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The Bad Oakland A's Poetry Contest

The only place to share your writing (in)ability with the rest of AN!


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:

Bartolo Colon

Can we please throw strikes?

We're going to miss the special

at HomeTown Buffet

Nate Freiman

From way, way up here

I can see the right-handers

I just can't hit them

Daric Barton

Is there anything

in the world as beautiful

as a called strike three?

Brandon Inge

Can you Bernie Lean?

I can Bernie Lean, I can

I can Bernie Lean

Jesse Chavez

Our lead is large, but

Not quite insurmountable


Grant Balfour


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:

Eric Sogard

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.