Stockings are hung with care, but O's get coals from Miggy

December 25, 2005|By PETER SCHMUCK

The Fortnight Before Christmas

'Twas the fortnight before Christmas,

Bawlmer was the place.

Not a child was stirring, not even Rick Maese.

The Ravens were stung by a hint of despair,

some hoping the offseason soon would be there

The Orioles were wintering poorly again,

not spending enough for their unhappy fans.

They still needed pitching and one more big hitter.

The more they did nothing, the more we got bitter.

Then up from the Dominican, there rose such a clatter,

I called Peter Angelos to see what was the matter.

The superstar shortstop, the team's happiest player,

had just blown his top, he'd become a naysayer.

The guy's so upbeat, no one could believe it.

"Miggy wants out?" it was hard to conceive it.

But he'd spent a tough summer, as we had ourselves,

and he'd gotten some heat for those vials of B12

He went back to his country, to watch from afar

and wait for the Orioles to get some more stars.

When few were forthcoming, he started to foment,

and then the AP called at just the wrong moment.

Miggy popped off and he said something mean.

He said he might want a quick change of scene.

He said the franchise had led him amiss.

He didn't say much, but it sounded like this:

"Now Flanny! Now Duquette!

Now Proefrock! Now Peter!

We all want to win,

Not just A-Rod and Jeter!

To the free-agent market,

now go with great haste.

Or maybe just trade me,

so I'll get a taste."

The O's were so stunned they had nothing to say,

except they weren't trading Tejada away.

They signed his best friend to be catcher next year.

They said all the things they thought Miggy should hear.

"We all want to win," Flanny said with a sigh.

"We know what we need, and we're still going to try

to sign a top pitcher and maybe a batter.

We know what to do. We know what's the matter."

That should have been that, but the story's not through.

The rumor mill's churning as rumor mills do.

The talk on the street is that Miggy's still leaving,

for Zito and Prior, but that seems deceiving.

Such deals are complex and require so much tweaking,

and nobody's sure that's who Flanny is seeking.

The one thing we know is free agents are few,

and the ones that are left are not going to do.

The Jays signed Burnett and the Giants signed Matt Morris.

The rest of the pitchers are owned by Scott Boras.

The market's so thin now that fans even moaned

when the St. Louis Cardinals signed Sidney Ponson.

The predictable backlash was aimed at King Peter,

who promised this year to turn up the crowd meter.

"You've heard it before," he said, "but this time it's true.

We're going to do all that we need to do.

"To put a great team on the field to in '06,

we'll spend what we must to stay in the mix."

He should have said one other thing that is true:

"Fooled once, shame on me. Fooled twice, shame on you."

He did add a postscript, this owner so spurned,

which left me to wonder what lessons he'd learned.

"I freely admit I fired Davey and Gillick,

and I'd do the same thing with Boller and Billick."

Not much of the Ravens was said here, I know.

You're probably wondering why I let them go.

If you're Ozzie or Brian that may be to your liking,

but you'll have your own poem if you don't beat the Vikings.

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