FanPost

Ode to Dick Howser: a poem by Dan Quisenberry

Dig this poem written about a real baseball manager, who players respected and won for.

The bold is mine, for emphasis.


Ode to Dick Howser


He wore highway patrol sunglasses

shades for day games

shadows for his eyes

helped him distance

from us players

peered at us if

looking over a wall

as season

heat

games

compressed


for pitchers' meetings

he wore little half glasses

glanced over his nose

gazed at papers

said the same things

every time

"up and in, down and away"

"don't throw fastballs for strikes to their

hot hitter with the game on the line"

"if you pitch in, make it WAY in"


played the same nine guys

same line-up

same seven or eight pitchers

not a chess master

no computer print-outs

hated bunting

disdained the hit and run

told us in his sparse meetings

he said

"we're as good as anybody,

season's gonna get tough

we're gonna get sick of each other

it's gonna get hot

we're gonna get tired

have bad calls

and we'll have injuries

but PISS ON IT!

LET'S GO GET IT DONE!

get ourselves in position

make a run at it in September"


it became our motto

PISS ON IT! LET'S GET IT DONE!

and when it all came

heat

injuries

bad calls

fatigue

as it was prophesied

we also recognized

our position in september


when he was gone

they had a night for him

a salute

speeches

banners

silence

all I could think was

something's missing

the wrong signs are up

where was Dick's message?

PISS ON IT

LET'S GET IT DONE


and I remember

in Fort Myers spring-training field

we sat dripping sweat

Dick's last speech

the last supper

he was no longer

a feisty distant general

Dick said he was tired

go on without him

baseball's just a game

try to win

but go on if you don't

no more piss on it

no more let's get it done

this small man

who fought big

now looked us in the eyes

just a man

who no longer talked of winning

but hinted at life beyond champagne


now is the 10th anniversary

of the series championship team

and Dick is nearly ten years gone

we mix and mingle

laugh and tell stories

eat good food and drink fine wine


what would he say?

would he be looser?

warmer? more open?

or closed and hidden

still with weighted shoulders?


oh we'll laugh and tell stories

it will border on mythology

and we'll tell reporters

we were so good

such a close knit team

we had such heart and character


some of us will remember

our leader who said

PISS ON IT

LET'S GET IT DONE

who didn't over-manage

let us play

let veterans police the team

and always saved

that pat on the back

This FanPost was written by a member of the Royals Review community. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and writers of this site.

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