Posnanski: Poets and Knuckleballers

Of course it’s Posnanski so you have to read the whole thing, if only for the long digression about Charlie Hough and passed balls. But here’s a taste:

I’ve always thought of the knuckleball as poetry. When it’s really good, it’s surprising and deep and almost impossibly awesome — you just can’t believe something could be so cool. A great poem, like a great knuckler, feels like it is breathing. And when it’s really bad — bad poetry or bad knuckleballs — yeah, it’s really bad.

Here’s the thing: Like poetry, I can’t help but feel like the knuckleball is on the verge of disappearing. Of course, neither one is really disappearing. It just feels that way. That’s why it struck me so funny and touching when Elizabeth talked about going into the poetry business. I know there IS a poetry business out there, I know there ARE brilliant poets out there, but I honestly don’t come across them much in my life.

Joe worries that Tim Wakefield was the last of the great knuckleball pitchers; the last of the knuckleballers who last forever and win a couple of hundred games. I don’t think he’s the last. But I fear he’s the last we’re going to see for a long, long while.

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