I wondered, what with the goings-on in the world,
As a new administration its flag unfurled;
Would the President issue an order ordaining
That this year there would be no spring training?

As rumors abounded, I awaited the day,
When pitchers and catchers arrived to play;
What relief I felt, how glad I was,
That again this year we can take a brief pause

From the daily tweets that you-know-who likes,
And focus instead on the balls and the strikes;
As John Farrell once again assembles the players,
And Red Sox fans say their annual prayers.

This year a new challenge the Red Sox will face,
As Big Papi’s strong bat no longer will grace
The park we all know by its first name, Fenway,
I, for one, wish he’d decided to stay.

There’s also the problem called “After the Pats,”
And whether our team, using nothing but bats
Can again conjure up the ’04 mystique,
When they had that incredible winning streak,

And match the euphoria that all of us felt
When Belichek shuffled and winning cards dealt;
As we looked out and saw the cool cat named Brady,
Who knows better than most about the fat lady,

Who began to sing ere the third quarter was over,
And the field turned from grass into Patriots clover;
With help from defense, Tom knew how to deflate,
Not the ball but Falcons he did disintegrate.

Which comeback was better?  I’m not sure it matters,
So long as the other team ends up in tatters.
It’s now back to baseball and the season ahead,
My crystal ball says there’s no need for dread.

First we’ll go around the horn,
At third Sandoval, the Panda reborn!
Shortstop Bogaerts made the All-Stars last year,
And at second Pedroia will make it quite clear,

At age thirty–three, there’s no one more scrappy,
Rub some dirt on his shirt, and he will be happy;
Someone named Moreland will be at first base,
While DH Ramirez just pitchers will face.

One more position, the one where they scratch,
Behind the plate, we need someone to catch;
It looks like either Vazquez or Swihart,
Whichever the manager says gets to start.

As for pitchers they say that he cannot fail,
An off-season pickup by the name of Chris Sale;
Our opening day starter will be Rick Porcello;
Last year’s Cy Young winner, a remarkable fellow.

Those two along with a southpaw named Price,
Three-fifths of a rotation that looks pretty nice;
And in case they fall short, out beyond right field,
There’s the bullpen where we’re pretty well-healed.

In center field Bradley Jr. will roam,
After last year’s success, he can call it his home;
In right, cast your bets on a Betts named Mookie,
And in left Benintendi, the promising rookie.

As for me, I am primed and once again ready,
For the team with which I have long gone steady;
On the field of green I will once again gaze
And reflect back on those halcyon days,

Recalling the stars who have gladdened our hearts,
In a sport that is more than the sum of its parts;
Not merely a game or occasion for rhyme,
If you ask me it is still our national pastime.