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Monday, January 09, 2012

BTF Flashback: David Brazeal’s “The Peña”

Once upon a spring so dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious contest of forgotten score.
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my office door.
“‘Tis just Mr. Glass,” I muttered, “tapping at my office door—
Only him and nothing more.”

How distinctly I remembers how it’s been in past Decembers,
As each season’s dying embers wrought their ghosts across the plain.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had tried to borrow
From Herk’s legacy of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Jermaine.
For the rare and radiant player whom the angels name Jermaine—
I got Neifi - oh, such pain.

And the silken sad uncertain promise of each high school pitcher
Thrilled me—-filled me with fantastic fervor never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some young phenom entreating entrance at my chamber door,
Affeldt or Runelvys entreating entrance at my chamber door.
This it is, and nothing more.”

Our young arms I thought were stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sirs,” said I, “for those high pitch counts, your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, while Old Muser did his yapping,
Now the doctors, elbows zapping, zapping like Rosado’s sore,
Promise me that they will fix you.” Here I opened wide the door—-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into the outfield peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no GM ever dreamed with such élan;
Half Dos Carlos still has impact, and I want a long-term contract,
He’s the biggest prospect intact.  Faintly came the word, “Beltran,”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Beltran!”
Sign or trade him fore he’s gone.

Back into my office turning, for that long-term deal still yearning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before,
“Surely,” said I, “surely, that’s a closer at my window lattice.
Let me see, then, who thereat is, and this bullpen depth explore.
Mike McDougal, Ryan Bukvich, Hill and others do implore.
All will have some saves in store.

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Peña, of the Pirates’ days of yore.
Not much of OPS knew he; loss of veteran pride did rue he;
Grounding to the right side knew he, was the perfect way to score.
Perched upon a bust of Dave Glass, just inside my office door,
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this manager beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By his bright and warm decorum made me want to scale a wall,
“Though thy attitude is sunny, we,” I said, “don’t have no money,
Optimistic silly Peña, Michael Tucker can’t play ball.
Tell me what the lordly plan is ‘ere this team impact the wall.”
Quoth the Peña, “Little ball.”

Much I marveled this ungainly man to hear discourse so plainly,
This the answer I’d been searching, all to end the Royals’ fall,
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Should be always cursed with seeing such a bad display of ball,
Randa, Quinn or Mayne may slug .350 but at least they all,
Might make runs with “Little ball.”

But the Peña, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
Those two words, as if the world with those two words he did enthrall.
I was struck with inspiration—“Hitters: heed the situation!”
Called Ibanez: “Raul, come quickly! Even if your swing is sickly,
Make your outs always productive, lest the ump a third strike call.
Chirped the skipper, “Little ball.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what he utters is the offense to install,
But with slugger Michael Sweeney, surely Peña’s not a meanie.
If our slugger bats with man on second and no outs at all—-
Surely then a mighty swing will not this Peña’s ire recall.
Still spoke Peña, “Little ball.”

This new manager beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of him, to heed his call;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to thinking
What about the shortstop stinking?  What if Angel’s bat should fall
Like it did for all last season, Though his glove did not appall?
Came the answer, “Little ball.”

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, Desi Relaford assessing,
While the Peña’s eyes cried tears of loss for Royal Byrd named Paul;
Thoughts on Mark D. Quinn alighting, hopes for no more Kung Fu fighting—
That his hamstring he’ll be righting, and can finally heed the call,
Even if his leather glove he leaves upon the bench till fall,
DH, too, plays Little Ball!

I had praised payroll taxation, contemplating my rotation.
Yankee seraphim whose money trickling, to KC would fall.
“Cash,” I cried, “Steinbrenner spent thee—by these dollars he hath
Pent the talent up in Gotham, leaving little for us all.
Leaving only Darrell May, Asencio to throw the ball.”
Quoth the Peña, “Little Ball!”

“Peña!” said I, “dugout leader!  Ask a Baseball Primer Reader!
Little Ball, they say, is not conducive to Mike Sweeney’s call.
What of Harvey’s blooming power, just last Fall his finest hour—
Arizona’s budding flower, whacking line drives off the wall?
Is there room for sluggers herewith, shall we his sweet swing forestall?”
Quoth the Peña, “Little Ball.”

“Peña!” said I, “clubhouse leader, we don’t have a Derek Jeter!
On the grave of Ewing Kauffman—by the Game we heard us call—
Tell this soul if there’s a reason, to believe sometime this season,
We shall be our fans a-pleasin’, by a fine display of ball—
Pass the Tigers?  E’en the Twinkies! Pass them in the standings all!
Quoth the Peña, “Little Ball.”

“Be those words our sign of parting, Muser clone!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the dugout.  Let thine quips the press enthrall!
When our bullpen lost Hernandez, what I came to understand is,
There’s a hundred cheap Joe Randas waiting to receive a call.
Woe to Mr. Glass for nixing Randa to the Cubs et al.
Quoth the Peña, “Little Ball.”

And the Peña, offense stunting, still is bunting, still is bunting
On the green expanse of Kauffman though my head hurts from it all;
And the team has kept on losing, while the fans in seats are snoozing.
And a record of .500 teases as the seasons crawl
And the team from out that cellar where it’s buried every Fall

Wins renown for Little Ball.

David Brazeal Posted: January 09, 2012 at 12:49 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bob Evans Posted: January 09, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4032217)
This might have been just as hard to do as the original.
   2. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 11, 2012 at 12:12 AM (#4033835)
Seriously. Typing out all those diacritical tildes must've been a pain.

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