For Billy Beane, on the Eve of Game Three

Billy! — I say it with my Rosie Perez voice
like you are Woody Harrelson, but
you are not Woody Harrelson, let’s face it —
you are too much a lover
of soccer —
Billy, who should laud you
when your shit doesn’t work — for real
it’s like your shit is a time release fertilizer
that ends in October —
when you’re shit.

You’re not shit. I love you.
I hate you.
I love you.

I love that it is boring to you,
this game of bases and balls, this
menagerie of melancholy and silly
torture, this spectacle from which you hide
on your exercise bicycle or
secretly behind your PB smoothie
(that’s right, I know you love them) —
I love your growing preference for piebald

But I hate you, too.
What I hate is that I love you, that
it is you upon whom I have placed the burden
of “saving baseball” for me,
for making me believe that I could have
a single
that would change something.

That’s your fault, Billy, and that,
like your shit,
doesn’t work, so I hate you.

I am wearing my A’s cap right now — tonight
is Game Three — I tell people you bought me this hat
but they don’t believe me.
That is my idea and it is not unlike the idea
behind most cinema, Billy, not unlike the idea
behind your high definition exercise
bicycle, your rousting of a pantsless Jeremy Giambi
(you know I am getting serious now, Billy,
because these lines are getting longer/linebreaks
getting harder to make, Billy) — this is
my single big idea:

That if I can make a few people believe
that Billy Beane bought this hat for me
then I can do anything, or maybe just
that anything can happen
and for all time.


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3 years 9 months ago

I love it when some baseball poetry graces the pages of NotGraphs, and this is wonderful.

3 years 9 months ago

Billy looks very Ron Darlingy in the photo.

3 years 9 months ago

I hate to say it, but he really looks a lot like Seth Macfarlane in that photo, All squinty-eyed and shit.

3 years 9 months ago

Stole my comment. Totally agree.

Dayn Perry
3 years 9 months ago

“Piebald balls” FTW.