In many parts of the country, the temperature is below freezing and ballparks are blanketed in snow. Images such as these are commonplace:
The thought of warm weather, freshly cut grass and nightly baseball games may seem remote at the moment but Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster (and author) Jesse Goldberg-Strassler is here to remind us Opening Day will soon be upon us.
In this guest post, Goldberg-Strassler channels his inner Ernest Thayer via this offseason-themed rendition of the classic baseball poem “Casey at the Bat.” I recommend that this be read aloud, whilst utilizing the most stentorian tone that can be mustered:
The skies were grim in Mudville, snow blanketing the ground.
The wind was fierce and wicked and the flu was going ‘round.
Elsewhere throughout the nation ’twas football tackling the day,
Mudvillians cared naught for this, nor for the NBA.
Just one sport could sway their hearts, on this they hung their reason,
The national pastime was still at rest, in the thick of the offseason.
But now Christmas had come and gone, a new year was at hand,
Hall of Fame debate dissipated; Opening Day was being planned.
They knew how last year finished, a reminiscence far from fond,
Mighty Casey choked the game away, leaving two ducks on the pond.
Yet here their hope bloomed anew, banishing all strife;
Last week a columnist reported: “He’s in the best shape of his life.”
Add to the new Nine roster the gigantic lefty Hill,
A first-rate fireballer costing over $200 mill.
The free agent haul continued with first baseman Steel Magliore,
Projecting 42 roundtrippers (not to mention solid WAR).
Good riddance to old Cooney, farewell to lulu Flynn,
Two traitors chasing paychecks; too bad they’ll never win.
“The Mudville Nine are flawless; ’twill be a special year,”
Mighty Casey modestly proclaimed, with no hint of a sneer.
“We’ve learned from any past mistakes, if you catch my drift —
And, no, I s’pose, I’m not opposed, should they act to ban the shift.”
These words did bring Mudvillians strength, all through a hailstorm night,
As if the ice were gopher balls, being blasted out of sight.
Now from the Twitter feed there rose a mighty tweet,
It swept through the school halls, it echoed in the street.
It caromed across Facebook, filt’ring into Instagram
One grandmother proudly printed it and shared it with her fam.
What was it? A picture of a sunset above the field of play,
And the words, modestly imposed, “65 days away.”
Thanks to Jesse Goldberg-Strassler for sharing his work, and thank you for reading it. Regular Ben’s Biz Blog programming will resume shortly.