by James Finn Garner
If you want to learn this game baseball,
Joe Buck is the guy to call.
No matter what your rooting position
He can help you do the addition.
If you yourself couldn’t add the same:
“One homer makes this a five-run game.”
Stumped by three innings times three outs?
“Nine chances left,” the perfesser shouts.
But you might never grasp one call:
Why this putz is employed at all.
by the Village Elliott
One year longer than, on earth, I’ve been here,
Dodger fans, first in Flatbush, would hear . . .
Til Brooklyn’s heart’s busted . . .
Then L.A. adjusted
To Voice who taught the Game loud and clear.
In three-score seven years “Bums’ Spoken”,
No one claimed Vin Scully’s home-chokin’.
Fordham’s “Second Great Flash”
Longtime broadcasting smash
“Length of Service” will remain unbroken.
By Stuart Shea
Mr. Scully hangs up his microphone,
Dick Enberg does as well.
Bill Brown retires from Houston’s booth,
Ain’t it the truth–
Things ain’t like they used to be.
Things ain’t like they used to sound.
The men who call the games
Don’t have the varied background
Of the older famous names.
Oh, the older famous names,
With their gravitas and experience,
They understand the common sense
Now they’ll be silent forevermore,
Closing the door
On a time and a style that will never return.
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 Hart Seely
The Twitterverse was raging o’er the Mudville game that day.
Both sides were firing salvos with the hashtag “#MudWillSlay!”
For broadcast rights, a local station raised a kingly sum
From sponsors Mudville Bong & Vape and Captain Morgan Rum.
In truth, the show’s producer viewed the game with mounting dread:
It would face the season opener to Naked: Walking Dead.
Yet the station had one weapon to ensure a ratings spike,
For the whole town would be watching, what with Casey at the mic.
Though 20 years had vanished, since he swung and missed that day,
He remained a local sports show host, the king of play-by-play.
He owned the Hyundai dealership, made time for local youth,
And no one ever missed a pitch with Casey in the booth.
But when the game fell out of reach, with Mudville down by four,
Two dozen TVs switched to watch Survivor: Baltimore.
And as the innings slipped away, the producer grew distressed.
To keep a decent audience, he’d need Casey at his best.
Then Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball!
And when the dust had settled, in the bottom of the frame,
Casey shouted out his catchphrase, “We done gots ourselves a game!”
Across the town, great cries of joy rang out like shrieking birds.
Five hundred Mudville faithful knelt, awaiting Casey’s words.
Five hundred phones, in unison, gave off a cheerful bleat,
And the population contemplated Casey’s fervent tweet.
It said, “Mexican illegals cause our paychecks to be littler.
“The media’s full of commies, and the President is Hitler.”
As fans across the bleachers analyzed what Casey wrote,
The show’s producer closed his eyes and loudly cleared his throat.
“Not good,” he grumbled angrily; he didn’t want to preach.
For Casey raised a scribbled note; it said, “It’s called free speech.”
“Strike one,” the show’s producer said, not one to fan a flame.
“We need to scrap the politics and focus on the game.”
But as the pitcher raised his mitt, and as the orb was thrown,
Casey’s very tiny fingers stroked the keypad of his phone.
He typed some words, deleted them, then typed them in again,
Tweeting, “Now they want girls’ restrooms to be filled by creepy men.
“The Muslims are upon us! It’s no wonder folks are mad!
“The President’s a moron! No one’s mentioning this! Sad.”
And as his harsh opinions hit the Internet anew,
The show’s producer hung his head. “Not good,” he said. “Strike two.”
Now Casey shrugged and gave a wince, as if he felt some pain.
And everyone was certain he would not hold forth again.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he brings high heat.
And now the landscape shivers from the tone of Casey tweet . . .
O, somewhere on the Internet, ex-jocks can still condemn
Anyone who does not look, or think, or talk, or pray like them.
But elsewhere fans can watch and cheer, no politics to bear,
And there is less mud in Mudville: mighty Casey’s off the air.
Hart Seely, the Bard of Lake DeRuyter, runs the indispensable Yankee blog, It is High, It is Far, It is . . . caught, where this poem first appeared.