The Opening Lineup

"O! I'm a mess," said Coach Bob, as he grabbed another beer:
"How do I make the perfect lineup for the A's this year?
All the critics say, alas, our bench is not that deep --
But when the season comes around, I'd like to see them weep."

"How can I make them wail and cry without Frank Thomas, though?
His power and brute strength always did put on a show.
And how will I show Fox -- the swines! -- that 17th is not
a ranking that befits a team that won a playoff slot?"

"Steroids is an option; we could try to be real sly.
But if George Mitchell comes a-callin', our plan might go awry.
Poisoning our rivals' food could put them in a fog,
But first we'd have to force 'em to eat Kibbles for a dog."

"Injuries struck Mark and Dan; I heard that on the news.
Apparently our training staff is downin' lots of booze.
And without the top deck open, our seats will not be pack'd,
preventing a high payroll, which for so long we have lack'd."

Before retiring to bed and washing out his glass,
Bob Geren took a gander at sports pages o' the past.
"It appears," he said with mild surprise, "this all has happen'd here before.
It looks like the same forecasts were made in many springs of yore."

"Since the century began, ev'ry writer would attest
that the A's would lose, and lose big, in the AL West.
But nearly every time, it seems, a player broke out of that mold
and led us from our spring morass to victories untold!"

"So how was, among the press, this collective mood acquired?
Were somebody this badly wrong, even Bush would have them fired.
What is it about the A's that they misjudge us most?
Might it be that, so far away, they ignore us on this coast?"

With renewed force and confidence, Bob Geren grabbed a pen:
"This is how we'll pull it off, a magic season yet again!"
Beside his cardboard Billy Beane, he sat in his domain;
our former bench coach birth'd a lineup from his ample brain.

"So what is this brilliant lineup, huh?" you ask with indignation.
I understand your deep concern, my friends, Athletics Nation.
I'd lay it out in detail, to your rapturous acclaim,
But it's mighty hard to give a rhyme to every single name.

But I assure you that on Monday you'll witness what I've told;
The A's this year will, no doubt, rival all our teams of old.
And we will all together cry a glorious proclamation:
The A's will win, the Angels won't, and glory to A's Nation!

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