(7.18 No.87 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)

By Steve Hermanos

Two winters ago,
Yankee second baseman Robbie Cano,
He of the smoothest swing since Rod Carew,
Of a .311 lifetime batting average,
Turned his back on the glitz,
The glitter, the fawning,
The gilding, the bombastifragialistication,
That is the New York Yankees,
In our 21st century;

With the empty sets,
Of blue, cushy seats,
Ringing the Yankee Stadium infield:
Sometimes money is invisible;

And Robbie made the murky decision
To take $240 million from the
Up In The Corner Of The Country Mariners,
Rather than the $185 million from the Yanks,
He’d’ve made up that delta,
And many times more,
On the side selling sneakers and deodorant and burgers,
In the biggest media market in the hemisphere;
(Why do I always expect a ballplayer,
And his hangers-on,
Swilling ten-thousand-dollar
Bottles of Champagne,
To make an intelligent life decision?)

The Yankee fans,
Actually at Yankee Stadium,
boo Robbie Cano as he settles
Into his batting stance,
In the top of the 1st inning;
Michael Pineda fires a fastball,
Cano slashes at it,
And through the humid summer day,
The ball traces a familiar arc,
Slicing high from center,
And over the left-center wall;

They boo Robbie as he rounds the bases;

In the 6th inning,
He cranks a homer to the upper deck in right;
His familiar sweet swing not now a Yankee swing;
The boos rain;

(Mariners 4—Yankees 3)

—end of poem

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