by James Finn Garner
Little John Gibbons
Has lost his mittens
And doesn’t know where to find them.
He gets tossed from the game
Time and again
To search the clubhouse where he’s confined, then.
With all the PED reports happening this year, it seems fitting to revisit a modern classic.
by Hart Seely
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that year.
The lineup had no hitting threats, the fans no cause to cheer.
So when Cooney tore his hamstring, and then Barrows broke his wrist,
The writers started calling for the brass to be dismissed.
The season stood in jeopardy, with one last hope in sight:
If only one great slugger could regain his former might.
One shot of horse testosterone, one jab in his caboose,
The team could get its mojo back with Casey on the juice!
But Flynn had tested positive, and also Jimmy Blake,
Their samples glowed with hormones like uranium yellowcake.
The infield faced suspension, the outfield in decay,
The team was dead unless some source came forth with antler spray.
But Flynn unleashed ten lawyers, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, with much persuasion, had his cousin take the fall;
And with the last indictment quashed, a miracle occurred,
The Mudville nine remained within one game of placing third.
Within the team’s top management, there rose a whispered din;
“We need to find a slugger who can drive some runners in.
“A deep-voiced man with swollen breasts, his beard as thick as rope.
“We need to bring back Casey, with his bloodstream full of dope!”
He’d all but been forgotten, in the pennant race of late.
No team considered signing him; he’d last hit .208.
He couldn’t touch the breaking ball or move much to his right.
He’d shrunken by some 30 pounds; he looked like Betty White.
They found him in a halfway house for former alcoholics,
Where he’d been kicking Andriol and street-sale anabolics.
They offered him a contract that would run from day to day.
But his sample had to come back clean before they’d let him play.
There was ease in Casey’s manner, though he tried to be discreet.
The testers watched him carefully; they figured he would cheat.
The sample showed diuretics, high above the zone of red,
“That ain’t my urine,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the clinic said.
The pundits, amped on Ritalin, fumed fury at the game.
He’d never see another pitch, or make the Hall of Fame!
“Ban him! Ban the juicer!” came a fervent, shouted wail;
And its likely they’d a-done it, had not Casey looked so frail.
With a smile of Christian charity old Casey’s visage shone.
He chalked it off to linseed oil, not high testosterone.
He’d suffered from a restless leg, took pills to beat the flu,
But the next test showed growth hormone, and the lab coats roared, “Strike two!”
“Fraud!” cried the gin-fueled writers, and the bloggers echoed “Fraud!”
But Casey’s hired publicist pronounced the tests as flawed.
And now his face grew stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
They knew he’d never let himself score positive again.
The smile is gone from Casey’s lips, his eyes like burst balloons;
He’s downed ten quarts of seltzer, after eating fifty prunes.
His body is a furnace, his bladder surely stressed,
And now the world awaits the hard results of Casey’s test.
O, somewhere in this favored land the stars are shining bright;
The games are played by people of a normal weight and height.
And somewhere fans are laughing, at peace with what they’ve got;
But there is no joy in Mudville: Mighty Casey’s tested hot.
by Stephen Jones
With apologies to Bob Dylan
“There must be some way out of here,”
Said Girardi to himself,
“The pitching’s all gone south –
I can’t get no relief.
Red Sox, they drink the wine,
While Bombers dig the earth.
And none of this is fine,
But my pitching . . . what’s it worth?”
by the Village Elliott
For the “Lords of Baseball”
Big league tradition, “Opening Day.”
Cincinnati, where first game they’d play.
Reds: Godfather of those
Teams comprised of all pros
Signed to play for a full season’s pay.
Now there is no more “Opening Day.”
Openings staggered o’er three day’s play.
New big league ambition
To start new tradition:
Big TV payoff pays season’s way.
by Millie Bovich
Sometimes you wonder who’s in charge
Who makes the schedule for the sport,
Who leaves the southern ballparks dark
And schedules op’ners for “up nort”.
In early April flakes could fly–
Come to think, they often do.
What makes them think that teams could play
And still stay warm in frozen dew?
The infield’s cold, the outfield too.
The pitcher’s arm is wrapped as well.
The catcher mutters thru his cage
Baseball in April’s “cold as hell”.
The dugout heatlamps do their job,
The team enjoys its moments there,
But when the ump calls outs are three
They rise and rush to arctic air.
And how about devoted fans?
They sit and cheer in bundled clothes
And stamp their feet to make blood flow
And cup their hands to warm their nose!
The vendors’ ice cream doesn’t sell,
Not much desire for frothy beer.
Fans huddle close on tushes cold
And pull their hoodies ’round each ear.
Let’s solve the problem now for sure:
Play April ball down south or west.
I must complain and make it known
That my solution is the best.
The baseball season’s not too long.
The country just can’t wait for play.
Above the Mason Dixon line
Home openers start in balmy May.
The schedule maker is the guy
About whose skill there is some doubt.
Just call him on the carpet and
Just raise your thumb and yell “yer out!”
Millie Bovich, one of our favorite contributors, has been a Tigers fan since the days of Mickey Cochrane and Charlie Gehringer.