Archive for the ‘poems’ Category

Baseball Is Poetry, Vol. II

July 14, 2009

A favorite college professor of mine posted this wonderful baseball poem of his yesterday, and it put me in the mood to do another one of these.

The Cliff’s Notes:
First: on Monday, MLB.com posted a 2009-All-Star-rosters tribute to Ogden Nash’s delightful 1949 poem, “Line-up for Yesterday”. That was fine and all, but I decided to do my own tribute to Nash, comprised mostly of players from post-’49. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I don’t care. Loyal readers may detect one slightly satirical entry.
Second: last night’s Home Run Derby recapped in Haiku form. I was really hoping to do an entry for Minerva’s latest poetry challenge, but I’m afraid I’ve run out of hours in the day (and night, and most of the next morning). I tried–sonnets are freaking hard. Anyway, away we go:

A Lineup for Nearer Yesterdays
A is for Aaron,
who topped seven-fourteen;
his passion and pride
before and since, unseen.

B is for Barry
and Bonds too, of course;
an unparalleled talent
from sense quite divorced.

C is for Calvin
Edwin Ripken, Jr.;
when it came time to play
he’d never defer.

D is for Doby,
the AL’s pioneer;
the stats show he did
more than just persevere.

E is for Eckersley,
mulleted closer sublime;
he’d enter and the other guys’
death knell would chime.

F is for Ford,
Casey Stengel’s top gun:
save him for the big games,
consider them won.

G is for Griffey,
or Junior, to you.
Played just the way
we’d all like to do.

H is for Henderson,
base-stealing’s top name–
Rickey played ’til they kicked
Rickey out of the game.

I is for Ian Kinsler
’cause there just ain’t no I’s;
the fine slugger of Texas
defaults into this prize.

J is for Jackie,
bigger than any game.
The world got a little better
because Jackie came.

K is for Koufax,
the ace of L.A.,
turning visiting lineups
into a fine-cut fillet.

L is for Larry
(but you know him as Chipper);
sixteen Hall of Fame years for
one Hall of Fame skipper.

M
is for Maddux and Musial,
Mantle and Mays;
as great as great gets,
each worthy of praise.

N is for Niekro,
the lord of the flutter,
winning 20 for teams
often found in the gutter.

O is for Ortiz,
the much-feared Big Papi;
his bat is a force,
tho’ his defense is sloppy.

P is for Pujols
and his incomparable power–
he keeps getting better,
almost by the hour.

Q is for Quiz,
the wisecracking sidewinder;
to catch sight of his sinker
you’d need a depth finder.

R is for Ryan,
of the seven no-hitters;
his uncontrolled heater
still gives batters jitters.

S is for Spahn
the tireless lefty,
who’d face fearsome lineups
and butcher them deftly.

T is for Torre:
at the bat and the helm,
Joe had the stuff of
the Hall of Fame’s realm.

U is for Utley,
the king of sack two.
Don’t try to dissuade him:
he says “boo? Eff you!”

V is for Valenzuela,
enigmatic Fernando;
he killed in ’81–
sustain he could not, though.

W is for Williams,
the Thumper, the Kid;
if a hitter on God’s Earth
can do it, Ted did.

X is for Eckstein,
the X Factor to you;
hustles into your heart
and onto this list, too.

Y is for Yaz,
the basher of Beantown,
and still last to wear
the three-titled Crown.

Z is for zenith,
the apex, the best;
these stars all stand there–
so the records attest.

Home Run Derby Haiku Recap
Inge comes up empty–
that’s just eleven less than
he hit all last year.

Mauer, Al, Pena
in a three-way-tie swing-off.
Yeah, Joe’s got no chance.

“Ball Track” trails ball’s flight
with a goofy yellow line;
worse than Berman’s jokes.

Fielder wins it all,
hits the night’s four longest shots;
Big Man Hit Ball Far.

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Baseball Is Poetry, Vol. I

May 8, 2009
Sigh. — a haiku
Hitting a baseball
Doesn’t make one a genius.
Manny is Manny.

Baseball’s Unpronounceable Lexicon
These are the most European of possible words:
Theriot to Fontenot to Hoffpauir.
Three Cubs trying to shake off the boo birds:
Theriot to Fontenot to Hoffpauir.
Their names are long, tho’ their talents aren’t great;
The Riot hits twenty home runs at this rate;
But come October, bear Cubs hibernate;
Theriot to Fontenot to Hoffpauir.

Found Poetry: Bert Blyleven Answers Your Questions

I.
Well Christopher,
you know they have that pitch count at a hundred and I’d like to see them take it
up to a hundred
And
twenty.
Because the average per inning
is usually between twelve and seventeen.
Well, you take that average and
That ball’s gonna stay fair — back
on the grass.

II.
Well, lot of times you’ll see this ball
as it HUGS the line
go toward the foul area but that ball just
HUGS
and then
watch it right here:
oh! It actually went on the grass. So
a nice bunt single there
By Tolbert,
and Christopher getting back to you.

III.
It’s, uh — I’d say fifteen.
If a pitcher can throw fifteen pitches,
and then eight innings, that’s —
that’s a hundred and twenty pitches.
That’s why I say.
They should up it up to a hundred and twenty.
Eight innings is good in today’s game — it’s
excellent
in Today’s Game.