Alfred Lord Wren…an appreciation, trading by the Brook… (by blazon)

they come to taunt and hoot and spurn
my winter meetings tally
assuming i have cash to burn
but have not made a sally.

i’ve asked the board for means to change
this ambiance of thrift
i’m simply told to rearrange
and redeploy the shift.

that TV contract weighs me down
what idiot did sign it?
the woodshed for that surly clown!
now sturm and drang define it.

i’ll try again increase the flow
with Liberty the catch is
there’s likely more but i don’t know
i muddle through with patches.

activity has been so slow
i call some to provoke
they tell me where i needs must go
convivial? a joke.

we chatter over errant plays
those silly drops and bobbles
i’ll claim that lasik now allays
my stud who blinks and wobbles.

i cover for my fading stars
through various distresses
i help them trade their fancy cars
their gals with golden tresses.

Samardzija, i really tried
i offered George and Jordan
said Theo, man, i almost cried
I’d rather have that Gordon.

we bid for Price, not many know
exactly what we tendered
the rookies i suggest should go
not long will be remembered.

could we Cano?  O yes we could
i’d have to ask him nicely
i’ll throw in Dan and maybe Wood
Seattle says,  precisely.

and Andrelton, our golden boy
so many call and pester
don’t offer me your hoi polloi
he’s in his first semester.

collisions now i’m told must cease
does our opinion matter?
El Oso- now with Credit Suisse-
obliterates their batter.

and yet, the hope, it’s always there
the steal, the trade that dazzles
their phenom for our aging pair,
all ligatures and frazzles.

With apologies to Tennyson

106 thoughts on “Alfred Lord Wren…an appreciation, trading by the Brook… (by blazon)”

  1. Blazon- awesome! I hate to critique but man, Alfred Lord Wrennyson has an even better ring to it… My idiocy aside, this was magnificent!

  2. thanks to all…Wrennyson indeed!

    this below from my native land, Happy Hogmanay!

    A guid new year to ane an’ a’
    An’ mony may ye see,
    An’ during a’ the years to come,
    O happy may ye be.
    An’ may ye ne’er hae cause to mourn,
    To sigh or shed a tear;
    To ane an’a baith great an’ sma’
    A hearty guid New year.

  3. Happy new year, team. I would give you all generous extensions.

    Let’s win it all in 2014. Seriously, do you realize that that’s possible? Go Braves.

  4. If someone with great creativity (aka not me) could compose a parody of “The Charge of the Light Brigade” relating to Braves baseball, that would be wonderful.

  5. @9, @10

    yes, a well identified target, been trying…very apart from The Brook which has a simple flow/meter/rhyme (ABAB)- get that into your head and the verses almost write themselves- try it!

    I don’t know the technical term for the format and structure of the Brigade but it’s very different..there’s clearly more than one in play and the rhyming is a bit all over the place…still, the trying is the fun. Can you recreate that marvelous rhythm, the horses surging forward, and somehow put it in a baseball context? A Braves late season pennant chase ending in glorious failure might be an appropriate parallel.

    But who wants to lose those!

  6. just for fun on new year’s morning…

    the original first verse…

    Half a league, half a league,
      Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death,
      Rode the six hundred.
    ‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns’ he said:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    the (butchered) first attempt…

    down the league, damn the league
    clearly we’ve blundered
    Daniel through sheer fatigue
    hitting two hundred
    Onward the Braves Brigade!
    Andrelton’s hardly played
    Freddi, a strong tirade
    Maybe we need a trade
    Chip says we’ve got it made
    Often we’ve wondered.

    gross cheating, but as the man said, just for fun…

    all done.

  7. Waiting for Bowl Games, you inspire me blazon. Herewith, a parody of one of my favorite poems, The Man He Killed, by Thomas Hardy. (For the original, see
    By the way, if you want to make people laugh at cocktail parties, learn to recite the original as Bullwinkle… never fails, though it may just show how lame the cocktail parties I go to are….

    The Man He’s Not

    Had Chip and I but met
    At some old seedy bar
    We could have argued etiquette
    Till closing… Morning Star.

    But play-by-play TV
    From Caray’s addled pate
    I snipe at him; he vexes me
    Volume down? Too late.

    I can’t yell back at work
    Or even worse at home
    “Our game? Our game? Whose game you jerk!
    It isn’t yours, you gnome!”

    We both like baseball wit,
    And like the Braves a ton
    But I never did inherit
    My job from Dad, Skip’s son.

    Yes Wren he rarely stumbles
    Putting talent on the field
    But in the booth Chip fumbles
    Replacements? Keep eyes peeled.

  8. Forward, the Braves Brigade!
    Was there a man dismayed ?
    Not though the batter knew
    Some one had blundered:
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to bunt & die…

  9. Rhyme of the Remittance Man Robert W.Service

    There’s a four-pronged buck a-swinging in the shadow of my cabin,
    And it roamed the velvet valley till to-day;
    But I tracked it by the river, and I trailed it in the cover,
    And I killed it on the mountain miles away.
    Now I’ve had my lazy supper, and the level sun is gleaming
    On the water where the silver salmon play;
    And I light my little corn-cob, and I linger, softly dreaming,
    In the twilight, of a land that’s far away.

    i suspect for me this is ‘unparodyable’ -prove me wrong, please. The very first verse that really got to me, age 15, and that ultimately played a role in my being here 20 years later…so corny, still so lovely…

    now here’s something else he wrote you likely know and we could have some fun with…

    A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
    The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
    Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
    And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.

    When out of the night, which was fifty below, and into the din and the glare,
    There stumbled a miner fresh from the creeks, dog-dirty, and loaded for bear.
    He looked like a man with a foot in the grave and scarcely the strength of a louse,
    Yet he tilted a poke of dust on the bar, and he called for drinks for the house.
    There was none could place the stranger’s face, though we searched ourselves for a clue;
    But we drank his health, and the last to drink was Dangerous Dan McGrew.

    who wants first crack? all or part…

  10. Remittance Man redux – (apparently not as sacrosanct as was thought.)

    there’s no element of luck in the hitting woes he’s having
    and we think it’s getting grimmer by the day
    so we summoned up a shrink and we had a little drink
    and he said you’ll have to have him put away.

    not our darling Dan, no, surely but when based on numbers purely
    we agreed we can’t put off the awful day
    so we put him out on waivers, we were hoping for life savers
    said Amaro even i will run away.

  11. can’t get anything going with Dangerous Dan – you might think that would be easier but not for me for whatever reason..

    anyone care to have a try? feel free…see second half #18

  12. don’t mind me, having fun…

    when his fastball slows and the whole league knows that he’ll settle for his curve
    he seeks in vain for the gravy train if it threatens and bites with a swerve
    his sliders suggest what once was the best is hanging for all to encounter
    for the groupies on road there’s no favors bestowed by stuttering sagas to mount her
    so he asked for a trade and the plans that he made the wildest that ever you saw
    to the Giants of old when the story be told of Dangerous John McGraw.

  13. The Brewers may deal Rickie Weeks because they have a 2B they like better. Assuming they have no use for Uggla, what would you trade them?

    Yes, Terdoslavich. And what else, is the question.

  14. Because if you can’t get rid of an 83 OPS+ 2B to whom you owe 26 million it somehow makes sense to trade for another 80 OPS+ 2B to whom you will owe another 10 million?

  15. Weeks has been about the same player as Uggla over the last two years and both have seen their OPS decline steadily (Uggla since 2011, Weeks since 2009). I’ll concede that Weeks is 3 years younger, so he has a slightly higher upside, but not much. I would much rather not do a trade and try our luck with LaStella.

  16. Weeks is also owed far less money, particularly if his 2015 option fails to vest. (In order for his $11.5 million option in 2015 to vest, he has to amass 600 PA in 2014 AND be healthy at the end of the year.)

    Dan Uggla is a salary dump. You can’t expect to get anything good in return. The most you can hope for is another bad player who is owed less money (like Weeks), or a slightly better player who is owed more money (like Phillips).

  17. I guess I should’ve picked a more inspiring target. I was hoping to see fun multi-team trades when I checked back, but everybody had to be so pragmatic…

  18. For some reason, I find Orwell more inspiring right now:

    A happy little fan I was
    A score of years ago,
    To watch my team win through the West
    And to World Series go.

    And later on times still were good
    We flourished in the East
    Playmates like Mets and Montreal
    Bothered us not the least.

    Mazzone left and Skip passed on
    And Bobby took leave too;
    Replaced in number, not in kind,
    And so we suffered through.

    I am a fan who ne’er gave up,
    Though honestly I tried,
    But then came Jason and then Craig,
    “El Oso!” we all cried.

    The Winter Meetings, they were fallow
    And our holes remained;
    “Why cannot we sign players rich?”
    “Shut up,” owners explained.

    I dreamt our team had moved to Cobb,
    And woke to find it true;
    I wasn’t born for an age like this.
    Was Hank? Was Ted? Were you?

  19. thanks…

    i’m an Orwell fan but not apparently a very thorough one – didn’t even remember he wrote verse.

    having said that i think it’s terrible – his not yours!

    the meter is irregular as best i can see, the flow all jerky, uneven.

    They said on Wiki many of his poems were written as a schoolboy so i thought, ha – but it turns out he was 35 on this one.

    so educate me, please – what am i missing?

    Am i

  20. He never published it separately; it was part of his essay “Why I Write.” I did truncate it by about 50 percent.

    On to less pleasant matters. Did Alabama’s defense get lost on the way to New Orleans?

  21. hey mike…

    reverse the order of the last two words of your first line and you’re underway

    great potential!

  22. for mike

    in County Cobb did Schuerholz John
    a stately sporting dome decree
    where George the errant speedster ran
    his logic quite removed from man
    into a 1-4-3.

  23. Needs more opium. Or less. I can’t tell. :)

    Seriously, this has been a fun way to start through a January.

  24. The 2014 HOF Ballot Collecting Gizmo!

    Updated: Jan.3 – 12:15 ~ 107 Full Ballots ~ (18.8% of vote ~ based on last year)

    100 – Maddux
    97.2 – Glavine
    90.7 – F. Thomas
    80.4 – Biggio
    72.9 – Piazza
    66.4 – Bagwell
    60.7 – Jack (The Jack) Morris
    56.1 – Raines
    45.8 – Bonds
    44.9 – Clemens
    39.3 – Schilling
    34.9 – Mussina
    22.4 – Trammell
    20.6 – E. Martinez
    18.7 – L. Smith
    15.0 – McGriff
    14.0 – Kent
    11.2 – L. Walker
    10.3 – McGwire
    8.4 – S. Sosa
    7.5 – R. Palmeiro
    4.7 – Mattingly
    0.9 – P. Rose (Write-In)

    It’s a certainty that Glavine makes it (not that there was much doubt) and Thomas is pretty much a lock at this point too. Seems the real drama is whether Biggio or Piazza make, who the first moron to leave Maddux off their ballot will be, and will Mattingly, Sosa and Palmeiro get the 5% needed to stay on the ballot. Would be great for future ballots if Biggio makes it as that clears 4 worthy candidates. Jack Morris is off either way as it’s his 15th year and ironically, his biggest supporters are probably the ones most responsible for him not making it this year as numerous writers who had voted for him previously had to crowd him off their ballot this year voting for guys who should’ve already been elected like Bagwell and Piazza not to mention Bonds and Clemens.

    Next year adds Smoltz, Unit, Pedro, Sheffield and Nomar. The latter two won’t get in but should get enough support to stay on the ballot.

  25. free lunch…

    by virtue of a bet made back on Opening Day we are are being taken out to lunch today…

    good friends and neighbors, Reds fans, jumped hard at what was on offer…who will win the most regular season games (wouldn’t bet on the Braves in the post season under torture)…

    comfortable win in the end 96 vs. 90…unpredictably aided by Joey’s RBI totals and the team losing their last 5.

  26. @46

    didn’t someone say get drafted above 800 and the computer won’t let you in? no, they didn’t…

    Piazza…two most lasting memories of him…the HR post 9/11 (‘and e’en the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear a cheer’)…

    and his classy reaction to Clemens going ape-shit…

    good guy.

  27. Not voting for Piazza is just….

    Careful, lest you get a visit from Hilary Duff or Wanda Sykes.

  28. Piazza steroid man. Clemens steroid king. Steroid man hate steroid king. Enemy of enemy friend.

  29. 50 – I must be missing a link or something. Smitty, are you saying this because of the media speculation that is so quickly proved false?

  30. Saban’s saying no doesn’t seem like such a whiff, considering he’s basically King of Alabama right now. (Even after losing to the Sooners.)

    52- Just two more votes in, bringing the total to 109:

    100 – Maddux
    97.2 – Glavine
    90.8 – F. Thomas
    80.7 – Biggio
    73.4 – Piazza
    66.1 – Bagwell
    60.6 – Jack (The Jack) Morris
    56.0 – Raines
    46.8 – Bonds
    45.9 – Clemens
    39.4 – Schilling
    33.9 – Mussina
    22.9 – Trammell
    20.2 – E. Martinez
    18.3 – L. Smith
    14.7 – McGriff
    13.8 – Kent
    11.0 – L. Walker
    11.0 – McGwire
    8.3 – S. Sosa
    7.3 – R. Palmeiro
    4.6 – Mattingly
    0.9 – P. Rose (Write-In)

  31. Well, at least it’s another 25-year contract. Maybe in a decade, Philadelphia will regret it.

  32. Yes, Saban, Mora, Fisher, Malzahn and others all told them no and signed extensions with their current schools.

    It appears that Charlie Strong has accepted the Texas job and Louisville has contacted Cutcliffe.

  33. The Phillies also receive a 25 percent equity interest in their Comcast partner, and a share of the ad revenue. Sweet deal. Big money.

  34. Comcast/Phillies/Coleridge

    weave a circle round them thrice
    then close your eyes with holy dread
    for they on avarice have fed
    which really isn’t very nice.

  35. @60
    It’s a bit vague, but it looks to be about 15-20 million annually through 2031. Yup, the Phillies deal is at least 5 times that. Ugh…

  36. I feel as though someone wrote that what the Dodgers get in eight games is more than the Braves get in a full regular season, with their current television contract.

  37. Maybe eventually our payroll will increase some, but only after the on-the-field product fails to meet expectations, thereby affecting turnout to games.

    It’ll be interesting to see what’ll happen if Liberty finds it needs to spend more than it takes in, in order to put a team on the field that’s competitive enough for attendance to be maximized.

  38. Suspect 1 of 3 scenarios plays out with Liberty Media (“LM”).

    1. LM sells out before the Cobb Stadium / Development opens based on someone wanting to overpay for projected financial results (a fool and his money are soon parted).
    2. Development delays accompanied by on-field product failures — Braves not competitive — lead LM to sell out rather than fork over the $$ necessary to improve the team.
    3. Cobb Stadium / Development opens as a success (defined as reasonably close to budget and on-time) and then LM sells out.

    If you’ve ever waded through LM’s SEC filings its apparent that value maximization, generally measured by increasing free cash flow and increased value, are the primary objective. LM has never had an issue with re-shuffling their media holdings, not snagging what LM believes is a good deal for LM. In a way I’m surprised LM hasn’t already unloaded the Braves.

  39. Didn’t everyone say Liberty Media was only going to hold on to the Braves for five or seven or whatever years for tax purposes, and then sell? Hasn’t that time elapsed, or is at least close to doing so?

  40. Really fun read. I actually think it kinda sucks for Glavine that he’s always going to be compared to Maddux, who was just clearly better. On the other hand, just being in the conversation with Maddux is some kind of honor.

  41. Call me crazy, but I’ll take the points tomorrow night.

    That game opened with FSU -7.5 & the world bet heavy on the Noles. Now it’s up to 10.5 in some places.

    I have a hard time believing that Auburn’s flimsy secondary will ever stop FSU (so they’d better get a pass rush). But Auburn should score plenty as well. Would like to see Auburn find another rabbit’s foot, but I’ll go FSU 44, Auburn 38.

  42. Oh, and if you can run the ball, any game in college football is winnable. Auburn can run the ball.

  43. @82 – Bethany has a big web presence. is one of her websites. is what is listed on the contacts info.

    She hasn’t posted in a long while. Hope she isn’t mad at anyone. I enjoyed reading her perspective.

    Columbus OH on full suicide alert after last Friday’s game. Gotta play some defense too.

  44. @82/85…

    had noticed her absence also, hope she is ok…is she our only lady here? surely not but who else?

    here’s a fanciful theory…she finally did get called here, good naturedly, on her obsession with Andrelton’s pop ups…they were driving her crazy…she went on and on..

    she also wins my award for the most invective-filled attack on a braves player during a game in the fewest words…Kris had been struggling early on in his start and inevitably one went out…


    exactly as written, that was the entire post, in its moment….

    passion, pure passion…i was shocked/angered…silly sensitive me…

    anyway, she is missed.

  45. #85
    That was a great game to watch. Clemson’s defense was pretty questionable, too, but they managed to pound Miller pretty good. And kinda interesting that Meyer & Saban were undefeated, then lost their last 2 games.

    Oh, Auburn can win this game. Can’t imagine that FSU is suddenly going to figure out how to stop that offense. If Auburn hangs onto the ball (unlike Clemson, FSU’s best opponent so far) & gets a rush on Winston, they definitely can win. Even if they don’t sack or scare Winston all night, it should be a back-n-forth game. (I think that expanding point spread is goofy.)

    It’s just that Auburn’s had all kinds of trouble with teams sporting a top-level QB/passing game. They give up so many big plays. I mean, how many times can you give up 500 yards & win?

    Rooting for Auburn, of course, but I don’t view this FSU team as a BCS paper tiger like some of the others. This should be fun.

  46. @86 ‘Rissa too. In Bethany’s defense, Simmons proclivity for soft popups drove me nuts too.

  47. c’mon guys, a question of degree…we all suffered

    there’s a line, she overreached and after weeks of it someone called her.

  48. I missed Bethany wishing us a Luis Avilan and próspero año. (but I’m glad that others did)

  49. She’ll be back for the actual games. You can tell this website was her place to log her visceral reaction (usually in all caps) to any and all in-game moments. Which is funny, for someone who is perhaps best known for giving us stylized places to record the cold and clinical outcomes of each play.

  50. is she our only lady here? surely not but who else?

    Well, there was Jason Shiell’s wife.

    In seriousness, there was once a frequent poster here going by the name ‘Jenny’, but that person disappeared.

  51. somewhat tardily, a nominee for sporting pun of the year…

    the Basque area of north west Spain contains two top flight soccer teams who share the same stadium for home games. Recently, when they played each other both sets of supporters were grouped around the one large midfield tunnel to get out of the stadium – there were only a few minutes left to play.

    a wag posted – ‘all the Basques are in one exit.’


  52. yes…

    maybe all the really good ones need some time… glad you liked.. if this thread is still open this evening will post translation for those stuck..

    @ 100

    Dan, a glass of water perhaps?

  53. for all true punsters temporarily baffled…

    ‘all the Basques are in one exit’

    All the eggs are in one basket.

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