Tonight is Game 80, so we're basically at the halfway point of the season. Many of my articles so far have been heavy on the stats, but in honor of the season being half over (or half full!), I thought I'd change things up a bit.
I've actually been playing with this idea ever since July of last year, when I realized that the A's best TV call of the past decade was, in fact, a haiku:
What is happening
in Oakland, Ray Fosse?! I
don't know, Glen Kuiper!
Gilbert K. Chesterton once said that "The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese". However, a quick Google Search for "poetry about cheese" gives us over 6 million results (!!!!). I personally believe that had Chesterton lived to today, his revised quote would have been "The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of the Oakland Athletics", and that, my friends, is a shame... but one that can be remedied.
It is with great pleasure, then, that I introduce the Athletics Nation Bad Oakland A's Poetry Contest!
This is your chance to show the world your talent, or even better, your lack thereof. The many readers of Athletics Nation, posters and lurkers alike, have a diversity of interests and talents, but there are two things that tie us together: our love of the Oakland A's, and the irresistible desire to write about it for posterity on the internets. Oscar Wilde once said that "All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling", and I think we can all agree that we all have that. While it takes real talent to write a good poem, it takes passion (and an exceeding lack of talent) to write a truly bad poem.
The only rule of the Bad Poetry Contest is that there are no rules. Poems can be in any format, any length. They can be about A's players past or present, the Coliseum, Stomper, the unsurpassed beauty of Susan Slusser, how much you hate the Giants or anything you'd like. I want to see your poetic (in)ability. The worse, the better. Mindblow, huh?
... Oh, you want some examples? Well, if you want something quick and simple, you can go with some short haikus:
Can we please throw strikes?
We're going to miss the special
at HomeTown Buffet
From way, way up here
I can see the right-handers
I just can't hit them
Is there anything
in the world as beautiful
as a called strike three?
Can you Bernie Lean?
I can Bernie Lean, I can
I can Bernie Lean
Our lead is large, but
Not quite insurmountable
OH DEAR GOD MY EYES
Feeling a little more adventurous? Try your hand at a quatrain:
A Love Song by Bobby Crosby
It looks so straight, but ends up slicing
If pitching were a cake, it would be the icing
There's nothing in the world so enticing
as the slider low and away
It feels like the pitcher is just showing off
I've tried to get the runners to tip me off
But however I try I just can't lay off
of the slider low and away
Fastballs and changeups? I don't do 'em
Curveballs and sinkers? I eschew 'em
Strikes in general? I say screw 'em
for the slider low and away
They wish that I could hold up and stare
But quite honestly, I just don't care
Because nothing will end my love affair
with the slider low and away
The Three True Outcomes by Jack Cust
I'm not a big fan of singles or doubles
To me, they make no kinds of sense
Triples? Forget it! Too much trouble
I'd rather just hit one over the fence
Groundouts and flyouts? Not a huge fan
I could sprint and I'd still end up out in the end
I'd try, but I already do all that I can
I'd rather strike out than overextend
And if for some reason they need me on base
I'd honestly rather get on by a walk
Then I can waltz over at my own pace
And the only way I'll get to second's a balk!
We will, of course, accept limericks:
There once was a man who wears glasses
When it comes to hitting he merely passes
But he's got no quit
And he's a whiz with the mitt
And his elfness brings joy to the masses
And if you're feeling especially traditional, go for a sonnet in pentameter:
New Haircuts by Coco Crisp
AJ and Jaso with their flowing locks
look dashing with the bright lights in their hair
Derek's new mullet came as a shock
But now all the young women stop and stare
The Bringer of Rain brought out a new 'do
His mohawk triumphant, so proud and tall
I wish that I had an arm like him too
But I couldn't sport that haircut at all
Reddick gets all of the buzz for his beard
Magnificent tufts grow chestnut and brown
But after he eats all his sauce gets smeared
And I can't even tell when he smiles or frowns
At the end of the day, I must forgo
Nothing compares to my glorious 'fro!
Please leave your own poems in the comments, and rec the ones you like the most! I'll share the winners next week.