the VEB 2011-2012 anthology of cardinal poetry, vol. 1

USA Today Sports

a collection of poems from current and former cardinals from the past two seasons.

let us bunt then, you and i

with this inning's run probability up too high,

and matt carpenter's on base percentage won't play here.

let us bunt, with talented hitters on deck,

probabilities i shan't respect,

for sabermetrics need not be regarded,

statistical analyses lack the heart i'd

see in players of blood and flesh.

wounds of lost runs still so fresh

that lead you to an well-supported premise . . .

oh, do not ask, "why not swing?"

let us bunt and leave with nothing.

- m. matheny

-------------------------

what happens to a guy i've plunked?

does he fall flat

like a doe clipped by a car?

or holler like a dog --

and then charge?

does he cry like my tiny son?

or call the trainer over

and let a pinch runner on?

maybe he sags,

and crumples up.

do i give a %&$#?

- c. carpenter

-----------------------------

i like you when you're picked off, because it's like you were never there

and you're far off in the dugout, and i don't have to watch you anymore

it is as if you'd whiffed on strike three,

or grounded out to second.

as all runners should be tagged with the ball,

you are near the base, being tagged with the ball,

baserunner in my soul, you have been tagged with the ball,

and your fingers touch first a moment too late.

i like you when you're picked off, because it's like you never reached base,

shaking your head and wondering how.

one smile then, is all i allow

and i am happy, happy that you're out.

- y. molina (trans.)

-----------------------------

because i could not stop for 'quendo

he kindly called arte,

revealed the cardinals' highest bid,

and sent me to LA.

he called me on the telephone

and showed me mad respect

displayed in terms of contract years

and zeros on a check.

- albert pujols (emeritus)

----------------------------------------------

i wandered lonely as a clod

who floats at will from team to team

when all at once i saw a spot,

a starter, on a contender e'en,

atop the division, bestride the league

this mighty shortstop intrigued.

brilliant like the stars that shine

web gems made a milky way

of defensive cues that some would mock

as in my earthbound rolling relay:

ten thousand such threw i in my chance

blundering so in woeful dance.

for oft, when on the bench i lie,

in morose or resentful mood,

i flash my series ring to eye

and refresh my gritty attitude

thinking on past times we led our divis'

i know this; 'tis what it is.

- ryan theriot (emeritus)

-----------------------------------

turning and turning to the nearest phone

lilliquist cannot hear the manager

the lead falls apart; the bullpen cannot hold

fatigued huskiness is loosed upon the rangers

the neck-bearded one comes forth, and everywhere

the texans rack up all the runs

the best are left to sit and watch, while the worst

will start game seven in center field.

- tony la russa (emeritus)

------------------------------------

when i think of how my UCL is spent

ere half my career in this sport so brief

stole from me a full season like a thief

and that one tissue so easily rent

to start therewith thirty and more games.

lest carpenter should again me chide

though he should not taunt so snide

as he has seasons on the DL just the same.

nor could the meanest creature me condemn

that my arms are not made of firmest adamant

nor that season ere it begins, must end.

who best learns to heal, they serve the team

who bide the physic's counsel and their PT stand.

they also serve who sit and mend.

- a. wainwright

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