The Poetry of Baseball Found Even in its Rules

By Todd Herges


On every umpire’s judgmental call,
Such as whether a pitch is a strike or a ball,
Or whether the sphere lands fair or lands foul,
No manager, player or substitute shall
Object to the outcome or else he will fall

From grace, from the field, from the dugout, the park:
“Y’er out!” grizzled umps often loudly will bark
At the offending jerks, the ones who don’t know,
The ones who can’t see despite daylight or glow
Of the huge vapor lamps, which hang tall and dark

‘Til dusk when they shine their light down on the field,
When the Sun says, “Hey Moon, to you I now yield –
Enjoy the big show of the men in tight pants
With their caps, their gloves and their spikes as they dance,
And the long wooden clubs they skillfully wield.”

Those offending jerks, so badly shortsighted,
Make sure to leave NASCAR-type fans delighted.
It’s like watching a wreck, a fight or a brawl,
Except the offenders see nothing at all
Wrong with their actions, it leaves them excited

About their team’s chances, or that’s what they think.
What they don’t know is that strike zones can shrink,
And bang bang-type plays can be called either way.
So when the game’s over, by end of the day,
Their team’s chance to win will most certainly stink.

Rule 9.02 (a)
[verbatim, from
The Official Rules of Major League Baseball]
Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final.  No player, manager, coach or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.
Comment:  Players leaving their position in the field or on base, or managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box, to argue on BALLS AND STRIKES will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call.  If they continue, they will be ejected from the game.


Posted 10/16/2009

Published in History, Lyric, Players, The Game Itself | Link to this poem | 2 Comments

The Poetry of Baseball Found Even in its Rules: 2 Comments

  1. Maggie Mendus wrote,

    Hello, Todd,
    I’m a friend of Mariana Damon’s, and she told me about your poem. So I Googled you and have just read your poem. The ending tells me about life. I am a poet, too, (and a Chicago Cubs fan) and appreciate your metaphor of baseball. This is an interesting piece, which I like very much.

  2. Todd Herges wrote,

    Thanks very much for your kind comment Maggie. Are you a Chicagoan?

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