Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Hollow Men Wore Green and Gold

So I noticed that Seattle gets Felix Hernandez back today. Will the A's ever get Rich Harden back? Of course not. It's practically criminal the way Oakland mismanages its health and fitness department. Harden himself doesn't seem like a particularly bright guy, as he got his latest injury while attempting to field a comebacker barehanded -- after doing so last year and getting injured. (His impressive repertoire also includes an elbow strain incurred while turning off an alarm clock). He has an "impingement of the shoulder," which I defined earlier in regards to Carp's injury. This is not a reassuring prospect. Next thing I know Harden will be out for the year too, even though the A's starting rotation seems to be chugging along gamely without him. I'm starting to agree that if he could come back healthy for two weeks (which may or may not happen) then the A's should flip him for all the young talent Billy Beane can rape from an unsuspecting GM. (Then, of course, Harden would go somewhere where he wouldn't be under the care of the incompetent Oakland medical staff, and promptly win 20 zillion games and the Cy Young. That would be hard to swallow).

Center field has become the hole of death for the A's, as just about anyone who plays that position ends up on the DL shortly thereafter. So, although I wrote this poem a few weeks ago, it remains relevant, also making references to the A's offense, which is either sink or swim - nine runs or no runs, pretty much. Example A: Yesterday Danny Haren pitches eight shutout innings, allowing four hits and recording seven strikeouts, to lower his AL-best ERA to 1.64. He ends up getting a no-decision because the offense doesn't score until the bottom of the ninth, after normally reliable Justin Duchscherer allows two runs in the top half. 2-1 Kansas City (yes, oy) is your final, and yet again, Haren doesn't get a win. The A's offense just can't find that middle ground, and so it is harkened to here along with my frustration at the endless parade of injuries. With apologies to T.S. Eliot.

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Baseball hats filled with hair.
Alas! Our torn tendons, when
We agonize together
Are painful and multitudinous
As our GM on the phones
Or glossing over broken bones
On our long DL.

Talent without form, shape without ability,
Paralyzed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to health’s other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Injuries I dare not look up
In Davis’s trainer room
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Gazing on a broken back
There, is Crosby swinging
And players are
In Larry Davis’s clutches
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be nearer
To the dream kingdom of wins
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Green and gold, hat, jersey
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the championship series

This is the dead land
This is the AL West and
Here the pleas to Beane
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In the healthy kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with hope
Lips that promise anything
Form prayers to replacement-level success.

The hopes are not here
There are no hopes here
In this valley of mounting injuries
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost players
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this internet haven

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
The waiver wire
Sacramento River Cats
The hope only
Of empty men.

V .
Here we go round the blame game
Blame game blame game
Here we go round the blame game
At seven o’clock Pacific time.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

For Thou art Larry Davis

Between the promise
And the playing
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

The DL is very long

Between the strain
And the spasm
Between the pain
And the oblique
Between the injury
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the rally ends
This is the way the rally ends
This is the way the rally ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

1 comment:

RosevilleRedbird said...

Wow- my favorite poem, reinvented as a baseball ode- and includes references to my hometown (basically) River Cats-

I love it~