Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s play ball!
I’m proud to introduce to you all the official site of BARDBALL, dedicated to the art of spontaneous poetry about the national pastime. My fellow Hungerdunger Stu Shea and I have been talking about this type of site for about 6 weeks, and now, after the web craftsmanship of the mysterious Dan X., it is ready to take the field in its home whites.
The whole thing was inspired by gamma-ray-enhanced slugger Barry Bonds last spring. You might have seen the limericks penned by us and a few of our friends on this blogsite. Those poems came so easily that we kept swapping verse back and forth about any number of baseball items. And we got to thinking, “Hey, let’s get this going nationwide!” I’m still amused by the image of a grandstand full of people with pen in hand, searching for just the proper metaphor to describe how their team’s bullpen just served up 5 runs. (“A break in the dam? Swatting a beehive? Serving up the Hell’s Angels some tequila and greenies?”) And now that Barry has slowed down in his quest to make the whole country uncomfortable, we have the chance to squeeze in many more poetic tributes to his “massive 90-pound cranium.”
A hundred years ago, baseball writers routinely penned doggerel to publish in their daily columns. “Tinker to Evers to Chance” was one of the most famous, and arguably was a major reason those three players were inducted in Cooperstown on their first try. These days, with the advent of the blogosphere, everyone potentially has their own column inches to fill, so if they’re looking for inspiration, they could do worse than look to those noble bozos out on the diamond. One doesn’t have to be a baseball expert or statistics nerd to contribute to Bardball–casual fans have opinions and talent, too.
So check it out, and if you like it, tell your friends to visit Bardball. If we get enough entries, the entire season will end up documented, parsed and versified. Maybe we’ll bind them in a book somehow, and sneak a copy into the cornerstone of the new Yankee Stadium. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.
And to commemorate the launch of Bardball, I want you to click on this link for one of the best managerial tirades you will ever see. What happened this past weekend, with Piniella and Guillen and Jim Leyland getting the boot, was exciting, but for sheer imagination and showmanship, you have to doff your cap to Phil Wellman of the Mississippi Braves for his performance Friday night.