The Long Relief Pitcher

The long relief pitcher, Chip.

Is there any other athletic position less glorified?

Maybe a football nose tackle

Or someone running with a strange stick

On a lacrosse field.

But the long-innings guy,

You gotta feel for him.

He was probably a star in his high-school team

And had grandiose hopes

Of becoming a star in the bigs

You gotta think big, Chip.

Aim for the asteroid belt

And if you hit a cumulus cloud

You’ve done better than most of us.


The long man on the staff

He is in a strange position

His coaches don’t think he has the starter stuff

And can’t blow past the other team

In the ninth inning.

He waits in limbo

Silently hoping a starter goes down

So he can go out every fifth day

But that opportunity rarely comes.

He settles to toil in innings

Where his team is well ahead

Or hopelessly behind.

The molasses games of August

When your team is down

Thirteen to one

In the sixth

That’s when he heavy heat strikes down

To describe your position as a pitcher.

They don’t get the glory

But at least it’s baseball.


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