- Tim Kabel
About the Off-Season: Stocking Stuffers
By Tim Kabel
December 26, 2022
As I sat, hunkered over my laptop in the candlelight, much like a modern day and real-life version of Bob Cratchit last night, I was unsure about what I should write. I could have written another article about what the Yankees should and could do regarding leftfield and whether they should trade Gleyber Torres. I could have focused on the holiday season and the significance of baseball at this time of year. Instead, I decided to allow my mind to meander, which is always a potentially dangerous exercise. I have accumulated a series of semi-random thoughts regarding the holiday season and baseball.
I wonder how many households had at least one baseball related gift under the tree or in a stocking. I would imagine there are many more than we might think. The gifts could include equipment such as bats, gloves or cleats, team shirts or jerseys or other memorabilia, books, or even tickets to future games.
How many of you have at one time or another given someone a baseball related gift? I have given books, gloves, bats, cleats, tickets, jerseys, sweatshirts, and even tickets to the old Fanfest the Yankees used to have at the Jacob Javits Center.
Is there a Christmas song with fewer lyrics than Feliz Navidad? I enjoy the song as much as anyone but in reality, it is a bilingual Christmas card set to music and repeated multiple times. If you don't believe me, listen to it.
As the year is about to end, there is a realistic chance the Yankees could have three rookies in the starting lineup. If Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, and Anthony Volpe are all regular members of the team in 2023, would that be a good thing, or a bad thing? I think it would be very good because the Yankees do need to get younger and more athletic, and we all know Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone will not play them if they are not performing at the highest level. I also think playing them will allow the Yankees to take advantage of the upcoming rule changes, including fewer pickoff attempts, and larger bases. We have all lamented the fact that the Yankees don't manufacture runs and instead rely on home runs. Playing those three players will allow the Yankees to be more creative in the manner in which they score runs.
I wonder what the most popular meal was for those who celebrate Christmas Day? I know many people celebrate on Christmas Eve and have a meal centered around seafood. I suspect many people had prime rib or some other type of beef, or ham. I actually had turkey, since I did not have one for Thanksgiving, as we did not have a large gathering this year.
Which of the following three players is least likely to be a Yankee on opening day: Josh Donaldson, Aaron Hicks, or Gleyber Torres? My guess is that it will be Gleyber Torres, as he is the easiest to trade and could bring back much more than either of the other two. I certainly hope both Donaldson and Hicks are playing somewhere else, but Torres is the most likely to be moved in my estimation.
Who was the first person who decided to chop down a tree and bring it into his house for the holidays? Remember, the lights on the original trees were candles, so you had a dried-out tree festooned with flaming candles. People didn't stay up waiting for Santa Claus, they stayed up making sure the house didn't burn down. Essentially, one of our most enduring traditions was based on the decision of someone who was not exercising sound judgment. How do you think that individual explained what he was doing to his wife? Did he do that before or after he told her he was going to hang his socks next to the fireplace and hope that someone put candy in them?
Based on Harrison Bader's performance in the postseason, are you more optimistic about him being the regular center fielder than you were when the trade was consummated? I am.
Do you have any unusual holiday traditions in your family? My friend Roger, the retired prosecutor, likes to correct the lyrics of Christmas songs:
“What do you mean presents on the tree? No one puts presents on the tree; the branches are not sturdy enough to support them.”
“Define holly jolly.”
“What do you mean you'll be home for Christmas, if only in your dreams? Either you will be home, or you won't be. I want a definitive answer.”
Which of the following three players do you think will have the greatest impact on the 2023 Yankees: Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, or Anthony Volpe? I will go with Cabrera. Remember, he was the AA MVP in 2021.
I heard on television that Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas. How did this occur? Was there an election of some sort? I must have missed the coronation. Does she have a crown and a scepter? If she is the Queen of Christmas, then who is the King of Christmas? Is it Bing Crosby? Burl Ives? The fellow who sang Dominick the Donkey?
Hal Steinbrenner said the Yankees were not done constructing the roster. Do you think they will make a big move before New Year's Day? I suspect they will. I know they signed several players to minor league contracts the other day but that didn't exactly get anyone excited.
Everyone always talks about how overworked Bob Cratchit is in the Christmas Carol. Don't forget, while he was home sleeping on Christmas Eve, Scrooge was running around all night long with the spirits. That was hard work, and he didn't even get paid for it, which, considering he was a miser, must have been especially difficult for him.
Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, the holiday was three days long. That's probably longer than any hitting streak by either Aaron Hicks or Josh Donaldson in 2022.
From personal experience, I will say that this time of the year is the best time to be a portly man with a beard.
Why can't you get eggnog year-round? Is there some type of prohibition against it for any month other than November and December?
Happy holidays to everyone.
Enjoy your last cup of eggnog while you listen to Feliz Navidad!