Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Payoff

One day in March Stan and I were watching the Madness ensue,
When we drank some scotch and right on the spot decided a wager was due.
"My favorite team will win more than yours," I said about 2009,
He looked on in awe, let out a guffaw, and quickly said "That's fine."
So this is the start of the lengthy rhyme I write with some defiance,
Concerning the winning exploits of the San Francisco Giants.
Despite missing out on the post-season and finishing just in third,
They were 13 games ahead of the Pads, rendering this bet absurd.

We begin at a ballyard north of the park on the island of Manhattan,
Where a nickel gets you the Gothams and a chance to smuggle your cat in.
Soon the name was changed to the Giants, a powerhouse world renown,
At least until the end of '11 when their third ballpark burned down.
But at this time they were run by a legend, the fiery John McGraw,
And Christy Fucking Mathewson, the handsomest ace you ever saw.
In Aught 4 they told the Series and Boston to suck on their pole,
Then turned around the next year and won the whole damn rigmarole.
Matty ruled the mound back then, so too Iron Joe the loner,
But none of their excellent pitching could atone for Merkle's Boner.

The next few decades saw some titles but they also saw some trouble,
For all the best hitters alive, that is, getting K'd by King Carl Hubbell.
There was a sweet-swinging first-sacker, too, his skills were many and scary,
The last National League player to bat .400's name was Big Bill Terry.
A shot to center at the Polo Grounds back then was all for naught,
But a drive down the short lines was very sublime, so hello, Mr. Mel Ott.
The war years proved futile for Giants fans, but it seemingly was just a blip,
Because the Say Hey Kid was coming to town, as was Leo the Lip.

On October the 3rd, 1951, the world stopped for a moment in time,
Because a Brooklyn pitcher by the name of Ralph Branca tried to commit a crime.
Bobby Thomson hit a heater way up and in, and of it he left no remnant,
And as he joyously circled the bases thus did the Giants win the pennant.
With such a blast Thomson turned fast to a celebrity to rival the Pope,
Nevermind he may have received the sign from a 'mate holding a scope.
We move ahead to 1954, and to an Indians fan, this hurts,
Remembering the mighty blast deep to center off the bat of Vic Wertz.
Willie Mays turned to run, shot out of a gun, and it seemed like he could fly,
But like a dead dove, the ball fell in his glove, which is where triples went to die.

As the country expanded, and more and more planes landed, the NL looked to the West,
And the hilly burg of San Fran was the spot that Horace Stoneham liked best.
This killed the Golden Age of baseball to the dismay of New York codgers,
Still the Giants' exit lacked the oomph and merit of their bitter rival's, the Dodgers.
But '62 brought a chance at redemption to make their new home come alive,
Alas the Yanks won again, in this, Game Seven, on Willie McCovey's line drive.
And although Juan Marichal was superb on the bump, darker days lay ahead,
Specifically when he, in a fit of non-glee, took his bat to J. Roseboro's head.

We'll skip the 70s and first half of the 80s for it appears the Giants did too,
And move on in to the end of the decade to check on the Humm Baby crew.
There was fat Rick Reuschel, Garrelts, Dravecky, and Candy Maldonado,
Plus Jeffrey Leonard, Matt Williams, Chili Davis, and a hitting aficionado.
Will the Thrill they called this man with a smooth swing made of pure love,
And Kevin Mitchell tracking down long fly balls without the use of a glove.
The 1989 NLCS brought the dysfunctional Cubs into town,
Where the red-hot Giants in just five games performed an immortal beat-down.
But a long-lost pennant and half the bay's fans would not a championship make,
As the Giants were squashed by the crosstown A's and an untimely earthquake.

Now it's '93 and the Giants and Braves are involved in the "last" pennant race,
With a giant named Barry Bonds, who, back then, had a normal-sized face.
Needing to win on the last day of the year the team started Salomon Torres,
It's unclear how many pitches he threw, but they were surely all of 'em horrid.
After some decent teams and a new park the Giants made it back to the series,
But 2002 against the Anaheim Angels only brought up several new queries.
Was Dusty Baker the right man to lead? Did the rotation need a new face?
The questions were met like a lost 3-2 lead, with changes all over the place.

Now the Giants are without Mr. Bonds and the offense is just barely so-so,
But the rotation's so stacked the fourth-best starter can rattle off a no-no.
With Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain at the top, San Fran has quite the pair,
Of aces it seems, the stuff made from dreams, and stuff to match the flair.
And let's not forget the hot corner man whose moniker is Kung Fu Panda,
Pablo Sandoval is pretty good, y'all, and if you don't know I'll reprimand ya.
So that's the short story of this proud franchise, from one coast to the next.
No need to write any of this shit down, for I doubt there will be a test.
Hope you liked it, Stan, for I believe it encompasses all I can say,
Since I really hate the fucking Giants, but at least they're not L.A.

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