Friday, December 5, 2008

A poem, for your hot-stove recollection and enjoyment

2008: ONE MORE
by Eric Scott Campbell

If nothing else this season,
I'd hoped the Phillies might
win one game in the playoffs.
(Progress, however slight.)

Indeed, they took the first one,
a sloppy error-fest,
then faced C.C. Sabathia,
the ace, Milwaukee's best.

He somehow walked Brett Myers
to set up Shane to slam,
then stalked into the locker room
and swallowed whole a ham.

A droopy loss preceded
Game 4's home-run barrage.
The pounded Brew now yielded to
a team from out of Dodge.

Lowe's sinkers squashed the Phillies
until the pitch to Chase.
The sequel to Pat Burrell
would only sink Lowe's face.

Game 2, again, saw Myers
a stalwart at the plate!
It's all the crowd could talk about
as we poured from the gate.

That pitch behind Ramirez
brought payback in L.A.
A would-be brawl, a blowout,
and not much else to say.

A deficit the next night
required an attempt
to come back off their bullpen,
which rarely gets verklempt.

Down two, our Big Man singled.
A dumb mound move was made.
The Phils once more could ruin
a gentleman named Wade.

A slashing swing from Victorino
made it neck and neck,
then Chooch squeezed off a single
as the hero stood on deck.

Replacement hurler Broxton
sacrificed his aim for might.
Matt Stairs had trained his cannon
on the cheap seats, center-right.

(The outcome taught Joe Torre
when to nibble, not to bite.)

The clincher was a cakewalk
as Cole went seven strong.
Poor Raffy made three errors,
then penned a children's song.

Six off-days made reporters
inquire about our rust.
The Rays stayed fresh in Fenway
letting leads collapse to dust.

The league and Fox wept fiercely
as, to the Series fold,
came mediocre legacies.
(Though one's ten times as old.)

Game 1. An Utley dinger
backed Hamels, who was crisp.
Which helped, because the Phillies
refused to hit with RISP.

That theme continued into
a punchless Game 2 loss.
J-Roll and Burrell competed
to be top albatross.

The Series moved to Philly
for domeless cold and rain.
The home team turned to Moyer,
who twirled with Spahn and Sain.

Two rollers made the difference.
The first, a rightful out.
But umps ruled for the speedster
no rally starts without.

The Phils rebounded, loading
the sacks in bottom nine.
The lead man broke when Chooch knocked
his roller down the line.

Longoria corralled it
and made a desperate heave,
but Bruntlett wiped the plate clean
and I started to believe.

The bats awoke for Blanton.
(Not least of all, his own!)
The rout meant one more station
'til paradise unknown.

Game 5. Dear God. A travesty,
as history was made.
No Series game had taken
three evenings to be played.

But thanks to Mother Nature,
the agony was stretched.
We hurriedly paid bar bills,
flagged cabs, dried off, and kvetched.

By Wednesday night, forgotten,
the weather and the wait.
We sat for three more innings
and hoped to celebrate.

Geoff Jenkins knocked a double,
and J-Dub flared him in.
The Rays retied, then Burrell tried
to walk off with a grin.

So close! Another double
for Pat's last Phillies swing.
And Petey RBI'd him,
the sole important thing.

Chase Utley snared a grounder,
and then I rubbed my eyes.
He'd pump-faked Jason Bartlett,
who raced to his demise.

Our perfect closer entered,
went popup, single, steal,
then J-Dub snagged a liner
and I fell to a kneel.

I hazily remembered
my standard of success.
"Just win one more than last year..."
But still, I caved to stress.

One out, one more! I pleaded
as Hinske took his stance.
I had no clue when we'd accrue
another title chance.

Some sliders slide a little.
Some dive, explode, contort.
Brad Lidge's makes the hitters wish
they played a different sport.

So to his bread and butter
our final pitcher went.
He fooled him twice, then took time-out,
his concentration spent.

The runner danced off second.
The closer stared at home.
The batter hoped to foul him off.
The rabid fans spat foam.

A bullet fires. A flailing swing.
A mob scene at the mound.
A city spills into the streets.
An overwhelming sound.

A truly great 2008.
Those memories will keep.
But next time, in the World Series,
I'd like to see us sweep.


  1. DUDE! You're the cleverest of clever.

    My favorite parts are the whole fifth-to-last stanza, and the line about "top albatross."

    And the part about the brief biome.

  2. Eric,
    That was awesome. I'm really impressed. I think you should try to catch on as Poet Laureate in the new administration.

  3. The line "as we poured from the gate" needs another syllable. "as we poured out from the gate"? "as we poured forth from the gate"? Otherwise, yes, totally awesome. Not that I'm trying to be hypercritical or anything...