NLCS Jottings

How tall must you stand, how far
From this world
Until, as a cloud,
Nobody knows what your shadow is?

Wisconsin. Wisconsin! Unsaid,
Too casual to show up in discussion
(or is it just a constraint pointing my way?)
Wisconsin, divisional champions. Missouri, wild cards,
Though I too can pull away
St. Louis from Kansas City.
An arbitrary imposition–
nobody would claim arbitration
Is arbitrary, if not
Judging from far away
And much that is not just discussions of salary.

Judging in words, if words that sound halfway
Grammatical, can sound broad.
Lash out at a sign,
A stand-in for many similar or
Dissimilar things.
A proxy, a symbol,
A goat.
Or throw off grammar, form, constraint,
Writing for your bright cohorts
Who know with a wink what you want to
(Though you wouldn’t, you know, not in just that way)
Say.

A young man…not so young, not as young
As all who mock. And not as old
As all who stand tall and jab softly.

What can you watch on TV? An at-bat.
A pitch thrown towards a man in a mask.
A batsman, bat in hands, not facing you, not facing
A backstop. So in a right look
At southpaws anyway.
Or a hit ball–a shortstop grabs, runs, throws,
A tiny blur in uniform runs backwards
Towards a far wall, puts his hand up, and?
Anything.

Or it can zoom in, not at action, not at anything,
Just a thing to look at,
A moundsman, light, bill down,
Not looking at you
But how far from far!

Or cut away
To Tony La Russa.
I am not good with knowing
Who is who, who looks how
But now I think I know
Tony La Russa’s staring stand.
I think.

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Tony La Russa’s 2,500th Win

Mack, McGraw, La Russa. Should I complain about this? No, it’s not bad. It’s notably good, in fact. But I am a product of flukish nostalgic brainwashing. I would look at old statistics books, growing to know which long-past star was top, and twitch at changing status quos.

But I’m okay with this addition to that old and poorly-known 2,500 win club. To start off, I didn’t know its original composition until La Russa’s arrival. Calculating statistics for guys out on stadium grass is normal, but wins for a coach don’t hold a similar status. And La Russa was third in history with only 2,499; his rank wasn’t abruptly (or dramatically) broadcast.

To rack up this many wins, you must coach month in and month out for long durations. La Russa has. So it’s not as if a star I saw is now up with old folks so much as La Russa is an old folk and from this point in history also. Congratulations.

Non-lipogrammatically, don’t forget to check out the sidebar every now and then: a new poem of mine is up at The Baseball Chronicle, while Big Fly Sports is a memorabilia shop.