…there is no joy in Mudville…


My students had to memorize this one year, and all during the game I was reciting it until my boys could stand it no longer.  It’s over, Dodger Fans. 

So long until Spring.


Casey at the Bat
By Ernest Lawrence Thayer Taken From the San Francisco Examiner – June 3, 1888  

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, “If only Casey could but get a whack at that —
We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.”But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat;
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile lit Casey’s face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ’twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped —
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted some one on the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey’s lip, the teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.



Dodger Dog wrapup, and Quadrathon Weight Loss Challenge

Over at Quadrathon, I’ve joined a weight loss challenge. I’ve spent three glorious days in LA, ending with a fabulous run at Dodger Stadium yesterday. However, I tend to do nothing in terms of eating clean or working out when I’m visiting my family. Yesterday, I promised myself I would run. Then my Dad yells, “I’m making french toast!” Well, you got it. I ate.

Here’s the damage at Dodger Stadium:
1 Dodger Dog (have to have to have to)


popcorn, diet coke, Carnation malt, Frozen Lemonade. This after the French toast breakfast. Last night Ham, twice stuffed potatoes, asparagus, rolls, peach cobbler. So, yeah, I’m a fatty. We played pinochle and Scrabble, and had a great, relaxing time, but the mouth just kept opening. As I’m typing this now, I’m feeling hungry. And not for oatmeal.

No worries. I’ll be down 5 by the weekend, and will be on my way to Internets stardom via Mr. Quad’s weigh loss challenge. Off to Northern California, and the school year starts tomorrow.

Characters we met at Chavez Ravine:

  • We were sitting in front of these three dudes: One, a college grad from Long Beach, one a correction officer just back from Iraq, and one trying to beat a drug charge, clean 18 months after a 90 day drug sentence. My sister and I laughed throughout the game as we heard these gems:

Dude, the 80’s were like, 40 years ago.

Dude, if you say, “I’m here, is it spelled h-e-r-e, or h-e-a-r?

  • This guy comes up to me at the end. He says, “Can I have your autograph? Do you play on the beach volleyball team, because you have the tan, and the arms.” LOL He was drunk. Sadly, that may be my new demographic. Heh.

We bought the kid (23 years old!!) from Iraq a beer; he was a Marine reservist who was called up. Big deal. A beer for everything he did. But, he was grateful. We’re all about military in our family. Big supporters.

Back to the real world come tomorrow.

Fresno State!

Here is my offering from Take It and Run Thursday, over at Runner’s Lounge:

You are a runner when you stop dieting, and plan your clean food around your next run.  This is key for me.  I love to eat, but have suffered terribly if I eat crap the night before a run.  So, I’m eating what I want.  On the days I run.  The night before I run…no ice cream, no salt, try to finish by 7pm (I run at 5am)  I have been on a million diets…but the best one for me is the one that makes me feel the best….not just to lose weight, but to have a clean, light stomach.  Get it?

I just got back from a 30 minute easy run of 2.93, a 10:30 pace.  It’s beautiful out at 5am, but here in the wilderness (California fire country), it’s very hazy.  Nonetheless, I give you the fabulous Fresno State Bulldogs.  We went from underdogs to wonderdogs…Number 1 in the country, after starting the lowest ever in any NCAA sport.  Today in Fresno…BIG party.  My youngest is in his championship 8 year old league game tonight, so I get to go witness his dreams too!

Baseball.  Gotta love it.

[Crash calls for a curve ball, Ebby shakes off the pitch twice]
Crash Davis: [stands up] Hey! HEY!
[walks to meet Ebby at the mound]
Crash Davis: Why are you shaking me off?
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: [Gets in Crash’s face] I want to give him the heat and announce my presence with authority!
Crash Davis: Announce your presence with authority? This guy is a first ball, fast ball hitter!
Ebby Calvin LaLoosh: Well he hasn’t seen my heat!
Crash Davis: [pauses] Allright meat, show him your heat.
[Walks back towards the box]
Crash Davis: [to the batter] Fast ball.

Go DOGS! (Fresno Dogs, that is…)

Good luck DOGS!!

(PS-I ran 4x800s today…yawn…)  I have a killer calf injury…had to stop after 4 of them. 


Ahhhhhhhhh….Fresno State…when it was called Fresno State.  1976-80 for my BA, 1990 for my MS.  Nice memories.  For tonight, the boys take on Georgia.  Fingers crossed for a good game.  Wonder when the last time two DOG teams were in a series? 

Dodger Highlights

(April 8)  Nice way to start…with a SF Giants Sweep!http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/what/specific_objects/everyday_items/381905_broom.php?id=381905

(April 10) We lost.  Plus, they ran out of Dodger Dogs.  ON OPENING DAY!

(April 17)  ***AHEM***  Here are the standings:  That’s LA in first place, baby.

Los Angeles

San Francisco (cellar)  4 GB  **cough**


Hear the *real* play-by-play of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 homer that saved the Dodgers!