That Game

Even Copernicus was only brave
Enough to publish once he looked back
And saw his ideas had been seen before.
Since then, they say, we don’t feel special anymore.
Can’t tell the history we’re living through.
And I was impressed how the adults knew.

At least tragedies are known at the time.
We have scripts for them, formulas, stock speeches.
The comedies, I suppose, in the Shakespearean sense,
When they’re not weddings, or at least not our own,
Perhaps fall into formulas and stocks.
And don’t we watch games because they’re fun?

Someday perhaps I’ll watch it all again.
Perhaps with a book open in front of me,
Or at this rate a screen.
Perhaps someday I’ll see it start to end
Perhaps with more commentators behind
Or just try to remember that long night.

The computers were almost fast enough.
So many stats laid at our fingertips.
That as we watched all of their leads forsake them
We’d calculate the odds in time to break them.

Perhaps this night won’t end; it’s too dramatic.
The announcers are prattling and I’m
Hearing it clear as day. There is no static
And I am still up, far past my bedtime.

Another commercial break, or dead air
Or inane words–does no one know the scope
Of this game or does no one really care?
Another run comes in, a chance, a hope.

But hours pass before they really have
Something to scream about. And then they scream.
I do not jolt awake, but jolt aware;

Since to get through the night that will not end,
I turn back to the night that seemed not to.
It is four or five in the morning,
As many months since the season ended,
And I still cannot fall asleep.

Box and whisker plots: MLB stadia by age

My joke idea for league realignment used to be stadium age; you’d have teams slipping from the, shall we say, “senior” to “junior” circuits every so often as they moved into new homes. But where do you draw the line? Well, at the median, obviously–whatever the value is such that half the stadiums are older and half are younger. But where’s the median? And how has it moved over time? For that matter, what about the other quartiles, and which stadia are just outliers? Take a look for yourself…


‘Twas brilliant, and the slit to
Did gyroscope and humble in the wane;
All mums  were the borough,
And the moment rather outgrow.

“Beware the Jabbed, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Kinkier bird, and shun
The Drum Banded!”

He took his corps sword in hand:
Long time the Man foe he sought–
So rested he by the Tim tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabbed, with eyes of flame,
Came whiff through the till wood,
And burn as it came!

One, two! One, two! and through and through
The corps blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went halibut back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabbed?
Come to my arms, my beaming boy!
O drank day! Callous! Calls!”
He chorus in his joy.

”Twas brilliant, and the slit to
Did gyroscope and humble in the wane;
All mums  were the borough,
And the moment rather outgrow.

by Lewis Carroll and my cell phone’s predictive text function