"If I Ran the Team …"
We would win every game: A poem for the opening day of baseball season.
If I ran the team, we'd be something to see. We would win every game, what a team we would be …
I would sign all the stars, all the Mickeys and Willies.
No one would scorn me to go pitch for the Phillies.
And as for my sluggers, I'd get whom I please,
Maybe Albert Pujols, maybe David Ortiz.
(Via surgery, hey, they could hit Siamese!)
I'd gather key players to capture the pennant,
I'd trade bums to Frisco, obtain Tony Bennett.
My hitters would know that in every at-bat,
The umps were mine, too. (Let's just leave it at that.)
We'd run on each pitch; we'd score runs in vast thickets,
Lindsay Lohan, on YouTube, would shoplift our tickets.
If I ran the team, we would need no excuses,
No critics would claim that our third baseman juices.
The rules for my troops would eliminate drama:
They'd eat only meals cooked by Michelle Obama.
To make sure they're clean, nothing stronger than coffee,
I would hire that sexy ex-nurse for Qaddafi.
The Yankees? Of them, I would never be wary.
We would beat them as if they were Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Red Sox? We'd crush them so hard that, God-willing,
They'd renounce their club, deny knowing Curt Schilling.
Each game would last only three hours or so,
And every ninth inning, we'd close it with Mo.
The nation, behind us, would form one great chorus,
At home games, Glenn Beck would sit next to George Soros.
The world would seek peace, ancient rivalries healed,
All warfare would cease when my team took the field.
And every poor family just struggling to eat,
They would watch all my games from their luxury suite!
For every home run, they'd see fireworks prancing.
(The wealthy Koch brothers would handle financing.)
Then, in from the bullpen, a grand float advancing:
Bristol Palin and Natalie Portman … both dancing!
If I ran the team – well – there would be some rubs:
I'd always feel guilty when beating the Cubs.
I'd want to play favorites, could not fire coaches,
Could not raze an old park, even if it had roaches.
I could not claim I'm broke, rattle cups in the street,
Or let tickets be sold for five thousand per seat.
My weaknesses, frankly, might bring us great loss,
They would call me the Fan. I could not be the Boss.
I could not be an owner, behind some closed door,
To them, it's a business; to us, so much more.
So we sit here and hope, with each new season's dream,
What a team we would have …
O, if I ran the team.
Watch: Opening Day Meets the 2012 Presidential Campaign
Hart Seely's memoir as a Yankee fan, The Juju Rules, will be published next year.
Illustration by Alex Eben Meyer.