Poetry on a baseball blog? Sure! Why not? It began as a tribute of sorts, and for some inexplicable reason, to Miguel Batista during the 2011 season — the reason being, I suppose, to honor his creative pursuits (see more in the link below). Then we wanted somewhere to archive our own works in his honor. Thus, this page (and just as it was in 2011).
During spring training 2011, we learned that Miguel Batista is far more than a 40-year-old reliever — he’s also a poet and a novelist.
The nickname The Poet became an easy one to give him, which led, one overzealous night on Twitter, to the decision to write a poem in his honor every time he pitches. (There was no alcohol involved that night. Honest.)
While each poem is in that game’s article on the site, this page is an easy reference to read them all (and have a good laugh while doing so). The most recent is on top.
Sadly — at least as far as our poetry-writing is concerned — The Poet was released by the Cardinals on June 22. But of course we said farewell in verse.
Farewell O Poet, Our Poet
Though words are your tools off the field,
It’s numbers that matter when you’re on.
And those numbers you compiled were not good, not at all.
Which is why you now find yourself gone.
This wasn’t the first time you’ve been released.
And now, at age 40, it might be the last.
Perhaps you gave us one or two moments of entertainment these last months
But the frustration makes us glad your outings are now past.
We know of your guidance to Salas and Sanchez off-the-field this season,
So undoubtedly, in real life, you’re a decent guy.
You’ve even guided us at Aaron Miles’ Fastball, stretching us creatively
But this remains our favorite Cardinal image of you as we say good-bye.
Miranda’s Goodbye to The Poet
Oh Poet, we had such high hope
That you could pitch and not be a dope
Our hope soon waned
When you caused much pain
Giving up run after run
You weren’t much fun
Tuesday was your last for you to play
Cardinals Nation says HOORAY!
Farewell to The Poet
It was a question from the start
Could Duncan’s magic play the part
To take a 40-something arm
And make it strong, make it charm.
But batters faced just didn’t see
Bewitching power or velocity.
What they saw was pitch after pitch
That was just right to hit — and hit, and hit.
They hit them long, they hit them hard
We couldn’t watch as your ERA soared.
Games won and lost because of you
Came more than just a time or two.
So while it’s tough to send one packing,
Even the best fans of all aren’t lacking
The smarts to know it’s for the best
To send you home, put Lance to the test.
It isn’t personal, but we say adieu
And hope your struggles leave us too.
So long, farewell, we say goodbye
And hope for the best from the new relief guy.
Poem for the Poet — June 21
With two outs in the eighth, we wanted just one thing
For you to make the bad stop and close the inning down
We should know, you’d only make us frown
Three batters, three runs.
What’s this sound a I hear?
Why it’s John Mozeliak. His phone. A ring.
Poem for The Poet – June 19
Two are on and none are out.
Your task awaits you.
But one pitch, one out.
That eases some of the angst.
Though not all of it.
Jeff Francoeur now up.
Very quiet in the park.
You slow down the pace.
Now a line drive hit.
Caught by Skip at second base.
Melky doubled off.
A Poem for the Poet – June 14
You walked to the mound
With just one task at hand:
Get through the seventh
Then give the young guns a chance.
Thank Lance for that catch
‘Cause it could have been trouble.
Nevermind. It’s a walk, single and
Werth scores on the double.
Then not one, but two more
Round the bases to home
As we all wait on Tony
To pick up the phone!
But alas, it’s too late.
The damage is done
This game’s a hot mess
And you’re charged with the runs.
Poem for The Poet – June 9
Barely hit by a pitch?
Hit up the middle?
Visit to the mound. Yes, yes, yes!
Plenty of nodding.
Now the battle.
On TV Ricky says this is starting to feel like a problem inning.
Problem? Or more interesting?
Take your time between pitches
No need to rush –
The attention is yours.
Your work is done.
Poem for The Poet – June 7
With a 2-run lead, the ball was yours after six.
We all held our breath as in walked Hunter Pence.
For the first time that night, you got him to pop out
But Lee wouldn’t swing and he walked on, with one down.
Not to worry, as Keppinger helped out your cause
Swinging away, popping up, we had to applaud.
Two outs and you’re done, your job finished well.
And we, once again, have no reason to yell.
Guest Poem for The Poet – June 7
By Daniel/C70 At the Bat
Your time was very short tonight
Didn’t even give us a tiny fright.
Miller came in, as you see
So you didn’t have to get out 3.
Poem for The Poet – June 4
Seventh inning, one on, two out, The Poet into the game.
One pitch to Geovany Soto, inning done. Everything is still the same.
Eighth inning, very quick, perhaps because of the heat?
Cubs hitters not patient, Cards defense good — that combo can’t be beat.
Ninth inning, more of the same, always good to see.
Seven straight retired, no hits or walks — how much better could The Poet be?
Poem for The Poet – June 1
It looked so easy.
Four pitches, out of the sixth.
But your night went on.
Seventh inning: bad.
Aubrey Huff, solo homer.
Giants take the lead.
NOTE: We also received a reader submission — though a song instead of a poem. Special thanks to Daniel from C70 At the Bat for sharing his creativity in writing the song “Batista.” (Our efforts to get him to record it were unsuccessful.)
Batista (to the tune of Dream Weaver by Gary Wright)
I’ve just closed my eyes again
Climbed aboard the denial train
Tony’s adding to my worries of today
And he’s giving the sign
Don’t believe you can get me through the eighth
Gotta admit I’m lacking in some faith
Boggs is flying high with Franky out
Sanchez a hitter’s bane
Motte’s the thrower of fantasy
Please don’t inflict any more pain
The pen door will be opening soon
There still may be some time
Doesn’t matter if it’s only mid-June
The Poet’s really not fine
Poem for The Poet – May 30
O Poet! Our Poet!
Angst still greets your every mound trip.
Two quick outs you do get — o such joy!
Then two walks builds drama at a rapid clip.
O Poet! Our Poet!
Your pace slows to a crawl.
Bases now loaded, perhaps for maximum spectacle?
Full count, but then the K — you really did give it your all.
O Poet! Our Poet!
After the previous crisis, your second inning is one-two-three.
The day’s total is three walks, two strikeouts, no hits, no runs.
Yet so many are still anxious to see the Cards set you free.
Poem for The Poet – May 27
Coors is not kind, we are aware.
You quickly calmed us.
Tyler Greene, that fool.
Interfering with LB.
But he caught the ball.
Quick seventh inning.
You definitely impressed.
We like you today.
Poems for The Poet – May 24
You came in to get some work.
We all hoped you just wouldn’t make things hurt.
With lots of drama, anxiety and help along the way, you had a scoreless two inning of work.
Thank goodness the move to bring in you and Tyler Greene didn’t hurt!
Poem for The Poet – May 22
It had been nine days since you last pitched, it’s true.
But even with that, you should know what to do.
Giving up a double then a homer make us think you suck.
While others on Twitter were using a word that rhymes with “duck.”
Making the score 7-5 had us all feeling very blue.
Your day was short, as you soon out of there.
In came Brian Tallet, the man with all that hair.
His first time pitching since being hurt did not go well.
He gave up one run before Eduardo Sanchez did too and left fans to yell.
How could the game be tied? We were all left to swear.
Poem for The Poet – May 13
You couldn’t get an out.
A single. A walk. And Edgar Renteria gets a two-RBI double.
What is this all about?
Poem for The Poet – May 11
You made your mark in a game out of reach,
This method to Franklin you really must teach.
Poem for The Poet – May 11
Seems like you tried to bean Barney but it didn’t work.
You stuck to your job, no duties to shirk.
You were so efficient, you were so fast.
Five pitches to get three outs — you definitely weren’t gassed.
Poem for The Poet – May 10
Enough to get by
Is how to grade your May 10.
Yay for Jay! He rocks.
Poem for The Poet – May 4
Facing six batters,
Two reached base but none reached home.
Your night was soon done.
Poem for The Poet – May 2
The crowd is quiet, the crowd is small,
Making me wonder if anyone cares at all.
A hit gets past Descalso, and Ryan Theriot too,
When kids start chanting “let’s go Cardinals,” apparently just for you.
You return the favor by throwing a wild pitch into the dirt.
Yet Hanley Ramirez grounds to Theriot, so no crisis to avert.
Al talks on the TV about how you’re a poet.
It really took until this game for him to know it?
Now there are two on with Mike Stanton at the plate.
While on TV, he’s named player of the game for this date.
But you strike him out and end the threat.
And end the inning too — that felt good, I’ll bet.
Poem for The Poet — April 30
Brought in the eighth to maintain the tie
Your delivery so slow, our tweeters thought they’d die
Remember dear Poet, it is never to late to find the plate
Be grateful for your outfielders and that guy behind the plate
Poem For The Poet — April 26
Bases are loaded.
The Poet into the game.
There goes Jaime’s lead.
Bottom of seventh
Bases loaded once again
No runs score this time.
Poem for The Poet — April 23
Although we now call him The Poet
“The Rain Maker” might be a better name.
Because just warming up in the bullpen
Is enough for rain to halt the game.
But within 45 minutes he pitched again
Though perhaps he should’ve not made a toss.
While David Freese did not help things at all,
The Poet was charged with the loss.
Poem for The Poet — April 22
Weather played a part
The sky was already scary.
Only six pitches
To the real whiny bitches
Before the rains came down.
The start went very fast
Too bad it didn’t last
You really were on a roll.
No attention for you
Like the last time you threw
From the starting pitcher’s mound.
But that was okay
You had a short day
Now you’re on a first-place team.
Poem for The Poet — April 16
It could have been worse
With how his inning began.
The Poet escaped.
Poem for The Poet — April 14
The Poet came into the game,
And he kept the score just the same,
His pace wasn’t as fast
As it was in the past,
Yet no one will mention his name.
Poem for The Poet — April 9
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
I love you! (at the moment anyway)