Showing posts with label Tom Braxton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tom Braxton. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A White Sox fan's reaction to the Cubs playing in October

My good friend, Tom Braxton, has penned this poem in the same verse as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven."

As always, it is brilliant work:

Once upon a barstool dreary, while I pondered, dim and beery,
Over many a tired and tedious volume of old Bill James lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a yapping,
As of someone just recapping, flapping gums about some score.
“’Tis some blusterer,” I muttered, “flapping gums about some score.
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was far beyond September,
And each bumbling Sox defender left me with an open sore.
Eagerly I wished the springtime; vainly I had missed the pastime
That provided dreams of bigtime – bigtime games in South Side lore –
For the rare, triumphant Series when the champagne dared to pour –
Ten years past, and nothing more.

And the distant sound of boasting as the revelers were toasting
Thrilled me – filled me with the memory of joys I’d felt before;
So that now, to stop the bruising of my ears, I tried deducing,
“’Tis some family just boozing down the hall and through the door –
Some crowd just came a-cruising late tonight and through the door –
That it is, and nothing more.”

Finally my nerves got stronger; wasting time not any longer,
“Folks,” said I, “or family, may I ask what lies in store?
The fact was I was drinking, and all the while was thinking,
And your happy glasses clinking, clinking gaily through the door,
Brought me to a mind to join you” – here I walked on through the door;
Cub fans there, and nothing more.

Deep into their blankness staring, long I stood there, lost, despairing,
Baffled, building thoughts I’ve thought of many times before.
But their cheer was unrelenting, none among them were dissenting,
As they spoke of Schwarber sending homers further than before.
And I wondered as their chorus mumbled back the words, “He’ll score!”
Dreams of madness, nothing more.

It was then I saw no mystery, pointing out their dismal history,
As I reminded them of crashes that had gone so long before.
Not the least attention paid they; not a set of facts had made hay
With the stern conviction they say that would bring them safe to shore.
And my stronger stern conviction naming one they all abhor –
“Think of Bartman, nothing more.”

Then the Cub fans were beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the vapid, empty manner of the countenance they wore.
“Though thy jersey may say ‘Bryant,’ I don’t think that if you tried it
You could not maintain a scorebook as was done in days of yore.
You must understand the balk, the bunt, the meaning of ball four.
Quoth the Cub fan, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, fan or fake,” I cried, upstarting.
“I’ll go back into the South Side and the black hats we adore!
Leave no T-shirt as a remnant of those guys who’ll miss the pennant!
Leave me be in my resentment! I leave you through that barroom door!
Take thy ivy from my face, and take thy phony Cub d├ęcor!”
Quoth the Cub fan, “Nevermore.”

And the Cub fan, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the greenish planks of bleacher high above the grounds-crew door.
And his eyes have but the interest of a picture dumped in Pinterest,
And the iPhone light that’s simplest casts his shadow on the floor.
And my soul from that long shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

Monday, July 1, 2013

If Dr. Seuss described the 2013 White Sox....

This poem comes courtesy of longtime White Sox fan Tom Braxton. Well done, my friend:

The park was too big. The crowd was too small.
And there we sat watching some White Sox baseball.
The players tried to hit, but they could not connect.
It was not a hit, just a swing that they checked.

“The White Sox are bad,” I said to my friend.
“I wonder if ever this season will end.”
We only could sit there, my friend there with me,
As they went down in order, strikes one, two, and three.

The Sox cannot hit, at least not hits they need,
Like with runners on base or to build up a lead.
They also can’t catch, at least not very well.
Hey, there’s a pop fly! And whoops, it just fell.

Still we just sat, my friend there with me.
And again down in order, strikes one, two, and three.
“You know they will lose,” I said with a sigh.
“This game’s almost over. I’ll see you. Bye-bye.”

Then there was a BANG! I said, “What was that?”
A sudden loud sound had come off of a bat!
We looked and we saw him step out on the dirt.
We looked and we saw him! It’s Frank, The Big Hurt!

“What’s wrong with you two?” he asked with a shout.
“The White Sox are playing. They’ll win it, no doubt!”
We tried to explain that we had no more fun.
“You think that we’re kidding? Just watch Adam Dunn!”

“Or maybe Ramirez will drop a ground ball,
“And then we’ll see Flowers pass one to the wall.
“Eight years since the Series, it’s 2013.
“And Frank, this might be just the worst that we’ve seen.”

He gave us a smile. He started to talk.
“I think you should listen to my friend The Hawk.
“You know what he told me?” he asked with a grin.
“All that they need is some new will to win!”

“And that’s what we’ll do!” he said with a smile.
“We’ll make something fresh out of this steaming pile!”
“So come with me now, and say it with me,
“TWTW is what sets us free!”

My friend and I sat there just watching Big Frank.
But what could he do? There’s De Aza, there’s Tank,
There’s Paulie’s sore back and there’s Peavy’s few wins.
And Beckham thinks fielders are big bowling pins.

Big Hurt would not quit. He had much more to say.
“I know that you know I watch this every day.
“I watch them make errors. I watch them pop out.
“I know what is wrong here. I know it, no doubt!”

“It’s not in their workouts. It’s not in their food.
“What these fellows need is some new attitude.
“I’ve got that, I know that, and now they will too.
“Come with me and help me – yes, I mean you.”

But we could just sit there without much to say.
We knew that he meant well but there just was no way.
“Frank,” we said, “thank you for all your good cheer.
“We thank you for hitting them out every year.

“But this year is over. We know that it’s shot.
“We hoped for the best, but here’s what we’ve got.
“Quick! Rick Hahn is coming. Go talk to him. Run!
“Tell him that the Yankees might take Adam Dunn.”

“You really should do it. We know that you care.
“There aren’t any trades. Our cupboard is bare.”
And Frank said, “Good-bye, then. Just follow your game.
“Come see me next year at the big Hall of Fame!”

The game sputtered on with the Sox looking bad.
And I got to thinking what great players we’d had.
We only could sit there, my friend there with me
As they went down in order, strikes one, two, and three.