Saturday, June 2, 2012

Magglio at the Bat

Sunday, the Tigers will have a ceremony to announce the retirement of the great Magglio Ordonez. Maggs, as many of you know, has been my favorite player every since Higginson's retirement and is in my top three ever. His skills, class, and leadership will be greatly missed. I look forward to being in attendance tomorrow to say goodbye to a man who's given us so much on the field.

As a dumb tribute, I reworked the old "Casey at the Bat" poem into one for Magglio's magical night in the 2006 ALCS. Here it is.

The outlook was still in doubt for the Tigers nine that day,
The score was tied at three with the bottom of the ninth to play.
And when Thames flied out to center and Granderson to right,
It looked like extra innings would be everyone’s fate that night.

But the Tigers faithful crowd of well over forty-three thou,
Was in no mood for giving in to the Athletics of Oakland now.
They thought, “If only Maggs could get up and once more take his licks,
He already hit one homer tonight in inning number six.”

But Polanco preceded Magglio, as did also Craig Monroe,
The former already had 2 hits, and the latter’s odds were low.
So the tenth inning seemed where Tiger fans’ hopes would be sat,
If the Tigers were once again to get Magglio to the bat.

But Craig laced a single to center, to the amazement of all,
And Polly, so hot in the ALDS, tore the cover off the ball.
And when the dust was lifted, all hearts felt as if they’d burst,
Monroe stood safe at second, with Polly smiling over at first.

Then it started as a buzz and it grew quickly to a roar,
A moment frozen in time that would be retold as Tigers lore.
The crowd rose to their feet, screaming for the mightiest Cat,
For Magglio, mighty Magglio, was advancing to the bat.

Calmly Maggs strode to the plate, his manner filled with ease
As the nearly freezing night, blew his long dark locks in the breeze.
Announced to the roaring crowd, Magglio went into his stance
A look in his sparkling eyes saying Huston Street stood no chance.

Over eighty thousand eyes in person, and at home millions more,
With desperate hopes and anxious dreams that Detroit would now score.
Street stared in at Jason Kendall and looked for his catcher’s call,
Defiance flashed in Magglio’s eye as he readied, standing tall.

And pitch number one so quickly was moving through the air,
Instead of swinging crazily, Magglio calmly took one there.
Close by the Venezuelan slugger shot by the speeding ball,
The crowd looked then to the umpire, “Ball one” was his soft call.

Calmness spread on Magglio’s face, eyes on the pitcher in a glare,
Almost saying, “Let’s see the fastball, but only if you dare.”
Street on the mound was cocky, as he wound up and let it go,
And the air became then shattered, by the force of Magglio’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in Tiger Town the sun is shining bright,
Music can be heard somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
But on that night in Detroit, unlike the Casey poem of fame,
Magglio launched a walkoff homer, and the Tigers won the game.
Thanks for everyting, Maggs. You were one of a kind. My best to you and your family in your retirement.


dishnet34 said...

Nicely written! Well done.

TigerMom said...

I love it!  Thanks, Rogo.

H2OPoloPunk said...

Rogo, you're so money and you don't even know it.

/Vince Vaughn

William Westbrook said...

That eighth-inning game-tying home run in the 2009 division decider was key to pushing it into classic territory. I'd figured the Tigers would take a small early lead and the Twins would catch up and pull away -- it seemed to be the pattern. And when Magglio came up in the eight after what was really a miserable season -- he pushed the average over .300 in the end, but with the power just gone -- I certainly wasn't expecting him to put one out. Magical . . . for a little while, at least.

steveo1ives said...

Another cranky article by Jerry Green - about our dear Magglio:|newswell|text|Sports|s

Amber said...

Similar to the time you wrote about your top five moments in Tigers history... this one brought me to tears. Goosebumps just thinking about it

Jay Hathaway said...

Awesome job, duder.