Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Donnie at the Bat

And now...a poem.

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Detroit nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And when Fielder died at first; and V-Mart did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

Some Tigers faithful got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Donnie could get but a whack at that –
We’d cheer his scrappy trying, now, with Donnie at the bat.

But Dirks preceded Donnie, as did also Jhonny P,
And the former was slumping and the latter was 0 for 3;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Donnie’s getting to the bat.

But Dirks let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Jhon, the Lynn despise-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jhonny safe at second and Dirks a-hugging third.

Then from ten thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
The great white hope was coming, and Rogo was in hell;
They cheered now for a miracle and put on their rally hats,
For Donnie, shitty Donnie, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Donnie’s manner as he nodded at the ump;
There was a look on Donnie’s face that resembled Forrest Gump.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
Cuz only in Detroit would people cheer Donnie at the bat.

Some thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Old sportswriters applauded at the grime that was on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Grittiness showed in Donnie’s eye, a polite smile on his lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Donnie stood a-watching it, no hope to hit it fair.
Close by the skinny batsman the ball unheeded sped-
“Skip always says take one,” said Donnie. “Strike one,” the umpire said.

From the benches, filled with people, there went up a muffled roar;
Watching the game instead of doing the wave since inning four.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted a drunk guy from the stands;
But it’s hard to kill a person with beers in each of your hands.

With a smile of Christian charity our Donnie’s visage shone;
He ignored the crowd’s loud catcalls; and bade the game go on;
He readied to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Donnie barely saw it, and the umpire said, “Strike two.”

“No!” cried the maddened thousands, as if they all would die;
But one gritty look from Donnie and the Tiger crowd did sigh.
They saw his face now concentrate and all went into denial,
And told themselves that Donnie would hit the next one out a mile.

The sweat pours down on Donnie’s face; mercy he thinks to beg;
A tear then ran down his chiseled face and piss ran down his leg.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Donnie’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun’s brighter than ten lamps;
Lamont is quietly napping; and Porcello is banging tramps.
And somewhere Rogo’s crying, because there never was a doubt;
As there is no joy in Detroit – shitty Donnie has struck out.

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