by Mark Vincent
R. I. P. Billy Goat Curse, 10/06/1945 – 11/02/2016
It started in Game Four of ’45
When Murphy, Billy’s goat, came to the game.
The Cubbies led the series, were alive,
About to claim some World Series fame.
The goat smelled bad and he was asked to leave.
His owner, Billy, wasn’t very happy.
He cursed the team; they lost. Chicago grieved.
The decades since, well, they’ve just been crappy.
But that, my friends, is finally in the past,
That blasted curse has now been laid to rest.
The pennant, then the Series won at last.
The Cubs can now stand proud, they are the best!
In seven games, and then an extra inning,
Chicago’s Cubs have found a new beginning!
by Ember Nickel
The lead off third–most of the way around
The basepaths, yet the distance still to go
Looms large. The runner checks himself, has found
He can’t turn back; and he is left with no
Choice but to run, break forward, and defy
The pitch itself. Time slows, a run appears
From desperation, being forced to try,
And jaws that dropped pick themselves up for cheers.
What remains now, when superstition’s gone?
After imposed fake narrative, what’s left?
The game itself finds more plays to spin on;
Out of the blue, a miraculous theft.
One needn’t be a loser to love story;
There will be space for small moments of glory.
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.