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The AN Poets Laureate

Here are our winners of last week's poetry contest!

Ezra Shaw

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted entries to the Bad Oakland A's Poetry Contest! The original entries can be found HERE. I highly recommend checking them out- there are probably some new ones submitted since you last looked.

The contest was a lot of fun, and we got some really incredible submissions from the entirety of the AN community.

The "winners", who I've included here, are those who got green'd! Here they are in order of the most "recs" received:

Bay Area Baseball by hastingslaw (20 recs)

Roses are Red
Vidas are Blue
Fuck the Giants

Eric Patterson by JohnSeal (13 recs)

I think that I shall never see
A player worse than ol’ E.P.

E.P., with bat on shoulder’s rest
Except when swinging weakly, pressed

To ground out banjo-style to third
Then run on twiggy legs like bird.

When playing in the field, no doubt
Ol’ E.P. struggles to put out

Opposing batsmens’ lazy flies
It seems E.P. has lazy eye.

Bad poems are made by fools like me,
God only knows who made E.P.

Coco Crisp by Billy Frijoles (12 recs)

A man named after a kids cereal
Playing a kids game
Is a wise elder statesman
among the kids on his team
Calm, easy,
Just so cool
White shoes glistening in the sun
Landing on second, Bernie leanin,
stealin third, and grinnin all the way to home
goin full speed,
but looking like a stroll around the park.
So old school
Throw him back to late 70's
Or early 80's
Walking down the streets of NY, clutching his boombox
rockin an afro
Blasting Eric B and Rakim
But it's 2013, and he's
Walking down from the on-deck circle, clutchin his bat
rockin that fro
Blasting Eric B and Rakim
The man named after a kids cereal
Ain't no Joke

Untitled by Billyballfan (6 recs)

Three ,six ,nine
It's the greatest pastime
Watching Coco hit a triple down the first baseline
C. J. Wilson choked
The monkey crocked
And Balfour asked Reddick
Hey man, have you got a smoke?

Lew by dooooolil (6 recs)

with a sphincter tighter
than Colon in a small
Lew asks for miracles
& gets them in the fall

I still highly recommended checking out the rest of them- we continued to get submissions all week, so there are probably some you haven't seen!

Just for kicks, I'm going to include one more, which was only submitted yesterday, so most people probably didn't see it to give it the recs it deserved!

The Love Song of F.P. Santangelo by senor_k

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a two-out rally etherized upon the infield;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted seats,
The cheering retreats
Of restless nights in one-run blown saves
And sawdust hot dogs in food stand caves:
Stands that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the players come and go
Talking of Sal Bando.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the bleachers,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the bleachers
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the seeds that stand in spit,
Let spill upon its back the beer that spills from cups,
Slipped by the BBQ terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the Coliseum, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the stands,
Rubbing its back upon the bleachers;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to trade and call up,
And time for all the works and days of bats
That lift and drop a question on home plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of strikes one, two, and three.

In the room the players come and go
Talking of Sal Bando.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the dugout stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My warm-up jacket, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My ballcap rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the ballgame?
In an inning there is time
For decisions and revisions which an inning will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the playoffs, spring training, dog-day afternoons,
I have measured out my life with infield platoons;
I know the voices dying with an ump’s bad call
Beneath the cheers from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling from a pitch up and in,
When I am beaned and wriggling from the ball,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the errors of my playing days?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are sweatbanded and white and bare
(But in the floodlight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it scent from an ended game’s mess
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie in an icebath, or wrapped about in a towel.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow stands
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, watching from corporate boxes?…

I should have been a pair of ragged cleats
Scuttling across the outfields of silent ballparks.
. . . . . . . .

And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by upper-deck dingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the outfield, here beside you and me.
Should I, after warmups and stretches and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have struck out and sat, struck out and played,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no All-Star — and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Ball Boy hold my glove, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the bunts, the double-plays, strike three,
Among the bobbleheads, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the ballgame into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Connie Mack, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, listening to the game in bed,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the walk-offs and the rain delays and the fans sprinkled in seats,
After the box scores, after the batting gloves, after the stirrups we always wore—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if the Jumbotron threw the nerves in patterns on its screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, attending a game or listening to the call,
And turning toward the dugout, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . . . . .

No! I am not Ty Cobb, nor was meant to be;
Am a utility player, one that will do
To get an out, steal a base or two,
Advise the young star; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Gritty, cautious, and meticulous;
Always give interviews, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear to my knees the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to dip a chew?
I shall wear white polyester trousers, and wear thirty-two.
I have heard the fans chanting, for him or for you.

I do not think that they will chant for me.

We have lingered in the dugouts of the Coliseum
By A’s fans wreathed with merchandise green and gold
Till our agents wake us, and we’re sold.