Friday, July 24, 2020

CASEY AT THE CHEAT: Our annual state of baseball poem

(Thanks to the late Ernest Thayer)
The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The wi-fi had been cutting out, its signal gone astray,
And when Casey’s laptop froze-up, so the screen he could not read,
The former mighty slugger cried, “We’ve lost our camera feed!”

A bench coach checked the power cord, the sign-in, and the rest,
Then slapped the screen with all the pain within his aging breast;
It’d taken weeks for Casey’s ap to crack their foe’s designs;
And now their path to glory hinged on Casey’s stolen signs.

But the laptop looked quite lifeless, like their batter, Jimmy Blake,
Without knowledge of each coming pitch, he’d never catch a break;
And after Blake, they’d send the hapless rookie, Jimmy Flynn.
This better work, thought Casey, as he typed his password in.

Now on his screen, a hand appeared, the catcher signaling “two.”
It meant the coming pitch would be a curveball, Casey knew.
And as the pitcher stretched, up through the tunnel Casey ran,
Then grabbed a bat and banged it twice upon the garbage can.

Then, as the ball came hurtling, to the wonderment of all,
The worthless Blake connected, tore the cover off the ball!
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was Blake, the toothless, grinning widely, safe at third.

Across the Mudville bleachers, rabid fans careened and lurched;
Voices rumbled out to centerfield, when Casey’s man was perched,
His camera stashed inside his shirt, a scheme beyond description,
Where algorithms cracked the opposition’s weak encryption.

There was ease in Casey’s manner, as he twiddled with his screen;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing, as each image came in clean.
Now he clearly saw the catcher drop one finger down below,
A fastball, Casey realized, then rushed to let Flynn know.

Ten thousand ears ignored the bang on Mudville’s garbage can;
Not one lone soul asked, “What was that?” as Casey clanged the pan.
And as the pitcher hurled the sphere, not noticing the drumming,
Young Jimmy Flynn attacked the fastball that he knew was coming.

The batter raised his club, just like a giant loaf of bread,
“This one’s your style,” yelled Casey. “Uh-oh,” the catcher said.
Across the hills and waterways, there rose a thunderous roar,
As Flynn’s home run seemed headed toward a foreign, distant shore.

The game now tied, fans loudly booed the pitcher’s slumping frame;
As he wondered what had happened to his mastery of this game.
Now, the catcher dropped three fingers, unaware of Casey crimes;
“A change-up,” Casey whispered, and then spanked the can three times.

“  Change up,” thought old Cooney, and the batter dug in hard;
Then slammed a walk-off homer, well beyond the outer yard.
The pitcher’s eyes grew teary, as befits a broken man,
And that is when he realized the clangs from Casey’s can.

Now the sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his work is finally done!
He sets his laptop in its case; the Mudville nine have won!
But something’s wrong, the pitcher yells, and calls his coaches out,
And now both dugouts empty, as the umpires mill about.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright;
The Super Bowl has come and gone, and spring is back in sight,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
   But there is no joy in Mudville; cheating Casey’s been found out.


TheWinWarblist said...

Fuck you Hal.

TheWinWarblist said...

I am not a robot.

Fuck you Hal, beep.

Anonymous said...


Doug K.

BernBabyBern said...

Brilliant, as usual. I love the annual Casey poem.

Daniel Bard said...

Absolutely brilliant! Thank you!

Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside said...

Great poem, but how long was that one in the chamber? I’d say I’m glad someone didn’t forget the cheating, but Casey’s got a cough is what I was waiting for...

HoraceClarke66 said...

Brilliant, Duque! Absolutely brilliant!

el duque said...

It was four months in the chamber.

But I never throw anything out.

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