A-Rod at the Plate

arod at the bat.jpgI remember listening to NPR while driving to work one spring morning and hearing a wonderful rendition of the famous poem, Casey at the Bat. It was read by James Earl Jones and the recitation was accompanied by some orchestra. Sure enough, it was Opening Day and it felt like the perfect way to start the baseball season.

But that was a different time. That was spring of 2002 when maybe we weren’t quite as naive as we had been but we were far enough removed from the strike and still unaware of the steroid scandal. I’m afraid that if I were to tune in my radio on Opening Day this year, the poem would be quite a bit shorter and might go something like this:

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for most baseball fans that day;
Canseco had become a sage with allegations of tainted play,
And when McGwire admitted using, and knowing Bonds had done the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought with optimism that was waning as of late,
“The game might still have purity now, with A-Rod at the plate.”

But, the sneer has fled from A-Rod’s lip, the eyes are filled with tears;
He sports a shirt and sweater as his soul to us he bares.
And now Gammons forms the question, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of A-Rod’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in baseball — mighty A-Rod has struck out.

Only this time it’s not just the Mudville nine that lose. It’s all of us.



  1. redstatebluestate

    James Earl Jones will be reading it — he’s one of our most loyal fans (I’m lying).
    Jane, Allen is invisible so he doesn’t worry about little things like taxes and morals.

  2. Brett

    I loved that…..it’s sad, but true! Hopefully this problem with steroids will only make the true athletes shine brighter than ever before, without the use of drugs, but I guess we’ll have to see.

  3. Elizabeth D.

    I can just imagine James Earl Jones reading Casey at the Plate with epic music in the background. What a great way to start out the season.
    You have also written a great parody of the poem– it’s brilliant. You should send it somewhere, to help show the disappointment of us fans.
    Somehow though, I think baseball will save us, and itself.

  4. mlbtribefan

    “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”-Babe Ruth

    To paraphrase Babe Ruth “The way (a union lives) as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world (as its members) but if they don’t support each other and work together to correct their mistakes, the union won’t be worth a dime.” Thus, the fans suffer. I thought the real blame lies in those that did not destroy the results from 2003.
    Only blame those who still use after the testing was enforced. Check out my thoughts at http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

    Keep the faith!

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