by James Finn Garner
RIP Paul Carey (1928-2016), long-time Tigers radio announcer.
The roar of a Rouge Plant furnace
Birthing a Thunderbird
The muscle roll of Gitchee Gumee
Festooned in spray
The ancient trees deep-rooted
Strummed like a lyre
The tectonic rumble of two peninsulas
Alive in summer
by Stephen Jones
Rockies’ mountain high
Trevor Story’s spring debut
6 home runs, 4 games
by Doug Fahrendorff
Has finally returned
The sun warmer
The ennui of winter
To the excitement of spring
Best of all
Baseball is back
Harbinger of the halcyon days of summer
One more season
Following the national pastime
Today at Miller Park
The journey begins
by James Finn Garner
The reason I haven’t
Followed spring training
Or read the predictions
is clear to me now
I wanted to keep this new season
Fresh and whole
And safe from
Everything else now
The new normal
Gleeful aggrieved cruelty
The killing of innocents
Regrettable acts by desperate people
The pull toward chaos
I wanted to keep the great game
Under a glass dome
At least for a while
For more grass to grow
Lush green grass to get through the summer
By C.S. Carr
Infielders play pepper sharpening reflexes.
Chooch works with the kid from Panama with a rocket for an arm.
Coach leans against the backstop staring into the gage,
shorten the stance
lower the hands
move closer to the plate.
Waits for that thwack from his bat
Like the crack of a pick striking a vein of coal.
The Big Piece lines
balls fired from the wheels of the batting machine
puncture the netting.
Gone are J-Roll, Chase,
the Flying Hawaiian, Cliff,
Cole, Doc, and Pat the Bat–
Phils perennial migration to Clearwater,
. it’s Spring Training.
The chatter in camp is about manufacturing runs:
bases hits; moving runners; bringing guys home
using an assortment of prospects–
Rule 5’s, free agents, draft picks,
couple of no-hit speed merchants
and a bunch of Punch-and-Judy hitters.
The calendar flips to the dog days of June, it gets hotter and the road trips get longer,
can the young arms hold up?
Lots of unknowns before they head north.
It looks like the Big Piece can’t hit
for power anymore.