November 11, 2004|
Enter our Red Sox in April
at Baltimore’s proud Camden Yards.
Losing 7 to 2,
we at once start to rue
the way cold-hearted Fate stacks our cards.
But this hairy and scruffy demeanor
has many fans watching with dread.
Did he think it’d please us,
his looking like Jesus?
we wonder. What’s in Damon’s head?
And Trot Nixon’s ballcap’s so sweat-stained
it must’ve been dusted with chalk.
We watch Pedro askance
and ask, What’s with the pants
down over his cleats? Can he walk?
And over there grinning is Manny
with his shirt-tails and “dreads” hanging out
like he’s fresh out of bed
with his bad-hair-day head—
he can hit, but sure looks like a lout.
And check out our guys’ batting helmets:
worse than the beards and peach fuzz.
But a lot of fans claim
it’s The Curse that’s to blame
(it’s what that Bambino’s Curse does).
A Yankee by contrast is spotless,
resembling Barbie’s man, Ken—
clean shaven, effete,
not a five o’clock shadow by ten.
They look like some ball club from Wall Street,
some Stepford Wives’ Husbands’ franchise.
Hell, nobody’s neater
than A-Rod and Jeter,
those manikins Big Money buys.
Well, the season progresses like others
the last 86 years or so…
But then comes That Fight
(that wild, pivotal night)
that replays in our heads, blow-by-blow:
Arroyo’s fast bean-ball beans A-Rod,
whose smirk Varitek rearranges.
Though the bench-clearing brawl
goes against protocol,
this Rivalry’s “chemistry” changes:
Typically, our star-crossed Red Sox
start to slump by the big All-Star break,
but they’ve already slumped
and now, man, they’re pumped!
Like watching a dragon awake!
And we fans of the BoSox, we’re different.
We damned, dogged, die-hards believe,
sure as Tunney floored Jack,
it’s our year to come back,
and deny that to say so’s naïve!
Like a plot in some block-buster thriller
by our most famous fan, Stephen King
(who watches each game—
yes, he tenders the flame)
…something eerie transpired last spring…
something prayed for, but never expected…
see, a “gunslinger” pulled into “Dodge”
in a Ford F-150—
( Curt hitch-hikes: he’s thrifty,
and good… good as Clemens… yeah: ROG! )
As human and selfless and humble
as Alan Ladd was playing Shane,
from far Arizona
he’s brought by Francona:
a migraine for Steinbrenner’s brain.
Boston fights hard to finish their season,
bests New York, eleven to eight.
And while the Yankees have starred,
the Division’s Wild Card
gives the Angels and Sox one last date.
The Angel’s post-season is short-lived;
in three games, they’re no longer around.
No, it doesn’t take long.
Sing their brand new theme song:
“Angel Flyin’ Too Close to the Ground.”
But the Angels were just target practice;
the Red Sox have fixed their gun sites
on their number-one quarry:
the “Pinstripes” of Torré,
those soul-less, well-groomed socialites.
It’s Tuesday, the twelfth of October.
The first shots are fired: game one!
But our Schilling gets shelled!
Our attack is repelled!
Ten - seven! The collapse has begun…
Like Achilles, Curt Schilling is “wounded,”
and limps from the ball field in pain.
Our future is dim…
All our hopes were on him.
Déjà vu… all over… again.
Game two and game three follow likewise:
we’re downed in game two, three to one;
but the weight of our fate
losing nineteen to eight
makes the staunchest Sox fan long to run.
For some reason Damon’s stopped hitting,
and others are slumping as well;
and Francona has sworn
to keep playing Bellhorn,
Game four begins on a Sunday…
near Fenway, somewhere a bell rings.
But for whom the bell tolls?
Well, that mystery unfolds
the next day when the Fat Lady sings
Oh the outlook looked so brilliant for the pinstriped club that day.
They’d swept the Red Sox’ first three games— just three outs left to play…
A twelfth-inning homer by Ortiz
and, surprise: Sox win, six to four!
But Jeter and A-Rod
just posture and nod
and wink: been-there-done-this-before.
But game five is a bust: fourteen innings!
and it’s Ortiz again! Five to four!
We hope against hope
at the ends of our ropes
with white knuckles, and pray, Just one more!
The Yankees and Sox start the sixth game.
The Stadium rocks with loud jeers.
Yanks are primed for the killing—
Then wait! Is that… Schilling
who limps to the mound amid cheers!
Our Curt redefines the term “Red Sox,”
as his gore soaks his stocking blood red.
But in the fourth of the six,
Bellhorn’s bat joins the mix!
Four to two puts the Yankees to bed!
So the series comes down to game seven,
the Red Sox fans going insane—
‘cause we’re still in New York,
doubting we’ll pop the cork…
but praying to end New York’s reign.
Bases loaded… the top of the second:
It’s “3-Hits-For-29” Damon!
In a blink of an eye.
Bat hits ball, ball hits sky!
Caveman belts a grand slam just a-flamin’
In the fourth, Damon homers another,
and later,Ortiz and Bellhorn!
Hey,, check out that fan,
hangdog face, so deadpan:
a Yankee fan, sure as you’re born.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson? Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away
Hey hey hey – hey hey hey!
And so not with a bang, but a whimper:
ten to three are the Yankees shot down!
And The Babe’s ghost rolls over
down there ‘neath the clover,
realeasing his Curse on Bean Town!
Well, Ol’ A-Rod admits he’s embarrassed
watching “scruffs” celebrate on his field,
and poor Jeter looks stunned…
“How could I be out-gunned?
Me! Golden-boy of the infield?”
Saint Louis proves anticlimactic.
We shuffle them like the Queen’s Guards
of Wonderland’s Alice—
they’re swept without malice.
They are, after all, only Cards.
Why no “Ensemble Trophy” in baseball?
The Red Sox would win it, hands down,
because everyone gave
from their souls to engrave
“Red Sox” on the World Series Crown.
In the blue skies over Fenway, the sun is shining bright,
The band plays on in Beantown; in Boston hearts are light;
in New York no one’s laughing; in the Bronx the children pout,
New York’s new name is Mudville— since the Yankees’ luck ran out.