Reversion, or Retro Rule #4

by Michael Ceraolo

The fourth retro rule came and went,
periodically,
.                according
to whether or not the Lords felt
that offense was getting out of hand,
.                                                       and
that was the legalization of doctored pitches
When such a change was deemed necessary
each team was permitted one such pitcher,
and that pitcher had to be so designated
before the start of the season,
.                                          which
was the only time such designation
could be changed
.                             (such designees
were always grandfathered until retirement
when the pitches again became illegal)

Defacing the ball with
thumbtacks
nail files
emery boards
sandpaper,
.              or
any of the myriad other implements
that had ever been used
was not permitted,
.                            and
attempts to get around the rule
by having the catcher or another player
‘accidentally’ doctor the ball
disappeared with the advent
of the intention-reading umpire

With increased awareness of disease transmission
the use of spit or any other
human or animal bodily fluid
was strictly verboten;
the penalty for any such use
was immediate lifetime banishment
if the fluid was carrying disease,
a two-year banishment if it wasn’t

.                                                           And
there was no need for taking such risks;
increasing chemical knowledge
and the development of new chemicals
had made such methods obsolete,
.                                                with
the only rules being the chemicals
could not be hazardous
nor could they discolor the ball
.                                               And
while they never quite fulfilled the fantasy
of It Happens Every Spring
they always
effectively redressed
the perceived imbalance until the time
they were again made illegal

 

Michael Ceraolo, a retired firefighter/paramedic, follows sports and writes poetry, mainly about the Cleveland area. This poem first appeared in Ygdrasil, Vol. XXIII, Issue 8, Number 268.


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