(7.19 No.88 — 162 Baseball Poems 2015)

By Steve Hermanos

Why is it,
When a player decides to take
His bat and mitt
To another team
For bigger bucks,
When he returns,
We boo?

I guess,
If some old girlfriend,
Who dumped you,
Showed up,
And you,
From behind a tree,
Or in the top row of a stadium,
Could boo,
You’d probably boo;

Through watching and caring,
I become a San Francisco Giant,
Almost as surely as I am an American,
And when the highly-skilled-and-successful Benedict Arnold
Goes over to the British,
I boo;
When Robbie Cano,
Jilts the Yanks,
Pledges his allegiance to the Mariners,
In return for a boatload of cash,
Fans cloaked in anonymity boo;

Fanatics booed Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh,
Booed Roger Clemens in Boston,
Reggie Jackson in Oakland, and in Baltimore,
And let us not forget,
That in Philadelphia, at a football game,
They booed Santa Claus;

The border between a crowd and a mob,
Is it based purely on actions?
When Giants bleacherites
Toss peanuts at a row of drunk Phillies phans,
Is that crowd action or mob action?

A few years ago,
When they scissored the ribbon,
On the new section of Bay Bridge
(what a generic name!)
there was applause and no booing;
When a new school is opened: no booing;
When close-ups of Pluto appear on our screens,
A few people say it’s a waste of money, but, maybe 5%;

All our fan-dom, of sports,
Our booing and peanut-tossing,
Filling our lives,
With meaning.

* * * * * * *

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