This is the year of the pitcher

This is the year of the pitcher–
They say though we’re only half through.
And since the season isn’t over
I don’t think that the phrase will do.

This is the year of the–
This is the year of the one?
I think it’s the year of the many.
The point isn’t one ace, one star;
The point is that you could say any
Of a large group can dominate.
And though they’re having a great year
So far, I don’t think a definite
Article there is really clear.

This is the year of–
As if anyone owns a year.
A year is a label we place
On one sunrise after the next
Trying to pin down time and space.
It’s our year if we put our trust
In somebody else’s decree
That winter to winter’s a year
And that’s just the way it should be.
But I suppose it could be worse;
A hockey or basketball fan
Can’t equate “seasons” with “years”–though
They can’t make the mistakes we can.

This is the year–
The fans’ battle cry in the springtime,
The sentence’s finish implied.
But whose fans? Whose year? No one knows yet.
It’s for the season to decide.
It’s only July. Things could still change.
Pitchers might not reign in the fall.
And yet, what we say early on can
Change how we look back on it all.
If we say this year is for pitchers
Then it will affect how we view
The remaining months of the season.
So since the season isn’t through,
We’d better watch out what we call it.
There will be time, in retrospect
To honor all those who stood out,
To say who really earned respect.

This is the–
Okay, this is the half-season?
No, the first half has come and gone.
This is the second half-season
We focus on as we move on.
People talk about first halves a lot.
Who’s doing well, who’ll win, they’ve reckoned.
First halves seem like things in themselves, but
Nobody talks about the second.
There’s no awards for second-half skill,
No late-summer prize to extol.
When we watch the game in September,
We think of the year as a whole.

This is–
This is a moment in the morning. doesn’t even show
Today’s games by default yet.
But there will be some games, I know.
One day usually doesn’t make much
Impact on the trudging climb
Through the standings. Still, we must
Take it one day at a time.

This pitch, this swing, this miss, doesn’t seem
Indicative of anything
Put them together, over a year,
Though, and you’ll see what it might bring.

World Cup 2010 Final

Tomorrow you can ask what all that buzzing was about but not tonight; tonight is for finding sound and loving it.

I was walking along, trying to find a spot to watch and, just as importantly, folks to watch with. My laptop would work, if a TV broadcast was all I was looking for. But it wasn’t. My first shot was a pub that didn’t look promising; following that, I found out I was in a spot with no TV. Finally, I found a food joint and got lasagna.

I normally rush through my food, but I took as long as I could, though my lasagna was growing cold. Trying to stick around, I saw almost all of that match’s first half. In slow-motion, it was vibrant; colors approaching, colliding, tumbling. A color flashing down again and again. I had to tilt backwards, but it was okay: I saw what I was trying to.

Nobody was waiting for my booth, so I paid but sat still. Not so much drama, but nothing that would count from any attack.

Though now and again, a shot would almost go in. And from an adjoining room, sound would follow that.

I wasn’t rooting for anybody, and was glad for bonus football. I had to go to a bathroom, but didn’t sit back down in my booth; picking up my cup, I sat down in that adjoining room.

Almost as soon as I did, I found out what I hadn’t had in my first room. Sound. Discussion from guys on TV–and, too, fans’ music. This World Cup had a hum to it. Not a song with a protagonist I could latch on to, rooting and hoping from start to finish. Not phony chords, harmony about harmony. Not just discord and frustration. No, it was many thousands in unison. Annoying to fans hoping for familiar chants, possibly. But without a sight of TVs pointing out of windows so I could watch from roads, not in this small town, it’s sound that can drag a non-rooting patron in.

And though I didn’t root, though I wouldn’t mind PKs (okay, I’ll modify that paragraph…broadcast sound can annoy if I don’t know who all is playing for Spain, Bud and Lou could work on this), I could groan or gasp at good shots. “Ohhhh” just sounds right in a group. I didn’t ask if anybody was rooting, and still don’t know now. But that’s okay.

Finally, a goal. I didn’t shout for long, not caring who won, but I did shout.

So, if you saw this championship as part of a crowd–probably not my crowd, but any crowd–as a proxy for all of us wanting a match to pull us in, wanting to know this sound; thank you.

Top Nine All-Star Game Improvements

The All-Star Game just keeps getting bigger and better each year. These ones count, yes? Well, guess what; they could be made even more awesome. To wit:

  • You know that new rule about not letting people pitched if they’d pitched two days before? Well, after 12:00 midnight, it’s a brand-new day.
  • Winning the Home Run Derby, unlike its historic Kentucky-based counterpart, doesn’t help your quest for Triple Crown glory. We can fix this.
  • It’s not actually a Final Vote if there are two of them going on at once. Stagger the voting. The league of whichever candidate amasses the most votes, overall, has the honor of being the final Final Vote the next year.
  • Throwing a bone to sabermetricians, hold a walk-drawing derby to showcase the honor of plays highly correlated to winning games. We could put this on the Wednesday afterwards to fill the hole in the professional sports calendar.
  • More confetti afterwards. You know they do something with all those tiny circles you punch out of the ballot.
  • Use Golden Balls with two outs in every half-inning. Runs count double.
  • Put it in Hawaii.
  • Have the umpires chosen by fan vote.
  • Pit the best players from both leagues up against each other, just for the fun of seeing them pitted up against each other. I recognize that this might not be a realistic proposal, but hey, a blogger can dream.