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‘Twas the night before a Nick Punto Twins-mas


Photo by BRUCE BISPING/Star Tribune via Getty Images

‘Twas the night before Twinsmas, when all thro’ the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a rally squirrel mouse;

The stirrups were hung by the bullpen with care,

In hopes that St. Little Nicky Punto soon would be there;

The players were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of big signings danc’d in their heads,

And Rocco in his jacket, and Cruz with his bat,

Had just settled their brains for a 48-day nap-

When out on the field there arose such a clatter,

Kep sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window Buck 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 lustre of a day-game to the objects below;

When, what to Arraez’s eyes eyes should appear,

But a miniature Harley, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so filthy and quick,

He knew in a moment it must be St. Little Nicky Punto.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:

“GET MONEY! Mauer! Morneau! Kubel and Cuddy,

GET PAID! Nathan! Hunter! Delmon and Gardy;

“Headfirst slide into first! Run right into the wall!

“C’mon let’s go, let’s go, GET MONEY GET PAID!”

As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the Sky Deck the coursers they flew,

With the Harley full of Monster- and St. Little Nicky Punto too:

And then in a twin-kling, Garver heard on the roof

The sliding and slipping of each little hoof.

As he drew in his head, and was turning around,

Down the baseline St. Little Nicky Punto came with a dive:

He was dress’d in dirt, from his cap to his spikes,

And the dirt was all tarnish’d with dust and stains;

A bundle of laundry was flung on his back,

And he looked like a hobo just opening his pack:

His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the dirt on his chin was covered in snow;

The can of a Monster he held tight in his teeth,

And a dust-cloud encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face, and a little round belly

That shook when he slid, like a bowl full of jelly:

He was dusty and plump, a right jolly infielder,

And Jorge laugh’d when he saw him in spite of himself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave Eddie to know he had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And fill’d all the stirrups; then turn’d with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the foul pole he rose.

He sprung to his Harley, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle:

But Sano heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight-

Happy Twins-mas to all, and to all a good night.’

Ron Gardenhire awoke in a sweat at 1:30 AM. “Just a dream,” he thought to himself, “man I really oughta lay off the Punto Slush before bed.” He rolled out of bed to get himself a glass of water. Sipping the glass, he peaked under the Frasier Fur in his living room just to confirm that it really was all a dream.

“What’s that there?” He wondered aloud. Shuffling over to the tree, he picked up the smallest of packages. It was a ring-sized box, wrapped in brown paper. “To Gardy- apply generously” it read. Ron was confused, and quickly tore away the paper. He opened the box, and found inside:

A small jar of infield dirt.