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May 15, 2011

BP Unfiltered

A Poem About Jorge Posada

by Colin Wyers

(With apologies to Percy Shelley.)

 
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand at home plate. Near them, in the dugout,
Half sunk, a shattered binder lies, whose cold
And dismal figures, and sneer of painful facts
Tell that a batter well past his prime
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless swings,
The bat that mocked them and the ball that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Jorge Posada, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
 
UPDATE: I made the mistake of mentioning on Twitter that I thought I could do the same for Jeter, and of course now I have to put up or shut up. So now, Jeter by way of Tennyson:
 
The bats decay, the bats decay and fall,
The baseballs weep their stitches to the ground,
Man comes and tills the infield and lies beneath,
And after many a summer dies the swan.
Me only cruel immortality
Consumes: I wither slowly in thine arms,
Here at the quiet limit of the world,
A white-haired shadow roaming like a dream
The ever-silent spaces of the AL East,
Far-folded mists, and gleaming halls of morn.
 
Alas! for this gray shadow, once a man - 
So glorious in his beauty and thy choice,
Who madest him thy chosen, that he seemed
To his great heart none other than a God!
I asked thee, "Give me immortality."
Then didst thou grant mine asking with a smile,
Like wealthy men who care not how they give.
But thy strong innings indignant worked their wills,
And beat me down and marred and wasted me,
And though they could not end me, left me maimed
To dwell in presence of immortal youth,
Immortal age beside immortal youth,
And all I was, at shortstop. Can thy love,
Thy beauty, make amends, though even now,
Close over us, the silver star, thy guide,
Shines in those tremulous eyes that fill with tears
To hear me? Let me go: take back thy gift:
Why should a man desire in any way
To vary from the kindly race of men,
Or pass beyond the retired numbers
Where all should pause, as is most meet for all?
 
Why wilt thou ever scare me with thy tears,
And make me tremble lest a saying learnt,
In days far-off, on that dark earth, be true?
"The Gods themselves cannot recall their gifts."
 
Yet hold me not for ever in thine AL East:
How can my glove longer mix with thine?
Coldly thy rosy grounders bathe me, cold
Are all thy lights, and cold my wrinkled feet
Upon thy glimmering thresholds, when the steam
Floats up from those dim fields about the homers
Of happy men that have the power to drive,
And grassy swings of the happier DH'd.
Release me, and restore me to the ground;
Thou seest all things, thou wilt see my grave:
Thou wilt renew thy beauty morn by morn;
I earth in earth forget these empty courts,
And thee returning on thy silver wheels.

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

15 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

scareduck

Awesome!

May 14, 2011 21:30 PM
rating: 1
 
preams

BP Win.

May 15, 2011 01:13 AM
rating: 1
 
Peter Benedict

Winning!

May 15, 2011 04:25 AM
rating: 0
 
SC

A Jeter poem and no "oh captain my captain?"

Nonetheless, you seem to be filling the literary BP writer void left by Christina. Now I'd like three analogies between the McCourt situation and WWI battles.

May 15, 2011 07:23 AM
rating: 2
 
TheManster

genius.

May 15, 2011 08:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Matt Kory

[applauds]

May 15, 2011 12:00 PM
rating: 1
 
devine

Bravo.

(And as a staunch Yankee fan, whose only player-specific garb is a Posada t-shirt bought long ago - ouch.)

May 15, 2011 12:11 PM
rating: 0
 
dianagram

Well-played!

KG with the haiku .... Colin with the long-form.

May 15, 2011 16:41 PM
rating: 1
 
Richard Bergstrom

Ya know, I offered to do some parodies and poems and other freewrite stuff for BP a few years ago. I used to do them all the time on ProTrade. I was told "comedy isn't really our thing", which I found funny...

May 16, 2011 11:54 AM
rating: 0
 
Brnstrm1001

Excellent! Worthy of the great Egyptian shortstop Ozzie Mandias

May 15, 2011 23:45 PM
rating: 2
 
eighteen

Roses are Red,
Violets are Blue.
Stick a fork in Posada,
And soon, Jeter, too.

OK, it's not literature, but it says the same thing.

May 16, 2011 09:56 AM
rating: 1
 
vertumnus

These are great! And since imitation is the most sincere form or flattery -

Even as Jeter and Posada are fading and with Pettite retired, one Yankee continues to defy time. An excerpt from Keats' "Ode on a Panamanian Closer":


Thou still unravish'd stalwart of the 9th,
Thou foster-child of pressure and slow time,
Mariano Rivera, who effortlessly throws
A wicked cutter more sweetly than our rhyme:
What late-game legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Fenway or the mound of New Yankee?
What men or gods are these? What runners stranded?
What broken bats? What struggle to escape?
What strikeouts swinging? What wild ecstasy?

...

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to fans, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all
Ye know in baseball, and all ye need to know.

May 16, 2011 10:47 AM
rating: 2
 
dianagram

There once was a man named Posada
Whose presence was rapidly non grata
When he saw he was batting last
He opted out of the lineup fast
And caused a media intifada

May 16, 2011 11:18 AM
rating: 2
 
Richard Bergstrom

I once knew a catcher named Jorge
Who was becoming quite old and portly.
Joe tried to demote him but Jorge overrode him
And promoted himself to lead story.

May 16, 2011 11:52 AM
rating: 1
 
brandonmohon

What a very civilized way to find out that I need to drop Posada from my fantasy squad.

Baseball Prospectus is like reading college material vs. ESPN's junior high content.

May 18, 2011 08:22 AM
rating: 0
 
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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Collateral Damage: Ste... (05/13)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: The Pap... (05/15)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: The Pap... (05/17)
Next Article >>
The Week in Quotes: Ma... (05/16)

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