by Doug Fahrendorff
Only the first name necessary
Japan’s hitting master
3000 hits at age 42
As talented in the field
As at bat
Paved the way
For other Japanese position players
What he’d have done
Had he reached the Major leagues
Few would argue
Ichiro is a truly singular talent
And should be a cinch Hall of Famer
by James Finn Garner
As the end of his playing days appears,
I need to ask: Whither A-Rod?
There’ll be no other player left at his tier
On whose neck you can gleefully trod.
No gaffes to rehash, no mistakes to cheer,
No insinuations on his bod,
No schadenfreude thoughts to slur in your beer
That he’s a bum, a starlet, a fraud.
You won’t see Alex this time next year,
And the absence you’ll feel will be odd
Til you choose someone else, with your conscience so clear,
And condemn him like an Old Testament God.
by Hilary Barta
A pitcher’s job is never done.
When out in left they’ve gotta run
And make a catch against the wall.
Don’t tell me baseball ain’t a ball.
And in a pinch they also hit,
And do the perfect squeeze-play bit.
Joe Maddon thinks outside the box,
His tactics hardly orthodox.
Cubs’ try-anything manager Joe Maddon has been at it again. On July 31, pitcher Travis Wood hurled the sixth inning in relief, and Maddon kept him in the game as the left fielder, where he made a sensational catch in the seventh, banging against the wall and the ivy in Wrigley Field. In the twelfth, Maddon had pitcher Jon Lester pinch hit, and Lester laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to bring in the winning run.
by James Finn Garner
So many long years ago
Began spraying hits
And if it seems like it’s
Going to go on forever
(I mean, it never
Looks like he ages),
Remember the pages
Of record holders
Left to molder
When a young stud
Both lucky and good
Works to set a new mark
At the ball park.
In time a new hero
Will surpass Ichiro,
And the passage of time
Cruel and sublime
Will lose some of its sting
As we salute a new king.
by Debbie McLeod
O Mariners! I am about
To lose all hope in you.
Longest active post-season drought?
It makes me feel so blue.
But — my heart took a journey
Up to heaven with Ernie,
And my Cubs dreams may finally come true!