Good afternoon. I’m a flea-bit peanut monkey, but do not be alarmed. That’s just Jagger singing in the background.

I hope you had yourselves a merry little Christmas, filled with presents and mimosas and favorite songs and sweet memories of the olden days. Perfect for this most wonderful time of the year.

Ah, but there are messes to clean up, and Christmas trees to haul away (soon), and presents to return to the store, or shipped back to some warehouse. I see these TV commercials, with husbands and wives giving each other automobiles for Christmas. I can tell you this: Elvis never bought me a Cadillac.

Usually around Christmas Eve, or maybe a few days sooner, sportswriters need a labor-free column to put in the bank so they can get to the holiday parties, or see their actual families instead of living in seclusion with their laptops. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional easy-writer piece, but I don’t want to roast the old chestnuts by doing the traditional column of Christmas Presents List.

You know, stuff like “A new special bat for Tommy Edman that will give him the magical ability to clobber righthanded pitchers.”

Or maybe something about Kevin Demoff’s Pinocchio nose and Stan Kroenke’s ear.

I have a different way to go about this: instead of handing out presents, I’m gonna help out the post-Christmas chores by returning items to the store.

Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz: need that depth chart from the Arkansas game. There was an obvious mistake; I can exchange it for a depth chart that has Brady Cook as the No. 1 quarterback.

Hello, can I exchange this 17-game winning streak for a World Series trophy? No? Why not?

Vladimir Tarasenko: I’ll be happy to pick up your trade demand and make it easy for you – but instead of going inside to the counter, I’ll just put it in the dumpster behind the store and get rid of it.

Mike Shildt: I think there was a mixup in 2021, and this is way too late, but that’s OK. I can return those 800 plate appearances for Matt Carpenter, Justin Williams and Paul DeJong and see if I can exchange them for a Kyle Schwarber, or maybe the revised model of Eddie Rosario.

Cardinals president John Mozeliak: Because you say  “candidly” too often — let’s face it, but candidly you aren’t candid very often … I’ll exchange that for some new dodgy words and maybe get you a dodge ball while I’m out.

Blues Craig Berube: I wanted to apologize for not acting on this sooner, but I’ll swing by and pick up your current contract and take it in for some revisions – and after the exchange, you’ll have a new and deserved multiyear contract instead. — Berube’s new contract probably got lost in mail due to heavy Christmas volume and all the kids writing letters to Santa.

St. Louis Blues: This team already has 14 cases of Covid-19 so far this season? OK, gather the ineffective masks and I’ll exchange them for better ones.

To fans of the St. Louis Cardinals: your expectations for the offseason are the wrong size. Too big. Let me exchange the oversized expectations for something a little smaller.

I think I can help Cardinals hitting coach Jeff Albert, who gets blamed for everything. But I must say I’ll be devious with this, and I think we can get away with it. Here’s the plan …. I’ll exchange your name for a new name. From now on you’ll be known as “Mark Budaska” and everyone will refer to you as “Buddha.”

Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington: should you become defective, no problem. I’ll just go to the mall in Springfield, Mass and pick up a goaltender – a dude named Charlie Lindgren.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina: the baseball gods gifted you with remarkable durability and stamina and a right arm that’s stronger than Max Scherzer’s. How about we trade in the old, creaky, painfully battered catcher parts and exchange them for some fresh-and-new parts? That way you can catch for another 19 seasons beyond 2022.

Oh, yeah – that reminds me. To members of the Cardinals’ front office: I tried to help, really I did. But when I tried to exchange Steven Matz for Scherzer, the dude behind the counter looked at me and asked me when I turned into a loon. Another person who worked there chimed in with a question: why didn’t the Cardinals sign Scherzer as a free agent after the 2014 season? Then you wouldn’t have to come here and make absurd requests. Another guy shouted, “Are the Cardinals going to do this for the second year in a row — and go into a season with a shortage of pitching depth?”

To Mizzou’s administration, including the athletic department: Look, y’all were tremendously excited when you received the gift of membership from the SEC. But years later, let’s take a look around. The football team has lagging attendance and can’t generate an SEC atmosphere at home games, and the men’s basketball team is flat-lining in the SEC. Let’s see if we can exchange the membership for a Big 12 card. Think about it and get back to me.

To If you need to repair your operating system – because your site is devoid of any real content, and it’s broken as could be – well, these computer stores can do wonders with damaged tech stuff. You can come back with updated content, news in real time, fresh stories, and an entire list of players and rosters to make sure your fans know that MLB exists and there will be a 2022 season.

To Dan McLaughlin: Who is this bum writing columns for “Scoops?” Dump him, and we can exchange him for a better columnist.

Thanks for reading!


Bernie invites you to listen to his opinionated sports-talk show on 590-AM The Fan, KFNS. It airs Monday through Thursday from 3-6 p.m. and Friday from 4-6 p.m. You can listen by streaming online or by downloading the “Bernie Show” podcast at — the 590 app works great and is available in your preferred app store.

Follow Bernie on Twitter @miklasz