Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Iliad and the Red Sox-Yankees

One of the virtues of baseball is its sense of timelessness. Unlike many spectator sports there is no clock. Neither is there a fixed score to attain. In theory the game can go on forever, and the last two nights, they seemed to do just that.

But another one of its virtues is mixed within the notion of its teamwork: that stark relief of individual accomplishment. There is always the one on one interplay of pitcher vs. batter from which may arise the ageless hero. David Ortiz has been that man these past two playoff games with his pair of improbable game ending hits.

Finally, add to these elements the sense of drama and history that baseball playoffs bring, and you have the making of myth. These heroic actions are guided by the statistical gods of baseball, and on TV and in newsprint the blind poets are singing its song. Here’s mine.
Games of Brave Ulysses

Sing, O goddess, extra innings,
that grass-green field of summertime,
a red clay diamond battleground,
the mound Olympians will climb,
and chalked-in firesides of home
where men embark upon the foam

of fastball, splitter, knuckle, curve,
to sail between the siren calls
of umpire eyes, great cheers of fans,
on lotus paths bestrewn with pitfalls,
play by plays, analyses,
for Damon scored by brave Ortiz.
Again the Mantra: one game at a time, one game at a time. Go Schill!!!

Update: see my complete Red Sox ALCS/World Series chapblog here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hey. [= theres this really great poem that was in the Boston Globe before. and you can post it up if you want to. Here it is.

The Red Sox End The Curse
The outlook wasn't brillant for the Red Sox on that night
As the Yankees tallied 19 runs, it was a fearful sight.
And the next night when Rivera was just three outs away,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of Fenway.
But then Kevin drew a walk, and then Roberts stole a base
And Papi won it in the twelfth, with a grin across his face.

Game Five went 14 innings, and we really can't forget -
Wake had three shutout innings to snuff out the Yankee threat.
And Ortiz did it again, with that bloop to center field
Showing the resilience of a team that would not yield.
Then when Schill stitched up his ankle to pitch in that Game Six,
There were ghosts at Yankee Stadium, but they'd learned a few new tricks.

The umps reversed two calls (correctly) that never used to go our way,
And the Yanks - when under pressure, they began to go astray.
They didn't have much toughness behind that groomed facade.
As proven by that pathetic ball-slap, courtesy of A-Rod.
When Game Seven rolled around, with Johnny's grand-slam-rip,
We knew these Sox would be the first to come back from three to zip.

The Sox were in the Series, but some questions still did loom -
Were they steeled against a letdown, or were they playing now on fumes?
After the thrill of the big comeback and the downing of the Yanks,
Could they come through once again? Was there gas left in their tanks?
They grabbed a five-run Game 1 lead, and a victory seemed sealed,
but they let the Cards back in it with four errors in the field.

The game was tied at 7, and then once again at 9.
When in the eighth Mark Bellhorn got another chance to shine.
He launched a high fly ball, headed down the line in right.
Foul or out in most ballparks, Pesky Pole home run that night.
And from that moment on, these Sox could not be kept in check
As Curt, Pedro, and D-Lowe made sure the Cards stayed in the deck.

They led from the beginning, in each and every game.
A different hitter every time, but the results were just the same.
From 'Tek's Game Two triple to Manny's Game Three blast
To Damon's Game Four homer - our best dreams were thus surpassed.

It came down to Game Four, and though the outcome was quite clear,
We were still afraid even to think it - could this really be The Year?
So when Foulke caugh that grounder and secured it in his mitt,
You could almost see him thinking - could this really be it?

Five thousand Red Sox fans were present as he took those steps toward first,
Ten million watched and got prepared to quench our championship thirst.
Ten million hearts were pounding as he tossed Doug M. the ball,
And twenty-five "idiots" celebrated as teh ump made the 'out' call.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land, storm clouds block out the sky,
Somewhere 'next year' is a mantra; somewhere fans in pinstripes cry.
Somewhere else they have that feeling - things have gone from bad to worst,
But there is joy in Red Sox Nation - for the Curse has been Reversed!