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Marlins Poem

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The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Miami nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Ichiro dropped his cane at first, and Bour ate the game,
A Sun Life Stadium-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go into Little Havana. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, “If only Stanton could but get a whack at that—
We’d put up even money now, with Stanton at the bat.”

But Yelich preceded Stanton, as did also Ozuna wait,
And the former was a stringbean, while the latter ate a cake;
So upon that stricken tiny crowd grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Stanton getting to the bat.

But Yelich let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Ozuna, the much despisèd, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Marcell safe at second and Christian a-hugging third.

Then from five hundred throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through downtown, it rattled in Brickell;
It pounded on Coral Gables and recoiled upon the flat,
For Stanton, mighty Stanton, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Stanton's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Stanton's bearing and a smile lit Stanton's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Stanton at the bat.

Ten or twenty eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five or six tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Stanton's eye, a sneer curled Stanton's hairless lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the humid air,
And Stanton stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
“That ain’t my style," said Stanton. “Strike one!” the umpire said.

From the benches, blue with empty seats, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and nearby shore;
“¡Maten al umpire! ¡Matenlo!” shouted someone on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Stanton raised his hand.

With a smile of hairless-faced charity great Stanton's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Stanton still ignored it and the umpire said, “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened dozens, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Stanton and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Stanton wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Stanton's hairless lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Stanton's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Miami—mighty Stanton is injured again.


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