by RJ Lesch
Those White Sox batters? They’re a fearsome bunch.
For power or for average they can hit.
Most every day they pack a deadly punch.
But when Quintana pitches, they all sit.
The South Side Glove Men all have awesome range.
Their fielding prowess makes opponents moan.
Their hands are sure and soft, and so it’s strange
That when Quintana pitches, they are stone.
Chicago’s mighty bullpen has no peer.
Their supple arms throw filthy stuff indeed.
They face the toughest hitters with no fear.
But when Quintana starts, they blow the lead.
Jose Quintana’s skill we all esteem,
But when the poor guy pitches, where’s his team?
by R.J. Lesch
The books must balance, so accountants say.
For every credit on the books, we must
Record a debit. Bills come in; we pay
Them off and write it down. In baseball, just
The same is true. A hit is chalked up to
The hitter and the pitcher both. A game
Won by my team must be a loss for you.
If we give credit, so we must give blame.
For every Thomson, Branca there must be.
For Mazeroski, Terry. Wilson, Buck.
Gordon and Familia, recently.
Then Hosmer, Duda. Perez, Matz. Tough luck.
The calculus of baseball can be cold,
But books must balance, once the tale is told.
by R.J. Lesch
When Andy Coakley, traded to the Cubs
in time for ’08’s crazy pennant race,
received one of the pettiest of snubs
and didn’t get World Series dough, the case
of Coakley v. the Cubs went to the courts.
He knew he didn’t rate a full share, but
he thought he should get something. But all sorts
of calumnies got thrown into his gut.
“He’s so ungrateful,” said the press. “He should
be booted out.” And so he spent his prime
in outlaw leagues. His arm was just no good
by when he made it back to the big time.
When Coakley got the shafting from his team,
free agency was still a distant dream.
By R.J. Lesch
With two men out, Glen Perkins turned to look
toward the third base stands, and then he smiled.
The local boy, as in a storybook,
or sandlot fantasies of any child,
could hear the Minnesota crowd. And they
were chanting out his name, their joy undamped
as he closed out the All Star Game. They say
the Nordic folk don’t often get so amped.
And closers should be ice and stone, you see.
But out there on the diamond, who could blame
A boy who once hit baseballs off a tee
For grinning big and wide? But all the same,
the closer and the catcher, not done yet,
went back to work, with one more out to get.
by R.J. Lesch
Rivera’s winding up his farewell tour.
The Rockies’ Helton takes his final bow.
Guerrero leaves the players’ ranks one fewer,
and Pettitte says the time to quit is now.
Who else will be upon the Hall of Fame’s
induction ballot only five years hence?
We’ll cheer them while they play their final games,
and then the tearing down part will commence.
Which candidates are worthy of a plaque?
To get your player through those hallowed doors,
You have to stab the others in the back,
As fewer votes for them mean more for yours.
“Your player’s glove was not so good,” I’ll say.
And you’ll reply my candidate struck out
too often in the clutch. And, by the way,
his value came from a syringe, no doubt.
It’s sad to drag good players through the dust,
but votes are scarce. So, Cooperstown AND bust!