Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Pitcher

We took our kids to Baltimore to see the Orioles vs. Los Angeles at Camden Yards last Saturday night. Radhames Liz started for the Orioles. He threw 103 pitches (most waist high or above).

The Orioles scored five runs and lost. "No pitching," my son said.

On Sunday, the Orioles optioned Liz to triple A-Norfolk. Liz is 25 years old. "I know I'm going to be OK," he said. "You're never waiting for them to send you down. All the time you spend working to be here, you know you have to be mentally strong. ... You've got to be prepared for when things like that come."

The Pitcher

His art is eccentricity, his aim
How not to hit the mark he seems to aim at,

His passion how to avoid the obvious,
His technique how to vary the avoidance.

The others throw to be comprehended. He
Throws to be a moment misunderstood.

Yet not too much. Not errant, arrant, wild,
But every seeming aberration willed.

Not to, yet still, still to communicate
Making the batter understand too late.

----Robert Francis

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The life of the elite athlete is not a particularly mean one, which, perhaps ironically, counsels us to understand a little more when they try too hard (steroids) or stay too long (e.g. Sugar Ray Leonard).

Clemens could not articulate his craft they way author of the poem does, but I bet he feels the sentiment more keenly. Add to that the adulation, and you understand (which is not to say excuse) why the man- an overgrown child in many ways- did what he says he did not do.