The pitcher who had a bobble-head in his likeness,
Who sold the most jerseys,
Graced the cover of the pocket schedule,
Glowered from atop the pitching mound on billboards
and broadsheets,
Was now out the door,
Bartered away for a few prospects.

Management figured the current roster
Had peaked in its potential,
Run out its course.

Today had sputtered out.
A hazy mirage of tomorrow was all the franchise had left.

Kids who had the pitcher’s poster splayed across rooms
all across the suburbs
Didn’t understand the cold calculus,
How cutthroat a game could be.