How long and dreary is the night?

Said the poet Burns:

How long and dreary is the night,
When I am frae my dearie!
I sleepless lie frae e’en to morn,
Tho’ I were ne’er so weary:
I sleepless lie frae e’en to morn,
Tho’ I were ne’er sae weary!

But even the poet Burns would surely be feeling a bit more of the vim and vigour these days, what with photos of ballplayers in the paper once more.

The rites of spring are upon us: sportswriters in such brackish backwaters as Kansas City and Milwaukee are dusting off their hopeful columns from last spring, Ozzie Guillen is running down his list of former White Sox to run down in the media, and the news that Matthew Wade Stairs has shed both his belly and his mullet is, well, news. If St. John of the Cross were here in my office with me, warming his long-dead insides on a pre-work coffee while we gazed out at the sub-freezing winter wasteland that is Chicago in March, we’d probably find ourselves in general agreement that the dark night of the soul is giving ground to dawn.

I had two dreams of baseball last week. In the first, I simply listened to a WGN broadcast of a Cubs game. Low on action for a dream, maybe, but hearing Pat Hughes‘s voice again after these many months made me wish for extra innings and maybe even a rain delay. Alas, I got my alarm instead.

Later in the week, I dreamed that I was cycling to Wrigley for Opening Day. The game was to start in ten minutes, and I was halfway there. But I was only wearing a t-shirt and pants. No jacket. No hat. No gloves. No mittens. No long underwear. No balaclava. No battery-powered heating socks. No seal oil with which to protect my face from chapping. I was torn: should I return home to properly prepare for the first game of the cruelest month at Wrigley, guaranteeing that I’d miss the first pitch? Or should I proceed to the game, more or less guaranteeing that my death from exposure would be a lead story on WGN that night?

Instead of choosing, I woke up.

Actual games are on tap for today, though Opening Day is still a ways away. But we can surely be patient now, even through the heavy hours. The poet Burns reminds us:

How slow ye move, ye heavy hours,
As ye were wae and weary!
It wasna sae ye glinted by,
When I was wi’ my dearie!
It wasna sae ye glinted by,
When I was wi’ my dearie!

Another poem

I’m probably going to be too busy at work today to wrap up yesterday’s two-city doubleheader until tomorrow. But to keep you busy, here’s a limerick Bob wrote about Pirates outfielder Tike Redman. We were at Miller Park watching Redman bat when one of us–I forget who–thought Redman would make a good subject for a limerick. With remarkable quickness, Bob came up with this:

There was an outfielder named Tike
Who took the first pitch for a strike.
But the very next pitch,
The son of a bitch,
And the one after that were alike.

Original comments:

thatbob: The edited-for-improvement version simply inverts the interior couplet, thus:

But, son of a bitch!
The very next pitch
And the one after that were alike!

Levi: The ten-year-old boy in the seats in front of us visibly enjoyed the “son-of-a-bitch” in Bob’s poem.

If only Andrew “Dice” Clay were still popular–this kid wouldn’t know what hit him!

Toby: There once was a boy named Levi
From a magical place called Carmi
We went up to NU, got culture there, too
But he’s “Gideon” still in my eye