PART ONE: TEAM ROSTER
1st Miguel Rodriguez
2nd Skeet McCoy
3rd Kevin Boyle
shortstop Jiro Watanabe
right field Raoul Herrera
center field George Kowalski
left field Jason Sugarman
catcher Gilberto Aragon
pitcher Elroy Lincoln
pitcher Michael Timmons
pitcher Jennings Masters
team manager Pappy Hargrove
bat boy Travis Fleming
PART TWO: NECESSARY RITUALS
Second Baseman Skeet McCoy carries in his left
front pocket a rabbit’s foot dyed electric blue.
Center Fielder George Kowalski never goes
out onto the field without making certain
that he steps on the foul line with his left foot.
Left Fielder Jason Sugarman avoids the foul line
altogether, avoids the chalk as if it were death.
Closing Pitcher Jenning Masters eats a huge platter
of fried chicken the night before a home game but
on road trips he consumes two McDonalds Double
Quarter Pounders. No cheese. A chocolate shake.
First Baseman Miguel Rodriguez makes the sign
of the cross each time the pitcher winds up.
Starting Pitcher Elroy Lincoln shaves his eyebrows
the night before his turn in the rotation to start.
Team Manager Pappy Hargrove wears mismatched socks,
counsels his players to abstain from drink and sex.
Relief Pitcher Roland Hemms carries on a chain
around his neck a tiny vial of weaponized anthrax,
hermetically sealed and concealed beneath his shirt.
Right Fielder Raoul Herrera, masturbates into his
glove before the game while holding in his mind
a mental image of his teammate, Skeet McCoy.
George Kowalski votes Republican. Elroy Lincoln
votes Democrat. Miguel Rodriguez practices a form
of Santeria entailing the ritual sacrifice of cats
which are easily procured from his neighborhood.
Pitcher Michael Timmons keeps his own spittoon
in the clubhouse, toting it to dugout or bullpen,
even on the road. A monagram etched in brass.
Shortstop Jiro Watanabe has also acquired
a brass spitoon, though he has yet to acquire
a taste for chewing tobacco. Only Chiclets.
Raoul Herrera sleeps with his favorite
Louisville Slugger, limbs twined round it.
Third baseman Kevin Boyle drills holes in his favorite
Louisville Slugger into which he pours a small quantity
of molten lead. It adds heft to his swing and connect.
Catcher Gilberto Aragon chews Bazooka
Bubble Gum. He consults the tiny comic
strip wrapped around the gum, believing
Bazooka Joe is a modern day oracle.
George Kowalski seeks relief in primal
scream therapy. Sometimes appropriately.
During lulls in play Kevin Boyle scans the female
fans in the nearby stands hoping to catch a peek
up a skirt, needing only a camera to snap a shot.
Pappy Hargrove walks the bases clockwise during
pre-game warm-ups striving to undo The Curse of
The Pig. Piggy, please come back, he chants.
Jason Sugarman taps his bat on home plate three
times upon entering the batter’s box and only once
between pitches, drawing strength from the earth.
Bat Boy Travis Fleming stations himself at the dugout
entrance, always at the ready to hand each player the
appropriate bat and each player in turn will rub the
close-shaven head of the bat boy before going on deck.
On the back of his neck he sports a tattoo of a pink pig.
Raoul Herrera taps the plate five times butt end down
to discharge the negative energies and then twirls the
wood back to business position. A smile and a wink.
Michael Timmons practices in his back yard,
pitching against a scarecrow, aiming for the
stuffed head, drawing a bead to throw a beaner.
Sixty-six years ago an inebriated bricklayer named
Walter Kakatonis was refused entry to the ballpark,
not because he was drunk, but because he was toting
a toddler pig under his arm. Claimed he never went
anywhere without his piggy and if he and piggy were
barred from watching the game then, by God, there
would never be a World Series played in this ballpark.
Travis Fleming dreams of pigs. Miguel Rodriguez
dreams of cats. Kevin Boyle dreams of snatch.
Skeet McCoy refuses to bathe while mired in
a hitting slump. He must sleep on the couch.
Jiro Watanabe keeps taped on the rear wall of his
locker an 8x10 glossy of actress Gillian Anderson
portraying Agent Scully. He has never seen The
X-Files. He keeps in his wallet a photograph of
actress Katee Sackoff. He loves Gillian, but thinks
Katee is lucky. Some things are difficult to explain.
Michael Timmons keeps in his wallet
the loyalty cards for the local strip joint.
Buy five lap dances and get one free.
Gilberto Aragon is diddling the wife of Skeet
Mccoy, who also used to be the wife of George
Kowalski and before that was the on the road
mistress of Elroy Lincoln. The Game is her life.
The skipper is porking the bat boy, mentoring
the lad in order to instill a strong Spartan ethic.
Gilberto Aragon affects silk boxers worn over his
protective cup. Chili peppers, dollar signs, red hearts.
Roland Hemms eats only Mexican food before a game.
The hotter the better. When he throws heat, he farts.
Around the horn as horsehide slaps leather,
a brown jet splats brass. Cleats truffle up
the turf. A harrowing gut-scream, the tap of
a bat. A wrinkle of wrapper, the rattle of
Chiclets. A whiff of burrito, the swish of silk.
Around the horn. Come back, Piggy. Piggy, come back.
At attention to salute Old Glory the players all stand
to mumble the half-remembered anthem, hat in their hand
over their heart and commence play at the umpire’s command.
The ball seems be flecked with genetic material and
Kevin Boyle has garnered the attention of a husband.
Sigerson pitches from a left-handed stance and it's always a knuckleball fucker. He writes poems and prose. Go here. Or we'll find you with baseball bats and lubricant. Don't fuck with Sigerson, hombre!