making could ruin this day,
Unless he were to bring in Luis Cessa in a high-leverage situation to every Yankees fan’s dismay.
It was only the first game of 162 and much too early to get on the manager at this point in the year,
I would wait until at least the second or third game to voice my fear.
After the disappointment of ’18, ’19 and ’20, the Yankees are expected to once again contend,
Even though they let Tanaka walk and are bringing back essentially the same team because Hal didn’t want to spend.
Worried Yankee Stadium won’t sell enough $15 beers, Hal cut payroll by 50 million bucks,
If the Yankees don’t win it all, he’ll have to sit through another winter of hearing how he sucks.
Sure, the lineup is full with LeMahieu, Stanton, Voit, Frazier, Torres and Judge,
But when it came to trading for Francisco Lindor or exceeding the luxury-tax threshold, Hal wouldn’t budge.
Ownership didn’t want to use their financial resources to field the best roster they possibly could,
Thinking their long-term deals would turn into Heyward, Pujols, Price or Millwood.
So the front office went cheap in replacing Tanaka, Paxton and Happ,
Scared away from the more expensive names by the game’s fake salary cap.
Then Britton and Wilson got hurt in Tampa and they decided to pay Ottavino to pitch against them,
Early on each night the starting pitching is going to be asked to throw a gem.
Sure, with the team roster they have built the Yankees can still win,
Unless in the playoffs, Boone gives the ball to this year’s 2020 Happ or 2018 Lance Lynn.
After three years at the helm, 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 three relievers you would undoubtedly consider elite,
If the Yankees have the lead after six when the bullpen is healthy, they should be hard to beat.
That is if Boone has figured out who should get the ball and when,
Thankfully, his comfort blanket in Jonathan Holder is no longer an option to bring in.
Now, Judge! Now, Stanton! Now, Gleyber and Gary!
Add in Voit and Frazier and the offense 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 through the summer and to the 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 couple elbow tears, a shoulder injury and lack of innings are the issues,
If Michael King is given another chance to start, I’ll need several boxes of tissues.
This October will be 12 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 Gerrit Cole 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 2021 season gets underway.
Subscribe to the Keefe To The City Podcast. New episodes every Monday and Thursday during the offseason.
My book The Next Yankees Era: My Transition from the Core Four to the Baby Bombers is now available as an ebook!