Archive for May, 2011

Ten Short Poems Organized Around the Last Names of Vancouver Canuck Goaltenders, #4: Caprice

Posted in Canucks-related on May 30, 2011 by wechslerh66

was it love that left me out in the cold

& did I bring you flowers, love

or a wild cold that spread like brushfire
through your sudden, tender love
of the sudden, seminal me?

© 1994 by H. Wechsler

Stanley Cup pick

Posted in Canucks-related on May 28, 2011 by wechslerh66

Despite the fact that I’m a Canuck fan– or more relevantly, was a Canuck fan twenty years ago, during the Snepsts II era, and during the Keenan era (Comcast’s Ron Burke referred to them as the Keenucks– ugh)– I don’t think this series will be a long one. With no lack of respect for Boston, Vancouver’s top three (the Sedins plus Kesler) are better than any Bruin forward. (Who’s the best Bruin forward? Bergeron? Krejci?) Chara is (literally) the only Norris winner on D, if underwhelming vs. Tampa Bay, but he and Seidenberg are the only Bruins who would make the Canucks’ top four. Vancouver may not have an edge in goal for once, debatably, though the playoff numbers are dead on:

Thomas playoffs 12-6, .929, 2.29, 2 ShO
Luongo playoffs 12-6, .922, 2.29, 2 ShO

Thomas may be able to steal a game or two, but probably not four. History allegedly favors the Bruins, but I don’t know that Boston’s 20-2-1 record vs. the Canucks in the 1970s will be relevant in 2011, nor will the Bruins’ 3-1 win at Rogers Arena in February.

An underdog Canuck team went winless vs. the 1982 Islanders for the Cup, but it was close; Vancouver lost 6-5 (Snepsts famously passing to Bossy in OT), 6-4, 3-0, and 3-1. An underdog Boston team won’t go winless, and it will be close, but it won’t be long. The Bruins don’t need another Vancouver shakedown, but I’m predicting one. Canucks in five.

Ten Short Poems Organized Around the Last Names of Vancouver Canuck Goaltenders, #3: Weeks

Posted in Canucks-related on May 27, 2011 by wechslerh66

day in, day out:
the oncoming train
in the wake of the mind’s eye

dark faces on the moors
mud on the tracks

a waking starling,
staring

how to be a canary
in a coal mine economy

© 1997, 2011 by H. Wechsler

Ten Short Poems Organized Around the Last Names of Vancouver Canuck Goaltenders, #2: Auld

Posted in Canucks-related on May 24, 2011 by wechslerh66

we have come for light, wholly
–the Breeders, “New Year”

farewell to the metonymous west
with its dust bowl dawn
of the metonymous dead

farewell to the worn women of the dawn
the dark men of the moor
the pale children of the corn

farewell to the muse of the English-only
farewell to the rogue of the shock TV

we are the shirtless thugs
of Karnataka
weekend warriors
of al-Mahalla al-Kabra
merry martyrs
of the Nafusa

we are the memory
of the unforgotten

we are hip
like history

© 2011 by H. Wechsler

Ten Short Poems Organized Around the Last Names of Vancouver Canuck Goaltenders, #1: Fountain

Posted in Canucks-related on May 23, 2011 by wechslerh66

No one talks about love in a bar
anymore.

When the fountainman says,
“Let there be light!”
no one catches the allusion
anymore.

Closing time turns the book around
& stains the glass
with the blood of Mary.

© 1994 by H. Wechsler

Offensive

Posted in 2011 Phillies, non-de Jesus related on May 22, 2011 by wechslerh66

The Mariners beat the Padres 4-0 last night behind rookie Michael Pineda (now 6-2, 2.16, 61/14 K/BB ratio in 58 1/3 IP with a WHIP of 0.94), who obviously needs to dominate behind this lineup:

Ichiro rf
Figgins 3b (.212/.251/.291 in 165 AB, with a 7/5 SB/CS ratio)
Smoak 1b
Olivo c (.208/.277/.300 in 130 AB)
F. Gutierrez cf (1 hit in 12 AB after missing two months with IBS)
Brendan Ryan ss
Mike Wilson lf
Jack Wilson 2b

What’s scary is, Seattle (21-24) is only 1.5 games behind Texas (23-23) for first in the AL West.

What’s scarier is, Olivo may have been the worst cleanup hitter in baseball last night, but it’s close:

Brad Hawpe, SD .232/.297/.336 in 125 AB
Torii Hunter LAA .255/.310/.326 in 178 AB
Jason Bay NYM .222/.314/.333 in 90 AB
Aaron Hill TOR .250/.287/.330 (batting behind Jose Bautista, he of the .364/.509/.841 with 18 HR and 38 BB in 132 AB)
Evan Longoria (!) TB .211/.325/.394 in 71 AB (Phillies fans, time to begin the Eva chant)
Carlos Lee HOU .244/.271/.387 with 6 BB in 168 AB

What’s scariest for Phillies fans is (small sample size alert), Olivo’s OPS+ of 69 is still better than that of Wilson Valdez (52), Pete Orr (60), Brian Schneider (48), Michael Martinez (21), and Dane Sardinha (45), and not much worse than Ross Gload (73), even before you factor in the defensive value of Olivo at catcher– and at the moment (small sample size alert II), he’s not much worse than Carlos Ruiz (.217/.320/.325, OPS+ of 78). (The only Phils with an OPS+ above 100 are Victorino, Polanco, Howard, and Mayberry. Rollins and Francisco aren’t that far behind.)

It could be worse, though. Check out the bottom of the Dodgers’ order vs. the White Sox last night:

Barajas c .222/.262/.407 with a BB/K ratio of 5/38– and 3 of the 5 walks are intentional!
Jerry Sands rf .205/.302/.349 in 83 AB
Loney 1b .232/.272/.280 with 1 HR in 168 AB, OPS+ of 57 (just for comparison, Mark Grace, age 39 with Arizona: .200/.279/.304 with 3 HR in 155 AB, OPS+ of 48– effectively, Loney is Mark Grace the year before he retired)
Gibbons rf .185/.281/.222 in only 27 AB– would you rather have Tony Gwynn, Jr? (.208/.250/.306 in 72 AB)
Russell Mitchell 3b 2 hits in 20 AB– one of them was a homer, though!

Maybe it isn’t quite 1968. On the other hand, I did pick the Tigers.

Fab Five

Posted in 2011 Phillies on May 17, 2011 by wechslerh66

Courtesy of a deli on 17th Street. Someone’s the number one fan of the man from Tennessee.