Rock off with your balk-off (from Eric Hanson ‘Tribelines’ poetry archive)

Game 47 – Indians 11, Tigers 10

“A trickle of strangers were all that were left alive
Panic in Detroit”
– “Panic in Detroit” from David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane (1973)

Some said this was year’s best game
Should be in some hall of fame
Not because it showed teams’ best
But since it was such a test

Started as a Tigers rout
Zach Mac once more gave us doubt
Could not survive inning two
Moments later, Tribe came through

Hitting like we’ve done of late
Cleveland batters owned the plate
One more Cy Young tossed aside
Just beginning this wild ride

Even Swisher drove in one
And Max Scherzer we would stun
Stubbornly, he would remain
As his stats would feel the pain

See-saw shootout ’til frame eight
When two runs Detroit would plate
Playing without their big bat
Early on, Miguel had sat

Argued calls and then was heaved
All Tribe hurlers were relieved
As this day game got near night
Tribe, in nine, would make things right

Two run shot off Murphy’s stick
Tied this marathon real quick
Tomlin called on for assistance
Thursday’s starter went the distance

Fell behind with one big crack
Once more, though, the Tribe came back
Small ball tied it, we smelled blood
Albuquerque – one big dud

Bases-loaded balk, a gift
To a sweep that move would lift
Cleveland with a balk-off win
Big win on that pitcher’s sin.

I would skip the Bowie and move on to Vladimir Nabokov here (“na BALK OFF”), and especially “Pale Fire” which I’ve never read, although my friend Laura Jacobson recommends it, and I liked this little couplet, as the Plastic Alto lagniappe to today’s Tribelines.

I was the shadow of the waxwing slain

By the false azure in the window pane

1) This is a bit of a departure, but I flipped thru this at Keplers and was very tempted:

2) This is my pedantic show-offy little slurve:

3) But whoever would know baseball would know this:

4) or this (and maybe this has become “Balk Off Book Off”)

5) Here is how the Times and AP left it (what, a dog ate their rhyming dictionary?)

Asdrubal Cabrera scored on a bases-loaded balk by Al Alburquerque in the 13th inning to give the Cleveland Indians an 11-10 victory over the visitingDetroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Alex Avila’s solo homer in the top of the inning put Detroit ahead, but the Indians won in their final at-bat for the second time in a three-game sweep.

After Cleveland scored one run, Alburquerque came in, and pinch-hitter Yan Gomes was walked intentionally to load the bases. On his second pitch to Ryan Raburn, Alburquerque went into his stretch, appeared to move his leg and then stop, and was called for the balk.

6) and back to the primary text, Hanson is right in suggesting that all cultured people (and perhaps even Yankee and BoSox fans) would benefit from revisiting this 1974 Bowie classic album, which to my ears, informed a lot of subsequent sounds and stories, and by the way, Rod Carew hit a mean .364 that year:

7) And, before Giants and Rockies take the park in about an hour, you want to follow me down into the dugout that is Russian lit, with our bench coach Elif Batuman, (a former Stanford master’s student), ponder her on VN:

He plays to the fantasies of artsy people with the chess, the butterflies, the Russianness, but he’s the ultimate crossover artist. He gets all the role-playing fans with Zembla; he gets all the aesthetes with nostalgia and Rimbaud; and he gets the creative-writing types with the incredibly vivid pictures of Americana. I think he tried to be everything to all people, like Shakespeare.”

I think that’s from “the Possessed” which I will get to eventually: (and BAT-uman is not the worst name for a lit scholar watching a baseball post thru a knothole)

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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