Papelbon on the Mound & the 2009 ALDS

 In Memory of Rory Markas,

In Honor of our best game since 2002,

and with Apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer


The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Beantown nine that day,

They dropped two out in Anaheim and now they’re home to play.

A loss today against L.A. would seal the Red Sox’ fate;

No dreaded Yanks, no Bahston thanks, no sacred Series date.

But Pedroia doubled in the 3rd, A-Go and Jacoby scored,

The hometown crowd got really loud, as their troubled spirits soared.

And when J.D. Drew, in the 4th, blasted a two-run bomb,

The sea of blue in Fenway Park began to chill and calm;

For they knew Mighty Papelbon would finish off the game—

The playoffs would turn Beantown’s way, the Angels put to shame.


But Morales launched one in the 4th; Torii scored on a ground-out,

And in the 8th Abreu doubled, that hated ex-Yankee lout.

In the ancient land of Chowdah, things were suddenly looking shady;

A plastered red-nosed fan, unshowered, said, "At least we have Tom Brady…"


Then from 10,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;

It rumbled past the Monster, it rattled through the smell

Of over-flowing Budweisers, that boisterous chowd-laced sound.

For Jonathan, Johnny Papelbon, was advancing to the mound.


There was ease in Johnny’s manner as he stepped up to his place,

There was arrogance in Johnny’s bearing, a smirk on Johnny’s face,

And when, responding to the cheers, he hocked into the ground,

No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Johnny on the mound.

Ten million eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,

Ten thousand fans put down their bowls, wiped chowdah from their shirts.

Then while the annoyed batter rested the bat upon his hip,

Defiance gleamed in Johnny’s eye, a sneer curled Johnny’s lip.

And now the cowhide-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,

And Johnny stood a-watchin it in haughty grandeur there.

But Rivera knocked it in the gap, and two runs came in to score.

Still no one stopped to worry then, and some began to snore.


The inning over, then came the 9th—two outs were soon recorded,

Then Erick Aybar singled—as pesky as reported.

And Figgy with his goofy grin, he worked the count up high.

"Ball four!" the ump let out a yell, a split-finger whizzing by.

From the benches, bleak with people, there went up a muffled roar,

It went on through Abreu’s at-bat and seemed to auger more:

"Kill the ump! Kill the ump!" shouted everyone in the stands,

And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Johnny raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity, Papelbon’s visage shown;

He reared back and threw the next pitch, ignoring cagey Chone.

But Abreu hit it off the wall, a "smack" heard round the planet.

In his suite, Theo dropped his spoon, his mouth full, spluttered, "Dammit!"


Torii Hunter came up to bat, but had Francona smoked a fatty?

He signaled for an intentional walk—he’d rather throw to Vladdy!

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, while the scoreboard begged: "Applaud!"

But one scornful look from Johnny and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,

They knew that Johhny always struck Vlad out and would strike him out again.


The sneer is still on Johnny’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;

He glares with cruel intensity at the Halo at the plate.

Two runs are in, still up by one, but Angels at every base.

Vlad waves his bat, he’s ready to hack, a smile on his face.

And now great Johnny holds the ball and now he lets it fly,

And now the air is smattered by the two-seamer blazing high.

Big Daddy swung a gnarly swing, and when the swing was done,

The ball blooped into centerfield: Bobby scored the winning run!


Oh! Somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;

A rock band’s playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light,

And somewhere folks are laughing and somewhere the kids all shout;

But there is no joy in Beanville—Johnny Popelbon was knocked out.


"And the Angels have just knocked out the Red Sox…Just another Halo victory!"

(Rest in peace Rory, and thanks…)

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