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Daily Grind

What makes the game so different is, they play it every day.

I know, you've heard that all before. It is, I grant cliche,

But cliches start with something real, a fact you can't ignore:

The central fact of baseball is that there is simply more.

The season, which since April, has been grinding right along

Is only halfway over. This is neither right nor wrong...

It's merely different, and that's why while football coaches pace,

And fellows coaching basketball are in the poor ref's face,

The managers of baseball teams are more inclined to sit

Like lumps on dugout benches, and they're more inclined to spit...

And less inclined to demonstrate their joy as well as sorrow,

Because they know that win or lose, they'll be back out tomorrow.

The players learn, if learn they can, that each day's winning hit

And each day's closing strikeout to preserve a win's a bit

Of history forgotten just as quickly as it's past,

And that the next game is much more important than the last,

Until it too is gone and nothing matters but what you

Can step out in the doomed and fleeting moment, now, and do.

They play it every day, or some just sit and wait their turns

As cool nights fade from memory and summer's sunshine burns

Their noses and their necks and then, one night it's cold again,

And all the games have piled up to create a season. Then

The luckiest among them can look forward to a ring.

The rest — that's almost all of them, pack up and find that spring

Comes on a bit more quickly than it did the year before,

And they're perhaps less ready and they're just a little sore,

And later in preparing than they might have been last year

When they were slightly quicker or their promise seemed more clear.

And then it's back to playing every day, or nearly so,

And putting every half-success behind you as you go

And likewise every failure, for illusions like those two

Are nothing to the job you show up each next day to do.

This program aired on July 5, 2007. The audio for this program is not available.

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