NOTE: the 2014 Dukes' poem will be posting on Friday, April 18.
Since Opening Day and Easter Sunday usually fall within a few weeks of each other, I began the tradition of commemorating the start of a new season of baseball and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by creating a new baseball poem about a team named the Dukes, which plays its games on the ball fields in my mind. As the weekend begins, here is the fifth installment. In addition, the Farmstros offices will be closed until Monday morning.
If you missed the first four poems you can read them at the following links:
2008- The Golden Sombrero Wearer
2009- Three Days' Journey From Worst to First
2010- The Second Baseman Rides into the Sunset
2011- Ballpark Time Machine
The Sword-bellied Dukes’ fans’ shirts held Scimitars
(The plain-bellied Dukes’ Fans had none upon thars’)
The Dukes began their season with a much-expected thud.
Throughout the town, consensus was that they would be a dud.
They had a lack of hitting and their arms were spotty too.
Their losses would amass, no doubt, before this year was through.
“What should I do?” the owner thought, “To not lose every fan?”
“Another awful year for us, requires a special plan.”
He studied focus groups and talked to ticket holders too.
He even tried the Google. Query? “What should my team do?”
And then one night, it hit him when he saw a falling star.
The answer to his question was an expert from afar.
If people focused on his team, and mishaps on the field,
There’s no doubt falling ticket sales were soon to be revealed.
A master obfuscator’s what he needed on the scene,
And so, he called his friend Sylvester, last name of McBean.
McBean had made a fortune fooling folks with belly stars.
His skill as a deceiver was renowned as above par
His resume? Impressive. He was slick from head to toes.
Most recently, he’d made an emperor some brand new clothes.
He took the job and didn’t wait to put his plan in place.
Diversion was his mission. He pursued it with great haste.
His first task, a new scoreboard that was twice the old one’s size
With all the bells and whistles not a single compromise,
Was only the beginning of the tricks up McBeans’ sleeve
For taking eyes off of the field, so Dukes’ fans wouldn’t leave.
He brought out throwback unis from the Dukes’ teams of the past.
He brought back the old-timers too and sold more tickets fast.
He let dogs come out to the park, let cats run bases too
He held a snake night. To the park, there slithered qui.te a few.
He moved the fences monthly, put a hill near second base.
He sent a long reliever on a trip to outer space.
Each day was orchestrated, calculated, analyzed
To maximize diversion for the Dukes’ fans and their eyes.
“The play is not the thing” could be the slogan for the year,
OR “Look the other way, now won’t you have another beer?”
Many folks DID come and gladly look the other way,
Especially at the three games that were also Nudist Days.
McBean’s reign was amazing. Buzz about the team was mute.
The starting line-up? ERA? These facts all became moot.
His strategy was vast, he left no single stone unturned.
He made sure everybody knew to keep the Dukes’ games spurned.
The play by play announcer was too glad to jump in line.
“Ignore the play that’s on the field?! I do that all the time.”
The media outlets in the town were coaxed aboard as well.
Indeed, McBean created quite a team, his tale to tell.
The local paper’s box scores disappeared on May 15.
Once summer came, the standings page was never to be seen.
(There is a rumor that a guy who kept doing game reports
Found out his beat was changed, and now he covers foreign sports)
McBean caught bloggers also with his well-baited scheme,
As more and more they filled their posts with stuff outside the team
The season rolled on quickly and the squad kept losing games.
The wide-eyes fans came to the ball field blithely all the same.
The record was atrocious, but it seemed no one cared.
McBean, indeed a genius, had kept folks unaware.
He left the Dukes abruptly when the season reached its close.
“Elections are next month, there’s no way I am missing those.”