2013 Phillies Report Card: Steven Susdorf

Once upon a BP dreary, while I scouted weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious swinger of Philadelphian org,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a cracking,
As of someone harshly smacking, smacking at lobbed balls galore.
`’Tis a five o’clock hitter,’ I muttered, `smacking lobbed balls galore –
Only this, and nothing more.’

Ah, but he continued slaying, pitch by pitch which he was spraying,
The pure stick he was displaying on the balls twas waging war.
Eagerly I started noting; – here’s a bat I would be doting
Someone’s OFP is bloating – bloating for the Hit Tool Whore –
For the rare and radiant weapon that the angels name Susdorf –
Tool-less here for evermore.

And the heavy, wise commotion of the seat behind me’s motion
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors often felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`’Tis some scout I’d be entreating, who I’m seated just before.
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my scouting door; –
This it is, and nothing more,’

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,’ said I, while turning, ‘truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and this hitter began rapping,
Reputation he is lacking, might you tell me something more?’
Silence there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I sat there wondering, fearing,
Doubting hit tool dreams I’d never dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Susdorf.’
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Susdorf.’
Merely this and nothing more.

Back to the ballfield turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard that rapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something there in batting practice;
Tell me, sir, what that is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore.’
Just wind and nothing more.

His coldness did cause me to shutter, when, with a look my heart did flutter,
Finally, this scouting maven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; for this BP stopped and stayed he;
And all the hitters did grade he, perched behind my scouting door –
Perched here in this soft-drink palace just behind my scouting door –
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ivory man beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though your face is quite unshaven,’ he said, `your persistence isn’t craven,’
Said to me the scouting maven who I prayed would tell me more-
‘Tell me what this man can do beside smack lobbed balls galore’
Quoth the maven, `Nothingmore.’

Much I marveled this ungainly owl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;
For the bat is most important, without the power will lay dormant
So I peered at my informant perched behind my scouting door –
Right or wrong I seek to learn from the wise one at my scouting door,
With such comment as `Nothingmore.’

But the maven, unimpressed by the tools he’d just addressed,
That hit tool, as if my soul in that one tool I did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered – no opinion would he flutter –
Till I scarcely more than muttered `I’ve not seen bats like this galore –
Tis a rare thing to be seeing, just a few times heretofore.’
Then the scout said, `Nothingmore.’

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,’ said I, `what holes you’ve poken are of secondary bore,
Yes, I’d like him to run faster and his power’s a disaster
Centerfield he hasn’t mastered so a corner he’ll explore –
But the bat is there and tis was has an impact on the score.
Silliness, this – nothingmore.’

But the maven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Next to him at first pitch filing hoping I could still implore;
Then, upon the cushion sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous scout of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous scout of yore
Meant in croaking `Nothingmore.’

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the man whose fiery eyes now burned into fat catcher’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
And my lousy stopwatch timing things it’s often timed before,
With its crimson rubber lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
It too does nothingmore.

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Susdorf who can track balls thrown from chest to floor.
`Wretch,’ I cried at the maven, `thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he has sent thee
Respite – respite and nepenthe to deter the Hit Tool Whore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and let be the Hit Tool Whore!’
Quoth the maven, `Nothingmore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if scout or devil! –
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this cheesesteak land enchanted –
On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –
Is there – is there bat speed in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’
Quoth the maven, ` Nothingmore.’

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if Special Assistant to the General Manager or devil!
By that League that bends above us – by The Show we both adore –
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Susdorf –
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Susdorf?’
Quoth the maven, `Nothingmore.’

`Be that word our sign of parting, evaluator or fiend!’ I shrieked upstarting –
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no business card as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my radar gun unbroken! – quit this ballpark I adore!
Take thy pen from out my heart, apply it to thy sheet of score!’
Quoth the maven, `Nothingmore.’

And the maven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
In this Coca-Cola palace while I try to scout some more;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the stadium light streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that immerses Hit Tool Whore-
Shall be lifted – nevermore.


My Grade: D

Michael Paul Bill Ryan