Casey, for the modern day
(with apologies to Earnest Thayer)
Based on "Casey at the Bat"
The Mudville team was struggling, make no mistake of that.
Down four to two, as they made their last at bat.
Eighth place hitter Cooney, grounded out to first.
Ninth place, the pitcher due, the fans expected the worst.
Looking over his bench, Skipper pegged Barrows to hit,
Subbed him for the pitcher, who couldn't hit spit.
Barrows made sense, a fresh lefty to face a tiring arm,
Plus the stats were in his favor. Barrows could do some harm.
There was no one in the pen, at least when Barrows grabbed his bat.
But there was a call down there quickly, and time called to have a chat.
The bullpen was scurrying, as play was let to resume.
Barrows dug in, took the first pitch, and then BOOM.
A wicked line drive hit he, chest high and swift.
But curse befell Mudville, as he hit it right into the shift.
The loyal fans were restless now, many got up to go.
Skipper made a pitching change, as it is now part of the show.
Reliever took a few warm up throws, he was ready to attack.
But had to wait for television, for the commercial break to come back.
Two outs, no one on, It should be an easy save,
With the locals streaming out, their loyalty begins to cave.
Lead off man Flynn gets up, and bunts one down the line,
The third baseman was at short, and couldn't get there in time.
The fleeing fans see this on the monitors, stopping for a moment to see,
Jimmy Blake is up next, remember he had the bad knee.
The bullpen is active again, getting ready just in case,
Blake gets a hit, which would bring Casey to the plate.
The Closer on the mound looks in and sighs,'
Blake is a good hitter, but try this cutter on for size.
The pitch comes in, a cutter it was, but didn't break at all,
And as he has dome before, Blake tore the cover off the ball.
The ball went into right field, easy enough for Flynn to score,
But he mis-read the defense, got to third, but no more.
Now it was Casey's turn, waiting for his walk-up music to start.
He clutches his bat, and waits for his musical cue to start.
He slowly walks behind the catcher, head down for effect,
He looks for the tee vee camera , and waits for his respect.
Skipper and coaches are ready for this, and they have it planned
The consulted with the numbers, and scouting reports were scanned.
Casey, the millionaire, who puts the fans in the seats,
He poses and he flexes, makes folks wonder if he cheats.
The body armor is on, shields to protect his elbow,
Conference on the mound, let's get on with the show.
No manager out, just the catcher and infielders,
With gloves blocking their faces, fearful of lip readers.
No real planning, they had one and were ready to use.
Just giving the lefty in the pen time to get loose.
The drama would increase, if this were a couple of years ago
But the rules changed to speed the game, since it got so slow.
Instead of manager instincts, knowledge and sense,
SABRmetrics is followed, and sometimes is dense.
Ownership buys into it, and Skip hates to comply,
But since they are on a losing streak, anything he will try.
He whistles to the umpire, to get Blue to see,
He holds up four fingers, giving Casey first for free.
Not a pitch was thrown, as Casey received his pass,
He trotted down to first, as the local fans began to sass...
Loading the bases with two outs, he calls in the southpaw,
Who faces a pinch hitter, the right handed hitting Kershaw.
Tee Vee time out again, to sell beer during the change,
At the park, fans sat again, with the monitors out of range.
Play is called, Kershaw clinches, pitcher gets his sign
Pitcher sets, takes a breath, the game is on the line...
Oh, somewhere in this fabled land, the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, somewhere hearts are light.
And somewhere folks are pounding beers, to quench a might thirst,
Trying to figure out, exactly how, Casey got picked off first.