games of innocence; games of experience: giants vs. marlins, 2003 NLDS

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A Poetic Look at the First Two Games of the National League Division Series Between the San Francisco Giants and the Florida Marlins

By Sean Keane and William Blake

Accompanying woodcuts forthcoming.

Game of Innocence (Giants 2, Marlins 0)

The Tournament of Revenge

Each year brings a new rival, but memories are long
Fans think of past teams with hearts quite sober
For nothing makes a rivalry, no hatred e'er so strong
As being beaten by a rival in October

But with last year came payback, for some old playoff scars
The Braves were scalped, revenge for '93
Next, for '87, they beat LaRussa and the Cards
And Candy Maldonado yelped with glee

The next teams on the vengeance list, for you payback proponents
(Since the Mets and Angels sucked so hard, you know)
The Marlins and the Cubs, two potential opponents
Spelled Giants doom six and five years ago

If SF runs the table, and returns to the Series
They'll get to take one last bit of revenge
Bay Bridge Series, Nineteen Sixty-Two, and, less seri'us
Nineteens Twelve and Twenty-Four, to avenge

The Favored Child

My father got tickets from his co-worker Stan
And, lo, we ditched work for the game
We met at the gates just according to plan
As Renel announced Jason Schmidt's name

Dad printed a scorecard as in days of yore
We ate sandwiches out in the sun
Delight in our eyes as Florida failed to score
A kind father, and his favored son

The Portly Right-Hander

Each pitch proving the Pirates wrong
Trading him for Ryan Vogelsong
An unhittable fastball on ev'ry pitch
And to the umpire each man would bitch
Just strikes, no balls, and but three hits
Flor'da no rallies, merely fits
Last fourteen hitters all made out
Vict'ry's what this Schmidt's all about

The Gold Glove Right Fielder

Jose Cruz, defensive star
In right field ranges near and far
Countless pitches lifted into the breeze
Become seven putouts, made with ease

The #5 Hitter

Be wary of the IBB to Bonds
Your fear can lead to trouble
For when Barry's the man on first
He'll score on any double


The fans all dislike it when pitchers walk Barry
There are signs, catcalls, even a chicken dancer
The sign reading "No Balls" is not quite as merry
Flor'da's Mike Lowell had testicular cancer

Game of Experience (Florida 9, San Francisco 5)

The Tournament of Nightmares

Lo, the Florida Marlins
One hates them with such zeal
How could a title e'er been won
By a baseball team in teal?

I'd thought ahead to Sheffield
And the looming bat of Sammy
But now the road to the NL title
Is running through Miami

The More Favored Child

Game 2 brought more tickets, but not for the son
Sister Kelly attended with Dad
Not as much joy on this day, nor as much sun
For the Giants' pitching was quite bad

Father and daughter still bonded that day
Regardless of the final score
The reason that Sean could not come to the game
Is simple: Dad loves Kelly more

The Other Portly Right-Hander

The Giants, every other year
Acquire a pitcher, who looks fond of beer
Livan Hernandez, four years hence
For one sweet year, it made good sense
Then his ERA and waist did bloat
And in last year's playoffs, was the goat
Jason Schmidt in '01 became the ace
Despite his rather rounded face
Sidney Ponson, large Aruban knight
Was brought in for the playoff fight
Opposing hitters, down he'd shut
If his heart 'twere as large as his gut
In Game 2, Ponson took the hill
To add a victory to the till
Today, no match for the Marlin bat
'Twas also his curveballs that were fat
And by the sixth inning, Sir Sid was gone
Is he the new Schmidt, or the new Livan?

The Gold Glove Right Fielder

Bases loaded, fly to right
A falling Cruz, a sorry sight
A two-run error, the Giants are beat
Did Cruz wear the Gold Glove on his feet?

The #5 Hitter

When it comes to lineup protection
Alfonzo's doing fine
But he needs to hit more doubles
If the pitchers give up nine


The signs are less exuberant, on this losing playoff day
One constant remains: No one's quite sure how to spell "Fillet"

1 Comment

I read this while watching game 4, which as I write is 3-1 Marlins. Sigh... So far the Giants have *6* errors in the series. If they don't move on to round 2, it's because they lost it, not because the Marlins won it.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on October 3, 2003 3:37 AM.

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