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Pete Kozma: A Warlock's Rise

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Levitating a baseball with his mind is but one of a baseball warlock's magik skills. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
Levitating a baseball with his mind is but one of a baseball warlock's magik skills. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

ACT I

SCENE I. An Oklahoma cave.

Thunder. KOZMA stirs a cauldron.

KOZMA: Owasso High hath a shortstop as my brew hath bubbles.

Which hath the short-stop gone?

Graduated.

Whither have the bubbles vanished?

Pop! Pop!

I shall be the new Owasso High short-stop!

Lightning. Enter SPILLY, bearing a torch and backpack.

SPILLY: So foul a day I have not seen, my most athletic bro.

KOZMA: How did thee fare, dude?

SPILLY: I have the ingredients for your brew, bro.

This wizardry doth worry me, though.

KOZMA: Spilly, don't be such a prude.

I am NOT a wizard, dude!

SPILLY: So, dude, what is your magikal aptitude?

Witchcraft? Are we witches?

KOZMA: Chicks are witches, not dudes.

We are warlocks, bros that practice magik!

[Thunder and lightning.

SPILLY: Um, okay. I got the stuff.

KOZMA: Claw of bear? Hide o' heifer? Splinter o' ash? Strand o' wool?

SPILLY: Um, yeah. Here. Truly thinketh dost thou

that this warlocking spell will maketh thou starting short-stop for Owasso High?

KOZMA: Is a hoot the call of the owl!?

Doth the jackal howl!?

Is baseball's best team named for a fowl?

Now back, dear Spilly, so not to foul

up this spell. Silence as I incantate!

[Thunder and lightning.

Ball-Lords, deities of the diamond, thou ways most confounding, I offer my body as a vessel to thee;

That I may range, glove, throw like Ozzie;

Hit, run, slide like Barry;

Hide o' heifer, splinter o' ash, strand o' wool, Claw of bear;

That I may be the Owasso High Nomar Garcia-pear-ah!

[Thunder and lightning.

SCENE II. Busch Stadium.

Enter GOOLD.

LUHNOW: So fair a day I have not seen!

GOOLD: Dost this meaneth your draft class has a pretty sheen?

LUHNOW: Doth provel ooze?

GOOLD: Willst thou go on th' record?

LUHNOW: But of course, good scribe. That Owasso High short-stop,

'our scouts compare him to Nomar Garciaparra, a guy who developed power a little bit later.'

Thou canst print that in thy news-bill!

SCENE III. Kozma's Oklahoma Lair.

Enter SPILLY.

KOZMA: Great happiness!

SPILLY: Thou art a million-aire!

KOZMA: A one-point-six-million-aire!

SPILLY: Thanks be to the deities of the diamond! Our magik is wicked awesome!

KOZMA: But 'tis an event most bitter-sweet.

I must taketh my leave you, dearest Spilly,

and with my new teammates meet.

I am off to Jupiter!

SPILLY: To the heavens!?

KOZMA. No, dude. Florida.

[Exit KOZMA.

ACT II

SCENE I. Kozma's Oklahoma Lair, Autumn 2010.

Harvest moon. Enter KOZMA, bearing a torch before him.

KOZMA: Am I Garcia-pear-ah? No, I am not.

My magik hath doth been exposed as hi-school hi-jinx.

Oh how the geeks hyperventilate;

The non-Porcello they call me with hate.

They pine for Major contract and hundreds of innings.

Some stellar, but lately not so grand.

And me, I'm but a fading farmhand.

A . 746 OPS in the metropolis of Johnson;

Then just .401 in Batavia! Four. Oh. One!

To Davenport, my finest stop, with a .284/.363/.398 slashing;

but without the promised Garcia-pear-ah bashing!

The stretch in Palm Beach was grim, but much better the next year;

So it was to Double-A, the Texas League, with worse hitting than feared.

Twenty-one and allowed to booze, but a .600 OPS to grumbles and boos!

Back at twenty-two for my second tour, and nothing to show

But a .701 OPS! Lo, what a development slow!

Still I charge, the organizational soldier, once celebrated, now scorned!

I must show LARUSSA, MOZELIAK, AND LUHNOW...but how?

Here in this ol' tome, this ancient book of magik, there lies a spell!

It will help this high school Garcia-pear-ah to play short well!

The ingredients collected, now I can tell

that I'll incantate this old-timey spell.

Leather o' Boog, from his spring-training locker;

Sicilian patience can stand him no longer;

Cast out, Ryan will be;

Card-inals short-stop, it will be me!

[Thunder and lightning.

SCENE II. Busch Stadium, MOZELIAK's office.

Enter LA RUSSA, bearing a fungo.

MOZELIAK: A season more fair and foul, I cannot remember.

LA RUSSA: For truth! Pujols and Holliday slugged most swell!

Carpenter, Wainwright, and Garcia hurled quite well!

Yet our Pythag record is five games better than our record!

MOZELIAK: We could probably keep this roster together

And in the 2011 season do better.

LA RUSSA: Probably, but there is a bur in my shoe

That I want gotten rid of by you.

MOZELIAK: Is this bur known as 'Boog'?

If so, he has bothered me, too.

LA RUSSA: Brain twins art thou and I.

Ryan to me is like a thumb in the eye!

MOZELIAK: Banished to Seattle he shall be.

But who will play short-stop here in St. Louie?

LA RUSSA: There is a man full of grit;

He can't field or throw but used to hit

For Chicago. I want him over Ryan the twit!

MOZELIAK: Theriot it is (what it is).

[Exit LA RUSSA.

SCENE III. The Bowels of Busch Stadium.

Enter SPILLY, bearing a flashlight.

KOZMA: Dearest Spilly, so good to see you.

SPILLY: Thou art in quite a pickle, it's true.

In a fateful twist, your errant throw broke Pujols' wrist!

KOZMA: I fret for my career as Tony is pissed;

'You'll never play in this town again," he hissed!

SPILLY: I have the magik ingredients thou requested.

Dost thou truly think this spell will heal?

Broken wrists for ballplayers can be most tuffy!

KOZMA: Dude, it totally worked on 'Buffy.'

SPILLY: Why are we rhyming?

KOZMA: I couldn't tell...To the spell!

I did that on purpose; hee, hee, hee.

But in all seriousity, to the incantating, Spillee!

Star-divide

ACT III

SCENE I. KOZMA's Memphis Lair.

Thunder and Lightning.

KOZMA: Five years a farmhand and rarely a Cardinal.

My age, it doth go up; my stock, it doth go down.

I am on the 40-man, but being in Memphis makes me frown.

The time is now; short-stop is ripe for the picking.

From the Owasso JV to Autozone I've gotten by tricking.

Magik hath this warlock on the big-league track.

This new spell is dark and black; requiring that I kill my hack.

Not the vile Strauss, master of the dark arts,

But my dear friend Spilly, long a friend in my heart.

Eye o' newt, claw o' bear, toad's flipper-- all are got;

But there is one more thing; find it I cannot.

The blood of virgin will complete my spell.

Spilly is one; I swore I'd never tell.

This dagger before me, the handle toward my hand,

Will help me land, in St. Louis as a short-stop.

Sadly, Spilly's blood must be spilt,

For me to reach my Garcia-pear-ah potential as bilt.

[Enter SPILLY. Thunder.

SPILLY: Hello, dearest friend! I rushed over just as soon as I finished

Putting together a corporate identity kit for Picaza Advertising.

What is it, Pete? Why art thou perspiring?

[Thunder and lightning.

SCENE II. Busch Stadium, Cardinals clubhouse.

Enter KOZMA, CHAMBERS, JACKSON, MARTE, and MILLER.

MILLER: To be in Saint Louis and the bigs is most glorious!

I hear the Cards' buffet spread is enormous!

MARTE: It's as big as any I've seen!

You can go back for seconds and thirds.

No wonder you're keen!

[Exit MILLER and MARTE.

JACKSON: It's good to be back in the Gateway to the West.

At short-stop, I'll try my level best!

I'm off to take some batting practice, care to join me?

KOZMA: No thank you, sir. I'll leave you be.

I've got some unpacking yet to do.

Hold you up, I don't want to.

JACKSON: Hey, Chambers, what about you?

CHAMBERS: If you'll give me a piggyback to the cage,

I'll take some batting practice, too.

[Exit JACKSON and CHAMBERS, with JACKSON bearing CHAMBERS on his back.

KOZMA: Oh, that Jackson, his fielding is slick.

So good is his glove that it makes me sick.

Good thing I have a spell in mind

That will make Matheny blind

to the University of Miami find.

Matheny will have Jackson ride the pine.

All the short-stop innings will be mine!

[Exit KOZMA.

Enter KOZMA and JACKSON.

JACKSON: Oh man, what blop!

Why am am I not playing short-stop!?

All season long, for the Red Birds, I've played over Koz-mah!

Now, in St. Louis, the manager chooses him o'er me! Wah!

Wah! Wah! Wah! Wah!

KOZMA: Silence, you whiny ass titty baby!

Your wah-ing hurts many an ear.

Magik Mike sees things quite clear.

I'll be playing short over you for the rest o the year!

SCENE III. KOZMA's St. Louis Lair.

Enter KOZMA, bearing Shlafly Pumpkin Ale.

KOZMA: In St. Louis filling my desitny

As the best Cardinals short-stop since Ozzie!

All it took was a snap of Fookie's sinew

and Magik Mike would call on me, I knew;

But I cannot forget to toast my seasonal brew.

My warlock magik has brought me here,

but the man to whom I toast this beer

was a friend and righthand man most dear.

My eyes, they swell with many a tear

as I remember Spilly and our years

of friendship. This warlock short-stop

simpy says: Spilly, R...I...P.

Fin.