Mariner Russell Branyan is having his best year as a pro, the proverbial “career year.” Credit may go to a computer-aided eye exercise program, or to statistical anomaly, but the big lefty has kept the Ms over .500 and in sniffing distance of the Wild Card in a tough AL West division. In honor of Branyan–a hard-swinging pull hitter–we present “Pull Hitter” by R. Gerry Fabian, via Baseball Almanac. In a year when every pitch must look to him like a grapefruit, this poem might remind Russell of those long minor league nights, after and before another bus ride, when the latest chance at four bases floats inches past the pole, and a career
.234 hitter grounds another chopper to the first baseman, longing one more evening for the major league minimum.
of the bat
a l o n g drive