Oh, swear a streak as blue as any sky we’ve ever seen,
Or glare out at the pitcher and then spit into the dirt,
As if to say "I spit upon the pitch you tossed my way,"
Or shrug the whole thing off and play the game you’re paid to play.
The options for a hitter who’s been plunked are many, so
I offer these suggestions and now all of you will know
That when a batter turns and takes a fastball to the back,
He needn’t feel compelled to think that he must then attack,
But even if he does, can we agree now, one and all,
One should not throw one’s helmet at the guy who threw the ball?
Oh, holler at the pitcher. Tell him you have had enough.
Or shake your fist and threaten him, and show him that you’re tough.
Or turn and tell the umpire that the guy should be thrown out
For hitting you upon the back, because, while there is doubt
That he hit you on purpose, heck, perhaps the ball just slipped,
You have a gripe, there is no doubt, but even if you’ve flipped
And lost your temper utterly at that young pitcher’s gall,
You needn’t throw your helmet at the guy who threw the ball.
Perhaps you think that baseball’s play; perhaps you think it’s work.
No matter how you view it, though, a guy looks like a jerk
When he rears back and throws his helmet, never mind the cause…
When thinking of a helmet throw, a hitter ought to pause
And recognize that helmets aren’t for throwing. The result
Of throwing one is that you don’t look much like an adult,
You look, instead, quite childish, like a tantrum-tossing tot,
In doing that you lose whatever dignity you’ve got.
So here’s a rule of thumb for any baseball-playing lad,
When you have been hit by a pitch, if angry, sore, or sad,
Pick any option other than the one decried by all…
And never throw your helmet at the guy who threw the ball.
This program aired on August 14, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.