Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
toaster 'at" humbug.com
This is round 2 of Humbugardy. I'm your host, Alex Scorebard.
Note: In this round, searching the web is allowed.
Who are Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt?
Who is Peter Angelos?
What is by hiring Ken Macha after he'd already bloody well been sent on his evil, life sucking way in the first place, dear God, this is perhaps the worst day of my life and if I turn up floating under the Bay Bridge don't be surprised, but don't start an investigation either because it was likely by my own hand, and G--D--- it, somebody bring me the head of Billy Beane!
Unless, of course, I've completely misread this catagory.
Those of you who just gave a name, I'll let you try again, if you wish, just this once.
They were entrusted.
The Dodgers are not the Brewers. They are not the Rockies. They are not the Royals.
The Dodgers are the Dodgers. The Eden of franchises.
Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt were entrusted.
They were entrusted with these Elysian fields -- this garden.
They were provided with the proper gardening tools.
Only to let those tools rust in the rains of last season.
DePodesta's computer -- which no one could ever use to tend a garden -- was given shelter from the storm.
The useful gardening tools -- Alex Cora, Steve Finley, and Paul Lo Duca -- were left to rust.
Even the most useful tool, the ultimate gardener, Jim Tracy, could do nothing without his tools, and he too has vanished with the wind.
Now, 91 losses later, they are all that is left.
They were entrusted, but now, they are all that is left.
They must ask themselves:
"Who are Paul DePodesta and Frank McCourt?"
I'll try again.
And for anyone who migh accuse that explanation of simply paraphrasing the poem, here's the obvious symbolism for those who require it:
jasmine = big name player
roses = talented players (some of which may actually be more valuable than big name player)
other flowers = useful players (above league average)
withered petals, yellowed leaves, and the waters of the fountain = warm bodies and roster fillers (league average and below)
garden = stock of players, farm system especially, but majors too
And if you need a name, how about George Steinbrenner. He returned from his early '90s suspension to a garden that had been lovingly nurtured back to health in his absense and has since slowly exchanged all of his flowers for the odor of jasmine.
The GM, as the wind, has brought great money and assured fame (jasmine) to the prospects of the farm system (the narrator). But when he asks for something, the farm system admits he has nothing left, all of the prospects are "dead." The wind takes them nonetheless, and the farm system weeps, as it has nothing left after it entrusted the GM to maintaining it
No one said the narrator has to be the baseball executive did they?
Who is Peter Angelos, who turned the garden of a ballpark with which he was entrusted into a ravaged place where all that remains is the withered petals of Sammy Sosa and the yellow leaves of Sidney Ponson and the waters of the fountain of Rafeal Palmiero's drug test?
Or words to that extent.
He promised roses to McCourt via his incredible resume, Beane lineage, and "out-of-the box corporate speeches.
Through flawed objective analysis he proceeded to waste money on the likes of JD Drew and HS Choi.
Randian individuality only goes so far - - like solely tending rose gardens by planting them in loamy soil.
Love promised and kicked to the curb is more painful than unrequited love, anyday.
(BTW, baseball executive can't include McCourt, he's an owner.)
As I watched the gardener's roses peak, wilt, and crumble,
I remembered tossing petals over the lovers
As they lounged on the Nile and
So I asked the gardener to give me
The odor of his roses.
I offered him the odor of jasmine.
Compared to roses, a pittance, I know, but it was on hand.
He rose to greet me, and said his flowers were dead.
"Then give me their corpses, for surely you have no use for them now.
And water! I must try! I must try!"
"If you wait until next year,
I will have more bushes."
"I must try!"
Weeping, the gardener handed over
The remains of many years' work,
And I slipped streams of jasmine
Through his garden.
The next year, I returned to the garden,
Seeking more roses,
More memories of Egypt.
The gardener was sweaty and standing in a patch of new rose bushes.
The stench of roses and jasmine stung.
"Those roses you gave me only lasted so long.
Now that you have healthy bushes,
I can offer pine cone for them."
The gardener frowned.
"How dare you ask for my roses?
I gave my knees and hands to those flowers I gave you last summer.
They were my greatest accomplishment, and, before they died,
Provided me with joy only my children have eclipsed.
I only hope these roses can do the same.
Come back next year, and perhaps we can chat about your pine cone."
So I sat on a hill overlooking the roses,
And the gardener spent many days wandering through his bushes,
Inhaling the aroma.
In the original poem, there is nothing about the gardener never being able to have roses again. True, his garden appears to be in shambles after giving away his dying roses, but that is mostly a sentimental effect of remembering what the roses once were. The roses were well on their way to dying, if not already dead. The wind gets the raw end of the deal, because one might read that the jasmine is a reasonably pleasant smell that can hold the gardener over until he finishes re-building his garden. The gardener weeps because he seemingly has nothing left, but he was going to have nothing anyway, because the roses were dead! Thus, he has gotten something out of a prospect of nothing.
In the original poem and my "inspired by" poem, the gardener is the baseball executive who understands that sentimentality is an important part of baseball and who genuinely feels for the roses (players), his garden (the team and its system), and their fates, but who also understands that there is a neverending supply of rose bushes waiting to be planted. His job, once his roses start dying (players start declining), is to cultivate new patches of bushes (draft and develop new players). If another team (the wind) offers jasmine (another player) for his dying or dead roses, then the gardener would be foolish to refuse them for sentimental reasons. The wind, as I read it, is a baseball executive that's unwilling or otherwise unable to build a proper garden and thus tries to take whatever it can from more fruitful organizations. To compound the issue, it is overly sentimental and is willing to give up something of value for something of little value merely because it reminds him of good times gone by. The problem, of course, is that the successful gardeners don't want to give up roses while they can still get enjoyment out of them, so the wind is left with withering petals and yellowed leaves and watching the Atlanta Braves and Oakland A's win 90 games every year.
And because by puncuation sucked in 20, it should read:
I'm going to go with "Whoever . . . day?"
Don't believe me? Fine by me, I have my chances of winning at roughly 0.01%
I'm gonna give this one to deadteddy8, for creatively turning the wind into the bad exec and the narrator into the good one.
The board is yours, deadteddy8.
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