PART FIVE: THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES
Oh! what a tangled web was woven,
When Joe Torre fell and faltered,
Leaping back into the past,
Time’s current torn and altered.
Two glowing crystal balls,
Carried back into aught-three,
Soaring through the storied past,
Of New York Yankee history.
In a blink, the orbs had gone,
With a wink, both crystals vanished,
Stolen by a wrathful wretch,
From God’s Kingdom fore’er banished.
Then with a flash, a mighty crash,
In the second subsequent:
The orbs returned and in the hands,
Of an angel, Heaven-sent.
Such sweet relief to stop the thief,
Did Jeter Fair now surely feel,
And in praise for his success,
Now unto God did Jeter kneel.
Then rising, having prayed,
And given thanks unto the Lord,
Fair Jeter placed the orbs,
Upon the stand where they were stored.
And having done this deed in times of need,
He did prepare,
To journey back in time,
To his right “when” and proper “where”.
But he could not resist,
Just one glimpse of days to be,
Before he ventured back,
And took his place in history.
Then walking through the halls,
Of that hallowed Yankee Stade,
He saw that photographs,
Of Yankee greats were there displayed:
Joltin’ Joe, the Great Bambino,
Phil Rizzuto, Ford and Case,
The Mighty Mick and Roger Maris:
M & M boys giving chase.
And there too he saw a few,
He recognized from his own era,
Like Coney and O’Neill,
Andy Pettitte, Mo Rivera.
And high amongst the hangings,
Much to Jeter’s great delight:
An image of himself,
Leaping up and taking flight,
Surrounded by his teammates,
On what seemed a joyous day;
In the background, on the scoreboard,
“Mr. November” did it say.
And standing there, in awe,
Excitement flowing through each wing,
Fair Jeter wondered wildly,
What his future days would bring.
Then with a flash, having repaired,
The sin that he was sent to fix,
Fair Jeter left to join his team:
The Yanks of ’96.
Now high up in the rafters,
Watching, waiting all the while,
Gazing at his younger self,
With a most enchanted smile,
Was the Jeter of the present,
Now a Yank for countless days,
Whose exploits on the field,
As the Captain won him praise.
And flying up above,
To watch his wide-eyed twin depart,
Fair Jeter felt a sadness,
Gnawing at his elder heart:
For while he had succeeded,
Winning rings through his career,
He missed that innocence,
That with time does disappear,
That awestruck sense of wonder,
When all seems bright and new,
To those rookies entering,
The ranks of baseball’s chosen few.
But such thoughts were fast to flee,
For Fair Jeter here had traveled,
To catch the vile villain,
Whose heinous plot he had unraveled.
And just as Jeter hoped,
Like a moth unto a flame,
In that moment, Satan’s demon,
Into Yankee Stadium came:
Joe Torre, bruised and gory,
With a face all scarred and swollen,
Traveling back home with the last,
Of the powers he had stolen.
Then leaping with a shout,
Fair Jeter burst down through the air,
Grabbing onto twisted Torre,
His opponent unaware.
Then pinning down the pawn,
Of the evil Prince of Lies,
Fair Jeter, with great anger,
Looked into the demon’s eyes:
“Through the eons did I chase you,
“On that ballfield did I face you,
“Then went home to sit beside you,
“And in our happy times, embrace you.
“You were but a nameless beast,
“Whom I pursued for God Above,
“Unaware that under there:
“The father figure that I’d loved.
“How it breaks my beating heart,
“To know our team you tore apart!
“What happened to the one,
“Who gave me guidance from the start,
“Of my career, who I held dear,
“Who showed me strength when I did fear,
“What say you, twisted traitor,
“Now that your end is surely near?”
To which Torre replied, with laughing eyes,
“Good never wins,
“And I have found true power,
“In the devil’s den of sins.
“And ’tis you who should prepare,
“To look into your Maker’s eyes,
“For ’tis you, oh foolish fair one,
“Who is about to die.”
And just then, from behind,
A mighty blow to Jeter’s back,
That echoed through the chamber,
With a loud and booming crack.
Then glancing up above,
Jeter saw a brute uncanny,
A fiend in Stockings Red:
The mythic monster known as Manny.
And as the room resounded,
With the wicked laugh of Joe,
And as the fell beast Manny,
Did prepare his killing blow,
A light of brightest white,
Did appear then suddenly,
And the sound of beating wings,
Caused the villains then to flee.
Then squinting in the glow,
Jeter saw a welcome face:
The Hitman, Donnie Baseball,
Returning to his rightful place.
Then checking on Fair Jeter,
Making sure his friend was fine,
Donnie said, “I’m off,”
“For to waste, there is no time.
“For in this very room,
“The New York Yanks I did betray,
“And that is still a debt,
“That I feel I must repay.
“So I will track down Joe,
“That deadly demon, I’ll approach,
“And win his trust again,
“And become his hitting coach.
“And though he shall believe,
“That to his side, I did ally,
“In truth, for New York’s Yankees,
“Shall I be a faithful spy.”
Then wishing him Godspeed,
Jeter bid proud Don farewell,
As the Hitman went in search,
Of the vile hosts of hell.
And as he then prepared,
To flap his wings and fly away,
His eyes caught sight of something,
Which did cause him great dismay:
There upon their resting place,
In that legendary park,
Aura and Mystique,
The orbs from Heaven had gone dark.
Oh! what sorrow swept the land,
Pre-empting pinstriped Yankee pride,
Oh! such a misery,
That sweet Suzyn Waldman cried.
And when asked where winning went,
Michael Kay did cry out, “See ya!”
And fans across the land,
Cast out that their Yankee memorabilia.
And for the Yankees’ Sterling voice,
Doubts did run mighty “high”,
And hope was so “far” “gone”,
That he could muster but a sigh.
And as the Bombers floundered,
Bereft of their old magic,
As playoff dreams collapsed,
Replaced with losses oh so tragic,
Out west, Joe Torre laughed,
To see such fate befall the good,
As he and Manny found success,
In the hills of Hollywood.
And soon the thoughts crept in,
That maybe sin had overcome,
The forces of the faithful,
Who fought for the Holy One.
And seeing that God’s gifts,
Of gratitude had lost their glow,
The thought that God had left them,
Within the chosen ones did grow.
And yet there was still one,
Who refused to turn away,
Who spoke out about the threat,
Of falling under Satan’s sway:
The one the Yankees long ago
Had chosen as their leader,
The future Hall-of-Famer,
The Captain, Derek Jeter.
And setting out to prove,
That the Almighty’s love was true,
Fair Jeter began constructing,
An altar grand and new:
A revised Yankee Stade,
To offer praise to Him Above,
A token of affection,
To the God Fair Jeter loved.
And as the losses mounted,
Brick by brick did Jeter build,
A temple to the Heavens,
That God’s will might be fulfilled.
And when at last he’d finished,
To the fans he then appealed,
To join him in ’09,
At this pristine Yankee field.
And yet the fans still doubted,
To them, the future still seemed bleak:
“How are we to win,
“Without Aura and Mystique?”
And as the season closed,
Several Yankees did lose heart:
Abreu, and Giambi,
And Mussina did depart.
And sitting all alone,
In this home that he had built,
Fair Jeter sat and prayed,
His tortured soul now racked with guilt:
“Oh! if you deem it worthy,
“You in whom I do believe,
“Please give me a sign,
“And this grief, from me relieve.
“For I have tried my best,
“To follow light in times of dark,
“To show my faith in you,
“By off’ring up this brand new park.
“And yet, my teammates leave,
“And the fans are filled with fright,
“Please give me a sign,
“Show me how to set things right.”
And then Fair Jeter waited,
Hoping to him God would speak,
But he did not receive,
The sign from God that he did seek.
Then glancing up above,
He offered love then turned to go,
When at once he felt a rumble,
That started softly, then did grow.
The sound of metal hooves,
Galloping throughout the halls,
A sound like rolling thunder,
That did shake the concrete walls.
And then at last, there did appear,
A great ghost of Yankees past,
Lou Gehrig, ‘pon on Iron Horse,
Riding hard and charging fast.
Then raising up his steed,
To a stop, this legend came,
And Jeter saw that in his hand,
He held a torch, aflame.
“Fair Jeter,” said the ghost,
“I am here to offer thanks,
“For you have made us proud,
“We who claimed the name of “Yanks”.
“For you have learned the lesson,
“That God hath taught you well:
“That true strength layeth not,
“In those things material.
“The gifts that that God has granted,
“In ourselves they do reside,
“Belief in our own talents:
“That’s the source of Yankee pride.”
And then the legend Gehrig,
Did leap down and pass the torch,
And the flame did burn so bright,
That the Heavens, it did scorch.
And this brand new Yankee Stadium,
Did blaze with a gleaming light,
As the cherubs up above,
Raised their voice in song that night,
And rejoiced at Yankee triumphs,
In the battle against sin,
Crying out, in unison,
“The Yankees win! THE YANKEES WIN!”