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The noises can only echo so long, Johnnie LeMaster.
Each groan and sigh ricochets off the concrete
And is absorbed by it, eaten by the grass.
The lone and level sands erased
The works of Ozymandias, and yet
Still more despair: it also wore away
The empty evenings, the lonely children
Mistakes, misfortune, misdeeds.
The stadiums themselves crumble
The diamonds all fall out of their rings.

Hitless nights, three-error afternoons
Grainy videocassette footage of weak pop-ups
The hopes of the crowd lost in static
All translated into the cuneiform of record books
The odd black ink their only accents
A sheet music of failure, nothing more.
Every child’s prayer,
Every wish you destroyed
Has died of old age. You are free of them.
Time regresses all things to the mean.


  1. Wind – It can carry a fly ball out into the stands or back into a mitt. It’s generated by several bats across the league. It’s everywhere, and it’s cheap. It’s true what the analytics say: Wind’s above replacement.
  1. Solar – The sun is the symbol of a beautiful day at the ballpark, and players wear eye black (supposedly) because of it. But it can create shadows.
  1. Oil – It’s all over helmets, bats, baseballs (if you can get away with it!) and Clay Buchholz’s hair. Unfortunately players will probably never kick their dependency of it.
  1. Coal – It’s not good for the environment, but Gerrit? Hamels? They’re both terrific.
  1. Nuclear – Double-edged sword here. At least one such power plant’s baseball team had a cinderella run to a local title. But often meltdowns can leak out through the bullpens, of which there is no cure other than to blame the manager.
  1. Natural gas – This definitely can clear a bullpen.
  1. Sportswriter opinions (playoffs)
  1. Sportswriter opinions (regular season)
  1. Sportswriter opinions (hot stove)
  1. Hydroelectric – The fountain in the Royals center field just seems to make their players run faster, perhaps to the restroom, thanks to all the running water. But it doesn’t seem to generate any power.
  1. Rubbing two sticks together until a fire is started, which can take several minutes depending on the skill level of the operator

[snip]

  1. The Baltimore Orioles

How I learned to say it
in Milwaukee, but it echoes
further south too and greets
me. Distance correspondent,
I pick up certain waves of
sound, vibration at particular
frequencies, and tune them
into a message like “How about
another cold one?” If I’m a radio,
I am the center of a small world.

Let’s play two. Let’s drink two—
always technically possible, though
as Frost says way leads on to way
and before you know it the rerun of
the live broadcast is playing and
you’ve carried on too far. One more.
But that’s television for you. Let’s
ask the online search engine. I’ll
consult the oracle. I’ll see you on
the plane, partner. See you tomorrow.

“One more” appeals to my work style.
My sister orders two rounds at once
just before happy hour ends. I alert
her when big leaguers pitch at her
local single-A ballpark, which happens
more often now. The park in Coloma
we never went to, a little zoo in the
woods, was probably a bad idea and
that’s why it closed. Now we go to
any park we want and grab a hot dog.

Thank you for reading

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