[Editor’s note. Bill makes a distressing prediction that sometime around 2050 MLB will go to a platoon system in which teams employ as many designated hitters as they choose. It’s bad enough that the National League adopted the designated hitter this season. Ron Blomberg was the first dh in 1973. ©Topps 1977 Topps Chewing Gum, Inc Prtd. in U.S.A [David Kramer’s collection] See With 1969 as a precursor, are Rochestarians seeing the last pitcher bat?]
Bill Pruitt has published two books in the last nine months, 2021’s award-winning The Binding Dance and last month’s The Teacher Who Told Stories: Poems and Fiction, both from Cyberwit.net, as well as the upcoming Hands No Hands from FootHills publishing. (None of it is about baseball.) His work can be seen at wpruitt.com. He will perform his work at Writers and Books April 1 at 6:30 with Scott Williams and at Before Your Quiet Eyes bookstore on May 22 at 2 p.m. with Bart White.
Since 2017, every spring as Opening Day approaches, Bill Pruitt has provided us with delightful and sometimes prescient occasional baseball poems: “The Pennant Races in Rhyming Couplets” (2017), “Pennant Race 18: Curses Laid and Lifted”(2018), “Pennant Race in Eight Sestets & a Couplet” (2019), “Pennant Race in the Plague Year, Or Ohtani’s Quadruple Twenty in 2020” (2020) “Pennant Race 20 Codicil: A Season of Baseball with a Plane to Catch” (2020), and “Pennant Race 2021: The Best Team is not always the best team” (2021).
Today Bill offers, “Pennant Race 2022”.
Pennant Race 2022
It’s not like I didn’t warn you about Trevor Bauer here
If you read Pennant Race 2021 in these purlieus,
you know that of all the Trevors, Bauer was the one
the Dodgers didn’t need. But not to worry, LA.
As soon as he gets past the civil charges, Trevor gets traded
to the Angels, the Home for Pitchers Who Used to Be Great
which TB sneaks into prematurely, revealing he wasn’t
all that great to begin with. and saddles Ohtani and Trout,
the Angels’ two truly greats with another season of blah.
Wait, I’m getting a signal– it’s from 2050–
Commissioner Cashman has an announcement: the new CBA
allows teams to use up to five Designated Hitters per game
which Cashman says is win-win for the fan:
“people want to see hitters who can hit, fielders who can field.”
Cashman vows he will not retire until there are no more
2-way players in MLB, cementing a legacy that raised
the sport to NFL levels [In a related story, the NFL
is undergoing the last-stages of bankruptcy
following the latest wave of CTE lawsuits]
Back to 2022– LA rids itself of Bauer, but must fight off
the Giants again– whose addition of Carlos Rodon
is another sign the front office knows what it’s doing–
but not the Padres as Tatis‘ broken wrist from
a motorcycle injury is another sign Machado was right
to scream “it’s not about you!” at Fernando
in their September dustup. But watch out for the Mets!
not just Scherzer to go with DeGrom, but a manager
who knows how to use them, In the Junior Circuit,
the surprise team is the Mariners who maneuvered themselves
into contending position by acquiring all stars Adam Dunn
in November and Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez in March. Mets prevail over Brewers, Braves, Dodgers Giants and Cards
(who stumble after their GM self-inflicted a mini-curse
on his club when he fired a perfectly good manager in the name–
we think– of Analytics) and face the Mariners who overcome
a playoff gauntlet of Yankees Red Sox White Sox Guardians
& the Houston Asterisks— but who the winner of a Mets-Mariners
Fall Classic is, I’ll let you decide–
it’s not like I have a crystal ball or something