In the prior edition of THT Poetry, we trailed Dee Gordon around the base paths. Today, we reflect on Kerry Wood‘s up and down career, with scattered references to statistics and to Cubs history/culture. Enjoy …
Now, a challenge for you. I self-imposed three major constraints on the structure of this poem, each grounded in Kerry Wood’s statistical record. Specifically, the total number of lines, the syllable count of each line, and the relative frequency of two distinct sounds throughout the poem. The first is easy, the second is probably pretty apparent, but the last one may be tough to crack! The first reader to identify (via research or lucky guess) the “statistical significance” of each constraint is invited to suggest/demand a topic for a future baseball poem. It might take me awhile to write ‘em, but I will honor your topics if you can crack my poetry code.
Oh, and yes, that squiggle in lines seven and eight is a stripped-down version of FanGraphs’ win probability chart for Game Six of the 2003 NLCS. I’ve embedded the full interactive chart here for your suffering/amusement (hover over for play-by-play details):