Chapter Twenty-Three

[ to the tune "Deportee" by Woody Guthrie & Martin Hoffman ]

             The chalk lines are faded, the bleachers are empty
              The parking lot's vacant at the ravine stadium
              The fans have all taken up bad-mitten and checkers
              On a hot summer evening there's nothin' else left for fun
              The owners' and players' greed knows no boundaries
              They've taken the fans on a phony hype ride
              Though they both earn enough money to buy a jet airplane
              'Till they have more than God, they won't be satisfied
              Now, is this the best way to run America's pastime?
              Is this fair to the fans who are loyal and true?
              Like the late Billy Martin and Tommy Lasorda
              There's no more real Yankees, no one bleeds Dodger Blue

              Goodbye to Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio and Babe Ruth
              Audios Lou Gehrig and true heroes for our youth
              You won't see the great Clemente up on the big sports screen
              The owners and players all want. . . more money

              Now, us fans in the bleachers all want a solution
              To stop all your whining and complaining on earth
              Let's forget about salaries and pay by statistics
              For hits, runs and outs, you'll be paid what you're worth
              If you hit sixty homers, you'll get you're few million
              But if you pitch more balls than strikes you'd better run
              Down to apply at the nearest Del Taco
              We're tired of big babies who ruin baseball's fun
              Let's return our national pastime back to the fans
              Give big bucks to the players only when they come through
              And like the late Billy Martin and Tommy Lasorda
              We'll cheer for real Yankees and bleed Dodger Blue

              Goodbye to Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Cy Young
              Adios Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron
              You won't see Charlie Hustle up on the big sports screen
              The owners and players all want. . . more money

              The chalk lines are redrawn, the bleachers repainted
              The big screen scoreboard is re-hooked to the juice
              The parking lot's filled with limos and Mercedes
              The owners and players have a temporary truce
              Now, we want real heroes our children can look up to
              We want fair owners who treat loyal fans right
              People who love baseball and the values we stand for
              With all of their heart and their soul and their might
              If you don't care what happens to our time-honored pastime
              Then get the hell out of the way of those of us who do
              Like the late Billy Martin and Tommy Lasorda
              We want to cheer for real Yankees and bleed Dodger Blue

              Goodbye to Vin Scully, Branch Rickey and Bill Veeck
              Adios Harry Carey and real baseball, but what the heck?
              We won't see Jackie Robinson slide on the big sports screen
              The owners and players all want. . . more money
              Yeah, the owners and players all want. . . more money. . .
              Are there any more real Yankees?
              Does anyone bleed Dodger Blue? *

                   Oh, somewhere in this favored land, the sun is shining bright
                   The band is playing somewhere and somewhere hearts are light
                   And somewhere men are laughing and somewhere children shout
                   But there's no joy in America . . . we the people have struck out

                         --with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, author
                            of the famous American poem, Casey At The Bat

The Roberto Clemente Foundation

ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) Association

DEDICATED TO:  Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Roberto Clemente, Roy Campanella and Hank Aaron, heroes that go way beyond their particular sport of profession.

*FootNote:  Given modern technology, it would be relatively simple to reward our athletic professionals as modern Golf and Tennis does; i.e., by what they produce.  Unlike traditional blue collar labor negatives when resorting to 'piece-work', where greedy company owners historically develop the bad habit of paying less and less for the same amount produced, modern American professional athletes have clearly demonstrated, because of their unique abilities and marketing potential, that they carry enough clout to offset such capitalist avarice at this level---if they must eventually strike, may they at least strike for reasonable raises in reward based on the merit of what is produced.  Rather than call for elimination of player unions, the call is for them to consider redirecting their energy toward the common good of American professional sports.  Let them bargain and force the hands of greedy ownership based on what union members actually provide in terms of statistical (and theoretically, monetary) value to the franchise organization.  If something drastic is not done soon, modern professional sports as we know them are likely to disappear; even now, many families can no longer afford to take their children to see their favorite professional team and the price of tickets is bound to continue to spiral out of control as long as the current system of unrealistic remuneration remains in place.


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

       No part of this material may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including printing, photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher and signed by the author. Inquiries: Freedom Tracks Records or requested via eMail.  Essays entitled Revolution and Revolution ~ Side B are open copyright and may be reproduced and distributed as desired.