From NC, Parnell in the holiday spirit

From NC, Parnell in the holiday spirit

Salisbury, N.C., and the North Pole have little in common. They're in different area codes and time zones, and a check of the globe suggests they may be separated by a couple of light years. Chances are the citizenry of the Pole knows little of what goes down in the land of auto racing. But the folks in easy-going Salisbury are quite aware of the Pole.

"We keep pretty close track of what goes on up there," Mets pitcher Bobby Parnell said on Tuesday when interrupted his December to see just what the 25-year-old reliever knew what he knew about Christmas, snow, reindeer and the rest.

The the ultra-thorough investigation now is complete. This is what we learned during our intense interrogation of Parnell. How did you spend your Christmases as a kid?

Parnell: We'd get up kind of early and open presents and play. Nothing really out of the ordinary. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

Parnell: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." I'm not sure that qualifies as a Christmas carol. It's a Christmas song.

Parnell: You're getting a little technical, 'ya know. We strive for precision at So what's your favorite carol?

Parnell: I guess "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful." It's kind of catchy. Catchy?

Parnell: Yes sir, catchy. So I can assume your favorite song is "Rudolph?"

Parnell: Absolutely. Catchy, too?

Parnell: Yep. Do you know the lyrics?

Parnell: Yeah, even the "Like a lightbulb" part. How many of the reindeer can you name?

Parnell: Oh lord. Uh ... Dasher ... Blitzen ... Rudolph, of course. He's the most wonderful reindeer of all. What about Dancer?

Parnell: Yeah ... and Prancer. And Comet?

Parnell: And Cupid. What am I up to? Six? How many are there? I don't know, we just ask the questions. OK, the next one. Do you sleep on Christmas Eve?

Parnell: Of course, you need to get your rest for when you open your presents. And when will that be at your house?

Parnell: I'll get up about nine. We don't want to rush it. Where are you going to spend Christmas Eve?

Parnell: At home with my folks and my wonderful girlfriend, Megan. She helped me get my Christmas shopping done a long time ago. And Christmas day?

Parnell: We'll be all over -- home, at my grandparents. Lots of family. In the course of the day, there'll be at least 30 people. Now, Bobby, this is important. Do you leave a snack for Santa?

Parnell: I haven't in recent years. Did you ever?

Parnell: Of course, we'd leave him some cookies. And were there crumbs gone the next morning?

Parnell: Yeah, and the dishes were washed. I never understood that. So, have you been good this year?

Parnell: Pretty much. So what do you think you're going to get from Santa?

Parnell: I have no idea. I didn't ask for anything. Why not?

Parnell: I don't want anyone spending a lot on me. Well, put aside expense. What would you like to get?

Parnell: A World Series ring. But I'll take it in October. I want a real one. What would you buy and for whom would you buy it for if you could buy anything for anyone?

Parnell: Whatever my folks wanted. And what would you say to the world if you had an open mike?

Parnell: Merry Christmas. Thanks, Bobby. And Merry Christmas to you and all the folks in Salisbury.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.