Poems #26-28: 162 Baseball Poems 2015

(5.1 No.26 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)


I’ve sat on the bench
the whole game,

Or in the windowless spaces
Under the stands,
swatting baseballs off the tee;

Wanting to be out there
In place of fellow-rookie Matt Duffy,
But it’s not going perfectly,
This season;
“You’re going in,” Bochy tells me;

Here, now,
I wiggle my back, left foot into the crushed cinders of the batter’s box;
Two outs,
Bases loaded,
Bottom of the 9th;
Giants 2—Angels 2;

It looks like a controlled fire on the field,
The Giants’ orange uniforms tops, the Angels’ red;

Bases loaded,
It’s just like Wiffle ball in the back yard,
This is where I want to be,
The focus of 42,000 fans,
Of 49 other players,
The coaches,
The television camera’s Cyclops eye;

There’s Gregor Blanco on third;
He’s fast,
If I lay down a bunt he’d probably score;

It’s been the worst opening month
For the span of my entire life,
For the San Francisco Giants;
I’ve got the World Series ring from last year,
But this year, this;

Smith, their pitcher,
I don’t know much about him;
He’s probably gonna want to get ahead in the count,
Throw a strike,
A walk here would kill him;
I’ll look for something up,
To whack,
Up the middle,
Just like it’s on a tee;

And there it is:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, victory!

(Giants 3—Angels 2)


* * * * * * *

(5.2 No.27 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)


By Steve Hermanos

8-year-olds listen to me,
When I coach them;

A coach of 8-year-olds must not say too much,
Just a few words of instruction a day;

They’re there to play play,
No to sit still like in school fool;

But this is why we’re 5-0;
It’s not our hitting, which is OK,
It’s not our fielding, which is OK;

The kids now understand the EE
The Extra Error—

And the Extra Error
Is the key,
The Lord of the Ring,
The Force
of and to
little league:

Everybody makes errors—
A soft fly ball clangs off your mitt,
A grounder pebbles off your leg,
A toss to first goes over the first baseman’s father’s triceratops’ head,

But it’s what you do with the ball when it stops rolling
and you pick it up,

Our two French little leaguers,
Have taught us to shout,
Tien La Ball! Hold the ball!

Get it back to the pitcher!
Don’t make an EE,
An Extra Error;

Teams we play seem to inhabit an
Alternate Universe,
Throwing the ball all over the field,
Our singles turn to doubles,
Our guys on second and third score and score;

While their coaches yell,
Their kids kick dirt,
Snipe at each other;
We bat around;

We keep track of two stats only:
And EEs;

The team that makes the fewest EEs,
So far.

Don’t get cocky, coach!


* * * * * * *

(5.4 No.28 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)


By Steve Hermanos

We’ve achieved 3rd place!
Our Giants,
No longer wandering the cellar,
The back of the pack,
The fat, slow-witted second cousin at the family reunion;

No! We’re in 3rd!
After sweeping Anaheim this weekend,
After a full month as the worst in the West, we’re now
Looking down at Colorado
And Arizona,
Those low-lives in the low-rent district;

We are 12-13,
And they!
11-13 and
Pshaw to them!

Let us shine our shoes,
Crease our pants,
Strut along, head high, talking louder on our phone;

Meanwhile, the Dodgers are in 1st, 4 ½ games up on us;
But we’re not gonna worry about them!
We’re in third!


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