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Further Play

Oakland is the longest shot to snatch a playoff spot
By climbing past New York and Cleveland...something they will not

Be forced to do if Boston tumbles, falling to the Yanks,
Or Cleveland finds the White Sox have no gas left in their tanks...

In which case Oakland, victims of a myriad of knocks,
Would have to outplay each club known to millions as the Sox.

The Astros, led by Roger Clemens, seemed a decent bet
To win a wildcard spot this fall, and well they might, and yet,

Just Monday night, the Pirates beat the Astros and their ace With Ian Snell, a pitcher who had never shown the grace

Or grit or skill or luck to win a big league game before...
But Snell shut out the Houstons, as a crowd too small to roar

Expressed surprise and wondered if perhaps the Phils might make

A run, and catch the Astros, or if Florida might shake
Their recent slump and pass both teams now standing in the way

Of their return to baseball in October, when they play
With all the money on the table, days that still can thrill us...

The marlins in the wild card spot would give us Dontrelle Willis

Upon the mound, which would be worth the watching, without doubt...And, weirdly, even now we cannot count the Expos out,

Although they aren't the Expos anymore because they play
In Washington these days, and they will not quite go away.

The point of all this speculating, pointless as it seems,
Is that in cities east and west and elsewhere in between,
The hope for autumn glory lives, or flickers, anyway.
Throughout the major leagues, the only team to run away

And hide has been the Card'nals and I'm told that they are not
As good these days as they have been, so lots of teams have got

A shot at the Fall Classic, or at least the L.C.S.
...A circumstance that is a great delight or just a mess
Depending on your views. The purists take these weird days hard,

But those of us who welcome chaos wouldn't trade the card
That's wild and what it's brought to baseball for the ancient day,
When only those who finished first moved on for further play.

This program aired on September 26, 2005. The audio for this program is not available.

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