Garrison Keillor is publishing his “Writer’s Almanac” again. i’m not a big fan of his but i read the “Almanac” every day until it went away for a while. Today’s entry,
included a poem by Mick Cochrane, originally published in The Southern Review. Cochrane’s poem captures my idea of great baseball the way it should be played.
i have copied the poem here and hope i have not violated any copyrights. i do this in appreciation of Cochrane, Keillor, and the almanac, and obviously not doing it for money.
How to Sacrifice
by Mick Cochrane
Pivot in the box. Square up.
Surrender to the pitcher.
Slide your top hand up the barrel,
don’t squeeze, keep your hands
soft, bend your knees.
You need to keep your balance.
Let the ball come to you––
be patient. Don’t stab at it.
Point your bat, absorb the shock,
and hope the ball stays fair.
Afterwards expect no high-fives,
no headlines, no contract
extension. No one bunts
himself onto an all-star team.
You do it because that runner
on first, he needs to come home.
He’s your teammate,
he’s your brother, he’s your son,
and you, you’re the guy who still
knows how to lay one down.