…I just want to make public transportation puns, that’s basically it

The fine folks at Bardball.com have been going strong with the limerick game all through the division series so I thought I’d jump in late. Can’t say when or if there will be more in this vein but here I am on the bandwagon.

I pity the Nats fans who bailed
When the strength of an early lead failed.
If I’m no mistaker,
Dusty’s still a half-baker,
And the city’s hopes all lie de-railed.

Slide, Utley, Slide!

This blog has been dormant for some time, despite the amazing baseball that’s been going on this year, and my life has been changing a lot since then too. The blog may well go back to being dormant, I don’t know.

However, after the NLDS Game 2, John Thorn put out the call for song parodies of this 1880’s classic, and John Thorn doesn’t have to ask twice.

I played a game of baseball down at old Chavez Ravine
The crowd was intermittent, and the heat was fierce and keen
A nobler lot of people there might have chanced to play
But you would never hear that said from teammates in LA.
The game was quickly started while I sat on the bench
Waiting for Mattingly to call upon a would-be mensch.
Hernandez drew a walk and then it was my turn to bat,
Eked out a quiet single and there was no need to spat.

(Chorus):
Slide, Utley, slide; the fray will never end
Slide, Utley, slide; your havoc they’ll suspend
If your blows are just too crushing, and you aren’t duly blushing
They won’t take you to Flushing; slide, Utley, slide!

Twas in the seventh inning they called me in, you’ll find
But once I got to first, moving along was on my mind.
But something was the matter, sure I couldn’t see the ball
But my slide into the base broke down Tejada’s leg and all
I was running down the baseline, I figured that he tripped
For when I tumbled into him, he got severely flipped.
‘Twas a most unpleasant feeling, though at first they called me out;
We both were ratlled, and that’s when the fans began to shout;

They overturned the play so to the base I got to go
The way they took Tejada out, it must have been a show.
On Gonzalez then depended the victory or defeat,
And he came through to show the world that we would not be beat.
Five to two was the score of the game when we got done,
But when I got suspended I thought that was much less fun.
The news got home ahead of me, they said I couldn’t play;
The fans told me that I should sue, and then began to say…

Dodgers 8, Cubs 5

Seeing is believing, purportedly, but I’m unconvinced. Sights blur together, interfering with others, until I’m not sure if I’m even seeing things correctly. I peer out the window of the Red Line; is this someone outside? Or the reflection of someone inside?

My field of vision grows ever bluer with people climbing on. When I got on, I could see the stops in the ‘L”s deformed sketch, nervously checking the time while counting which stops were left. By the time I get close, though, the list of stops is invisible, blocked by my fellow riders. So it’s impossible to worry. It turns out there’s still time.

I’ve been to Wrigley Field before, so this time, it feels less eye-popping. I decide to keep score, which is noteworthy–the first time in memory I went here, I chose not to so I wouldn’t focus on it too much. Now it feels like I’m touring in some other city, with surprisingly few people showing up. Lots of people, yes, but there’s lots of room for more too.

But they produce noise, loud sound blurring together. The voice of the guy telling us who’s coming up is tepid, so it’s difficult to write down the flurry of defensive switches in the ninth. The little electronic screen doesn’t help.

When the lights go out, everyone goes off the field. The lights will flicker on one by one, in time, but I’m not sure the Cubs or Dodgers should exit so quickly. Looking from section to section, it seems like every possible photo of the impromptu pre-1988 field is coming into existence. The flickers of light, by themselves, look like enough to see by.

Beyond Devotion?

I have watched them at close of day
Streaming from distant places
At my desk, the computer would play
And I could see distant faces.
I have muted the broadcasters’
Trite and meaningless words
Ignoring purported masters’
Trite and meaningless words,
And thought, when I heard sound
Of a commercial I could mock
It was rather strange, I found
What they said when they would talk.
I am certain that L.A.
Is a place where many are cheered
They change, but they still play
Even when things go terribly weird.

And so I spend my days
In ignorant naivety
My nights in the same ways
As happy as I can be.
What voice more shrill than those
Who, over the web or air,
Tell tales of bygone woes
And expect me to care?
This team had won last year
And looked as if on course
To win again right here.
This other came into their force
They might have won fame, it seemed,
At least, that was the fans’ thought.
This other team, I had dreamed,
Were content with what they had got.
They’d been successful for long
But were not satisfied at heart,
For trying can never be wrong,
Each season’s a brand-new start.
So once again they spent,
Although they’d won the most.
This other, their opponent,
Played as if cheered by a ghost.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and autumn seem
Enchanted at each pitch thrown
As they cheer on their team.
We’ll always cheer just as loud
Although the roster’s names range
From rookies to veterans proud
Season by season they change.
The ballgame is cancelled by rain;
We say we’ll get them next season
That one loss will lead to some gain
Without asking if that’s true reason.
The players work hard and strive,
We all try to fend off the fall;
Assuming we stay alive,
The game’s in the midst of it all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a farce of the mind.
Irrational or nice?
That’s for another to find.
Our job’s to cheer all the same
Whether we lead or trail.
If you rally back each game
But nothing more, you’ll fail.
What’s autumn but the fall?
No, not night, but defeat.
Was the death needless after all?
For even when they’re beat
The fans might still keep hope
Even when all’s said and done
Even when the cynics mope:
They know who dreamed and who won.
And what if hope, in excess
Bewildered them till they lost?
Is it just a gambit like chess?
Does every win come at a cost?
I cannot know if I’m right
But I’ll write it out anyway–
Losers dream only by night.
Winners dream also by day.