Archive for the ‘Baseball’ category

Mariano Rivera In 55

September 27, 2013


To Mariano (Rivera)

Mariano, you’ve been our man
pitching better than anyone can.
When you jogged out onto the field,
the batters knew they had to yield.
Your cutters cut them down to size–
New Yorkers, awed, dissolved in sighs!
Good old Mo, we love you, man,
the greatest closer in the land.

Mariano Rivera, beloved by all New York (I love you MO!) retired yesterday after, in typical fashion, striking out all four hitters who stood before him. This is a revised version of a poem first posted after Mariano’s 602nd career save– a record– a couple of years ago. The picture doesn’t do him justice, but since it’s mine, it at least doesn’t infringe on anyone’s copyright!

And because the poem minus a certain last name, included for non-New Yorkers,has only 55 words! Tell it to the G-man (who tends to have very good judgment but may be misguided enough not to be a Yankees fan.)

Also, there is a super sweet posting about me by the wonderful Australian poet, Rosemary Nissen-Wade on Poets United.

Game Is Still On (The Tenth!) But Here’s Hoping–

October 10, 2012

Go Yankees!

I’ve posted this picture before (a watercolor by yours truly) but it sometimes proves lucky.  So, with apologies for those who’ve seen it (and for those outside of NYC!), here’s hoping.

Yankees’ Fan Gets Nervous

October 4, 2011






Poem To Mariano Rivera, on his 602nd Save

September 19, 2011


To Mariano Rivera, from a New Yorker

Mariano, you’re our man,
you pitch as well as any can.
When you step out upon the field,
the batters know they soon must yield.
Your cutters cut them down to size
as fans, in awe, dissolve in sighs!
Good old Mo, you are our man,
the greatest closer in the land.

(PS – Dear Mariano, sorry for the portrait. It doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s copyright, but it also doesn’t do you justice!)

(PPS – Thanks for all your years of inspiring and cheering New York.)

Blocking Writer’s Block With Derek Jeter

July 10, 2011

Yes, I know. It doesn't really look like him.

Followers of this blog know that I am in the final stages of finishing a manuscript for a novel.  (I really am almost there now.)

It is difficult.  I am a pretty fast writer, but a terribly slow re-writer.  It takes me drafts and drafts and drafts, with additions, deletions, re-additions, re=deletions, corrections and missed corrections, and corrections of the corrections.  While revising and copy-editing can sometimes have an engaging aspect, they can also be soul-wrenching.

I don’t want to sound too whiney, but it can be hard not to be overwhelmed by the question:  “is it worth it?”  “It” being the manuscript, even the whole endeavor of writing.  And then there are all the related inquiries; most of which begin with “why,” many of which include “bother.”

The answer, I guess, is that you just have to do the things that make you you, even when they are difficult.  Translation: if you are a writer, or even if you just want to be a writer, you have to write.  And if you want any kind of an audience, and have any kind of pride, you have to re-write.  (And re-write again.)

Even so, as you get towards an end of a project, it is hard not to grow increasingly self-critical, a mind-state that can be paralyzing.

This weekend, I’ve looked for inspiration in one of my all-time heroes–Derek Jeter!

I call Derek a hero with some trepidation–maybe Jeter is not as nice as his public persona.  But no one can fault his determination, focus and drive.  His at-bat on his 3000th hit was a great example.  The count was 3-2.  Then he kept hitting fouls, one after another until he got a pitch he could slam.  As he said afterwards, he was not trying for a home run, he was just trying to hit the ball.  Hard.

Of course, one could argue that baseball is kind of a silly game; even if you like it,  a game.  All this effort–all this focus–all this attention–all this money–for what?

I, for one, right now, just choose to admire.  And to make myself get back to my own work with some of that determination, focus, élan.

Yanks Re-sign Jeter (Hurrah!)

December 4, 2010

Baseball elephants are happy.

Go Yankees!

October 15, 2010


Go Yankees!


They don’t give up!  (Then win.)

Play-Off Season

October 7, 2010


New Style of Fan?


I am remiss with this blog tonight because I went out to dinner (to dinner!), where they had a silent TV tuned to the Yankees game (the Yankees game!), which I really didn’t watch (honestly!), but couldn’t help being drawn to at moments, like when the Yankees seemed to zip the ball around the field and the Twins, looking dejected, trudged out from their dug-out,  and then, of course, when Mariano Rivera was up on the mound, which is a sure “tell” for any Yankees’ fan that good things have been happening.
“Oh, Mariano,” the people at my table said.  “So then they’ve won.”

Why Jeter Wasn’t A Cheater

September 18, 2010

Why Derek Jeter Wasn’t Cheating When He Pretended To Be Hit By a Pitch.

1.  It might have gotten his sleeve.

2.  And did get him on first base.

3.  If it had hit him, it would have really hurt.

4.  They do it in soccer. (And they have a World Cup that really does involve the whole world.)

5.  In fact, feigning/bluffing is a time-honored tactic in any game.  (See e.g. poker.)  (Forget soccer.)

6.  He’s a Yankee and I’m from New York.

7.  He’s Derek Jeter (and I’m from New York.)

On base

(PS – sorry these are a re-posting of last night’s drawings.)

Promoting Non-Self-Promotion–Whitman, Dickinson, (Jim) Joyce and Armando Galaragga

June 3, 2010


Yesterday, I wrote about stress and success, but what I really wanted to write about was my antipathy towards self-promotion.

Self-promotion is a major currency in our culture.  Many believe that fame, celebrity, translates into wealth; that notoriety is an achievement of its own.  (See e.g. Richard Heene, father of balloon boy.)

I personally have an exceedingly hard time with self-promotion.  I don’t mind it so much in others;  I well understand that a certain kind of self-touting is necessary to get attention in our culture, and that, for all my wish to deny it, attention can translate into a kind of power (book sales, ticket sales, advertising and endorsement contracts, appearances on “Dancing With the Stars”).

But, the idea of my self-promotion, that is, my own self-promotion, seems acutely, horribly, embarrassing.

What can I say?  I was raised as a Lutheran (which seems to instill, in its adherents, an overwhelming sense of inadequacy), admire Buddhism (which finds triumph to be illusory in any case), and I’ve been formed (culturally) by the stiff upper lip of English literature.  Besides all that, I am a woman.  (In my generation, feminine modesty did not just mean keeping your clothes on.)

(When I think of historic restrictions on women’s self-promotion as compared to men’s, my mind turns automatically to Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman ; while Walt, sounding his “barbaric yawp,” openly identifies himself as “Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,….Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch’d from,” Dickenson writes, “They shut me up in Prose–/As when a little Girl./ They put me in the Closet—/Because they liked me “still”—”)


Putting me aside (thankfully), I have been heartened by the recent hubbub around two wonderful non-self-promoters—Detroit Tiger pitcher, Armando Galaragga, and supremely penitent umpire, Jim Joyce.  Nothing could have been more graceful than the rueful smile of Galaragga when his perfect game was blown by the wrong call of Joyce, umpire at the first base line during the critical 9th inning third out.   Joyce’s open and sorrowful admission of his mistake was equally refreshing.   (Even the reporters listening to Joyce’s apologies were taken aback, one of them actually telling the ump that he was only human.)

Given our culture’s quest for both celebrity and happy endings, both men will probably get more fame and fortune from Joyce’s wrong call and Galaragga’s acceptance of unfairness than they would have gotten had the perfect game been achieved without incident.  (Society loves a story!  Society loves meaning!  Maybe the whole incident will result in the use of instant replays!)

Still, that doesn’t diminish the men’s grace and sincerity, and the wonder of a modern, heartfelt, and very public, apology.   A pretty perfect interlude no matter how the game is ultimately classified.