Brad Ausmus is his Name

… to the tune of “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress”

Friday night in St. Louis, the first game against the Cards
The Astros’ division rivals, they knew they had to play it hard.
Bagwell singled to the right side, Berkman and Hidalgo walked
With the ground-ball-hitting Ausmus due up, everybody started to mock
He took a strike looking, then held back on a ball
Then hit it left over the wall

He’s the handsome catcher for the Astros
And Brad Ausmus is his name
Without his bat there everyone knows
The Astros would’ve lost that game

The game went on to extra innings, cause the Cards knotted up the score
Scott Rolen wasn’t happy on first base, thought he’d try to steal one more
Wagner pitching to Martinez, the count stood at 1 and 0,
Rolen thought he had a good lead and he decided to go
Billy’s next pitch was over the plate
Brad’s throw to the shortstop was great

He’s the handsome catcher for the Astros
And Brad Ausmus is his name
Without his arm there everyone knows
The Astros would’ve lost that game

The eleventh and Marrero singles, one out and the score still tied
And just like Rolen in the tenth frame, at first base, he isn’t satisfied.
Unlike Rolen, he isn’t waiting, he’s off on Stone’s first pitch
Ausmus’ throw over to second nails him without a hitch.
Then when it’s his turn to pick up the wood
He crushes another one good

He’s the handsome catcher for the Astros
And Brad Ausmus is his name
Without his arm there everyone knows
The Astros would’ve lost that game

Lidge hit Fernando Vina, the first man he faced that night
Ausmus blocked a pitch that was wild, then Renteria flied out to right
Palmeiro fouled off the first pitch, then stood looking at four balls
That brought up Albert Pujols, who started seeing some strike calls
On the third swinging strike Vina started to run
But he was beat by Ausmus’ gun

He’s the handsome catcher for the Astros
And Brad Ausmus is his name
Without his arm there everyone knows
The Astros would’ve lost that game

April 4, 2003.  It was Ausmusness!

I’m Over You Today

You asked to leave the ballclub
So they traded you away.
I thought my heart was broken
But I’m over you today.

The guy they got to take your place
Can field as well as you,
And I can’t help but notice
That he’s hitting better, too.

The whole team’s playing baseball now
The way it should be played
All in all, I’m really glad
They dealt you in that trade.

This is about no particular player. It’s actually about how fans deal with having their favorite player(s) traded. Initially there’s some bad feelings but when the new guy does well, the love for the team overrides the love for the departed player. Especially guys who asked to be dealt. I heard someone on our local sports radio show say that “good play erases bad feelings” and that is very true.

Most fans of teams love the team more than any individual player. Which makes sense as players age and are replaced by the next generation. My father’s Dodgers aren’t the same team as is on the field now. Though if he were still alive, he’d root for them.

Brooks Conrad

The Astros took me in the draft, in June, two-thousand one.
Six summers I played ball for them; then they said I was done.
I signed with the Athletics, but that lasted just a year.
Then Frank Wren said he’d take a chance; that’s how I wound up here.

The Braves were down by six runs on the twentieth of May,
Against the Cincinnati Reds–one inning left to play.
We’d rallied back for three runs by the time I got the call;
With one out and the bases juiced, I got to touch them all.

And almost as exciting, facing Florida in July;
My pinch-hit grand salami broke a Braves and Marlins tie.
That inning saw eight runners score–my RBIs were half.
Though six Braves’ runs were ruled unearned because of Cantu’s gaffe.

Top of the ninth in Houston and the skipper called my name;
An RBI would tie it but a clout could win the game.
Their closer’d only given up three gopher balls all year–
I sent the ball to Crawford Street and swept the bases clear.

I rarely get to start games, ’cause I’m better in the pinch;
I’ll take your pitch four hundred feet if you miss by an inch.
Utility infielder, though my average isn’t great;
My bat can muscle out the ball from both sides of the plate.

Brooks Conrad is clutch.

On May 20th, he hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam home run that lifted the Braves over the Cincinnati Reds to cap a seven-run rally.. On July 24, he hit his second pinch-hit, grand slam home run as part of an eight-run Braves eighth inning. And then, on August 10, he hit a pinch-hit two-run shot in the top of the ninth to put the Braves ahead of the Astros. No wonder some people call him “Clutch” Conrad.

Anyway, I was going to write something generic based on him but then last night happened and I decided, the heck with it, I’ll *call* it “Brooks Conrad” and I’ll write what happened.

The only bit of poetic license is that all of Conrad’s six home runs this year came from the same side of the plate. But he is a switch-hitting utility infielder. He was drafted by Houston, and so on.


Cameron Clark

First I should probably explain who Cameron Clark is. From his website (if you click on his name) “Cameron Clark is a below-average pitcher on a below-average team…” He’s fictitious and he plays for the fictitious Cancun Horror baseball team in the Bring the Heat league.

How this all works is that a bunch of us get together three times a week and one of the league commissioners runs ten days worth of simulation using Out of the Park 6.5a. Scores of major league games are posted to an AIM chat room as well as the pitchers of record in those games. After one sim, Clark’s handler commented that Clark’s ERA was going to go up after a particularly bad start. I don’t know exactly what he said but it made me think of the Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. The first line is what came to me and I had to go check his record for the rest of it. Chandler is Jason Chandler winner of last year’s Cy Young.

Clark’s Song

My ERA is rising
My record’s seven-six
I have three no-decisions
that factor in the mix
And I’ve always been a starer
Don’t put me in the pen
I know I lost tonight’s game
But I will win again!

My ratings show I’m ready
And I’m improving still
It isn’t just my pitching-
It’s my character and will
Though I’m not as good as Chandler,
I can outpitch the rest
I’m nowhere close to perfect,
But I will do my best!

A Warning to a Would-be Thief

I see you on the corner
From the corner of my eye…
My catcher also lets me know
You’re taking a big lead.
We’ve got a little something planned
When you decide to try…
The ball flies faster than your feet,
Regardless of your speed.

A friend of mine was talking about how a pitcher probably was looking at a runner from the corner of his eye and it just sparked something.


The signs flow from the catcher’s hands, a silent short exchange
Where it’s agreed what pitch is thrown–the fastball or the change,
The curveball or the knuckleball, the slider or the split
They try to get the batter out before he gets a hit

The pitcher is the one who gets the credit or the blame
No L or W goes up beside the catcher’s name
But every ball caught on the fly or hit into the stands
Each double-play or called strike three starts in the catcher’s hands.

This wasn’t written for any reason other than to acknowledge the catcher’s role in the pitching process.

Etheree for Lance Berkman

A Yankee?
“Former Astro”
I choke on the words.
He asked to be traded
So it wasn’t a surprise.
He was my favorite Astro.
Now one  of the NY hometown ten;
Their new DH–batting two forty-five.

Okay, he’s not my favorite. But he’s my daughter’s favorite. She wrote a song or him when she was in kindergarten. It’s kind of weird to call him a “former Astro” which he is now.

An etheree is a syllable-count poem where each line has as many syllables as its line number, beginning at one and going to ten.

Good luck Lance. And Roy, too. Roy had a rough outing his first game with Philly bit J.A. Happ did well for the Astros. It’s nearly 6:30 am–I should be sleeping.

Oswalt is Dealt

They traded Roy Oswalt, who’s one of my favorites,
A could-have-been-franchise but he asked to leave.
While I understand it, I don’t have to like it–
I may be unhappy but I’m not naive.

They brought us a pitcher who spent the year injured.
How well he’s recovered, we don’t really know.
Tonight he’ll be facing the Brew-crew in Houston–
I guess we’ll discover how well he can throw.

I’m not too impressed with the minor-league shortstop,
Whose forty-two errors just boggled my mind.
The number’s so high that it’s not on the website.
An empty placeholder is all that you’ll find.

In Triple-A Round Rock you’ll see the first baseman,
Though they say Lance Berkman has nothing to fear.
The kid bats three hundred to Berkman’s two-fifty.
So who’ll be the starting first-baseman next year?

The deal’s completed and some folks are happy.
And others complain that the Astros were had.
But good play erases a lot of bad feelings,
And if they start winning, the fans will be glad.

Roy Oswalt was traded for J.A. Happ and two minor-leaguers. One Of the minor-leaguers was swapped with the Jays. So the Astros have Happ, a shortstop named Jonathan Villar (who really did make 42 errors, Matt Thomas said so on 790 the Sports Animal) and Brett Wallace, the future first baseman for the Astros.

According to the Minor League Baseball Wallace is hitting .301 for the Las Vegas 51’s though he’s now listed with the Round Rock Express where he’ll be preparing for his new role. Berkman, according to is batting .245. Now I realize that Wallace is in AAA, but ya gotta figure that even adjusted that’s better than Berkman.

Now, about Villar and the 42 errors. Click here and see the stats for the Lexington Legends–Villar’s new team. Notice the error column. There is a space for Villars’ errors. Not a 0, not a 42, a space.  Matt Thomas don’t lie so I know what number should be there.  And that’s for this season, folks.  In 100 (not rounded) games.  That’s almost one every other game.

I’m really not as down on Happ as the song implies. He just hasn’t pitched much and only one game since he got back from injury. So the Astros are getting a pig in a poke.  He was a contender for Rookie of the Year, but I don’t know that being first among seconds is a sufficient recommendation.

I think good play erases bad feelings and it’s entirely possible that this turns out to be a good thing for the Astros. But only time will tell.

The Guy with the Slider

In to close, bringing the heat
Brad Lidge throws in the 90s
Philly fans are all up on their feet
Want to see him record the last outs

Thinking heat, what do they do?
Take their swing much too early
But Lidge comes in with the breaking stuff too
‘Cause the heater’s not what he’s about

He’s the guy with the slider
Watch the arc of the flight
Darting down as the hitter is retired
With the top of their lineup
In to face him tonight
And they whiff when they’re facing the guy
With the slider

Batter up, stand at the plate
Bradley throws him a heater
No longer early, now his swing is too late
And it’s strike three and he sits back down< CHORUS:

I actually wrote this awhile ago but am posting it now. It’s to the tune of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and Dave Weingart, who was the filk guest of honor at ApolloCon this year said it was “brilliant”. I’m not sure about that, but I really enjoyed writing it.


So we begin to practice all our drills,
Preparing minds and bodies to play ball.
Refining and remastering our skills,
In hopes that we’ll be champions, come fall.
No time like now to get things underway.
Good fortune favors those whose hearts are sure.
The will, it’s said, will always find a way,
Remaining strong, till victory’s secure.
Aspiring to upset our rival teams,
Indelibly we plan to leave our mark.
Not resting till we realize our dreams,
Ignited by an incandescent spark.
Nor would we idly lie about and wait
Gratuity’s no attribute of fate.

In BTH (my simulation baseball role-playing league) we just finished the 2026 regular season with playoffs starting tonight. In the meantime, i have players who won’t be in the post-season and so I’m working on stuff I can post for credit next season.

This is an acrostic sonnet. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.