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A Christmas Story

Every year, children and youthful adults alike all anticipate the arrival of Santa on Christmas Day. Sure, there are some religions that don't worship the Santacious one, but for all intensive purposes, this is a universally giving Santa.

Santa's coming a little late this year. That's just the quaking in our bones, as all of us can tell that we'll have a brand-new shiny present for us come early January. Sure, it'll cost our franchise a good chunk of change, but he's coming. It really shouldn't matter. We won't get prices cut if they decide to sign Suppan instead.

Yes, we all know that Barry Zito's coming to town sometime soon. It always seemed like the likely destination for the long-haired idiosyncratic lefty. We've heard rumors forever about bringing Planet Zito to town.

And with Christmas approaching (and Hanukkah in the rearview mirror) the space under our ceremonial evergreen is mysteriously bare. We got a few of the presents we got last year again, but both of them looked old, dusty, and banged-up.

Later more presents appeared, including one with urine stains, and one that vaguely resembled Damion Easley. And sure, we even wound up with what had been our favorite present from a few holidays ago. It was repackaged nicely and I heard it was even a little cheaper.

But we're missing the great present, it seems. Where is that Lexus with the big red bow on it? Maybe times are tight and it makes more sense to settle for a Subaru. I don't think that's what we should be feeling this Christmas.

I took a peek in Omar's closet. I think that was dishonest of me. I'm sure, though, that it was in my readers' best interests. I know what he has up his sleeve. Ebenezer (or is Satan a more accurate name?) Boras is not going to ruin Christmas for the nation's greatest city.

I just hope that Santa can get here safely, what with Dontrelle Willis on the road and all. That's something that's just pretty hard to fathom. You're a professional athlete, making a couple million dollars a year, poised to get a huge raise, and you can't manage to hail a cab? Erm, wait, come to think of it given Mets history, you're probably safer driving drunk than taking a cab in Miami.

With all due seriousness, though, could anything make Zito a better fit for New York? Boras has expressed his client's desire to play for a championship contender. Zito also would fit in very well in the Mets' clubhouse, which includes his kindred spirits Pedro Martinez and Rick Peterson. Zito could refine his changeup with help from two of the top change-up pitchers of our generation in Glavine and Pedro. Orlando Hernandez and Julio Franco could tell him stories about the invention of the game, given that they played for Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's prior to the team's eventual migration to Oakland.

Zito's personality (and ethnicity) are both very marketable in this area. Undoubtedly, the Mets are in good position to pony up as well, given their new cable station (its shortcomings aside) and the arrival of a new stadium complete with a mondolicious naming rights package.

So fret you not, children, during this holiday season. Zito will soon remind us of the courtship of another Boras client whom we couldn't quite snag until after New Year's. Nevertheless, Mr. Beltran turned out okay after a little bit.

Merry Christmas. I'll be back on either Sunday or Monday for a little bit of Jets coverage.

Enjoy your substitute Santa (played above by Benny Agbayani).

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