You cannot grip the club too tight.
I watch our cagey manager.
He knows who to ride, who to stroke,
whose heritage he can deride.

I hear him razzle the slowpokes
like a morning snarling chainsaw
but then just flips a smile at me,
“Kid, you bring your good stuff today.”

His game is keep the flow of calm,
tighten focus, loosen muscles,
raise the threshold of attention.
He will grasp a pitcher’s jersey

just above his hummingbird heart,
watch for darting eyes that worry.
He won’t try to cram down courage
but he can find it if it’s there.

All of baseball is just like this.
Hold a little bird in your hand.
Squeeze too hard and you can kill it.
Not enough and it flies away.