Did anyone else notice that the ending of yesterday’s game between the Yankees and the Angels bore quite a resemblance to a certain poem of some note? The resemblance was especially clear to me upon reading the article about it in the LA Times.
I felt inspired to take a crack at putting the final moments of the game into verse, and here’s what I came up with:
# # #
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Gotham nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning left to play.
And now with K-Rod on the mound, the Angels in the lead,
There seemed but little chance the Yanks could get the runs they’d need.
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only “Captain Clutch” could get a whack at that -
We’d put up even money, now, with Jeter at the bat.
But Abreu preceded Jeter, plus Posada, Cabrera, and Damon,
That the Yankees’ hopes were slim was clear, even to a baseball layman.
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Jeter’s getting to the bat.
Abreu walked, no big surprise, Posada’s single bored them,
But then Damon’s groundout moved them up, and Melky’s sac fly scored one!
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what came to be,
There was Posada hugging third, and the score just four to three!
Then from 10,000 throats and more there rose a lusty roar;
It rumbled through Manhattan, it washed the Jersey shore;
It echoed off the Hudson and the fans could hardly wait,
For Jeter, mighty Jeter, was advancing to the plate.
There was practiced ease in Jeter’s manner as he took his rips;
All businesslike was Jeter’s mein, no smile on Jeter’s lips.
And when, despite the pressure, Jeter’s face betrayed no fear.
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Jeter they did cheer.
The announcers spouted Jeter man-love, recounting all his stats,
His famous flip to nail Giambi, and all his clutch at-bats;
.488 with runners on, a figure mighty fine,
Runners on base and two men out? An amazing .609!
They gazed in admiration as up to the plate he pranced;
They screamed their adulation as he dug into his stance.
And now as K-Rod toed the mound, the ball held at his hip,
Defiance shone in Jeter’s eyes, a sneer curled Jeter’s lip.
Eight times Rodriguez kicks and deals, firing to the plate full-bore
But Jeter works the count to full, and then fouls off three more!
Fastballs, 96 at least, and sliders on the black,
But Jeter keeps on hanging tough, his focus never slacks.
That sneer once more curls Jeters’s lip, the time for toying’s past;
‘Twas plain the next pitch K-Rod threw would be the ballgame’s last.
And now the hurler holds the ball, and now he lets it fly,
Now Jeter swings, his swing is true, ball soaring through the sky!
Oh, somewhere in this dark, dark world, the rain is pouring down;
Hearts are being broken, and somewhere people frown,
Oh, somewhere men are weeping, and somewhere clouds are black;
But all true fans are smiling now—Jeter flied out to the track!