Let me start by saying I love sports and I’m not too proud to claim
Despite the exorbitant salaries and the criminals I still love to watch the game.
We tend to think of our athletes as heroes, they are admired and embraced
But since we hardly know them...isn’t our hero worship a bit misplaced?
The other day a pitcher for my team- that would be the Rays from Tampa Bay
Was sick but went to the mound and pitched 6 innings anyway.
He was lauded as a hero in the paper just for going in
And giving our team the opportunity to come out with a win.
I think it was admirable and certainly his reputation I don’t want to smear
But wouldn’t it be easier to go to work sick if you made 9.8 million dollars every year?
9 million dollars to pitch once every 5 days...that’s a lot of fortune for his fame
9 million dollars to throw 100 pitches in perhaps 33 or 34 games.
And he’s not even one of the highest paid pitchers, but no doubt he has the riches
For he makes two-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars every time he pitches.
What makes a hero is not a strong arm, a good back swing or a great bat...
It seems to me a hero is quite a bit more than that.
What about the mom or dad who never makes the front page
As they try to provide for their families while making a minimum wage?
What about the everyday people of whom we often don’t speak
Working 8 to 10 hours every day,40 or more hours every week?
What about the teachers, the doctors, the nurses, there are so many...take your pick
The first responders, the soldiers, the truck drivers who go to work when they’re sick.
Who after working two-thirds of their day would love to be of the belief
That they could call their manager, say their tired, and get some needed relief.
Who would love after coming home early...to have the added perk
Of resting for another 4 days before going back to work.
I do not begrudge this pitcher, certainly he has a talent that’s quite rare
But when it comes to picking the heroes in my life...I choose to look elsewhere.
Jim Yerman's Other Poems
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