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Saturday, March 17, 2012

NYBD: Nolan Ryan Says Military Impacted his Mets Development

Damn…all these years and the Mets haven’t even reached a Jason Bay resolution.

The gang over at the Kult of Mets Personalities scored a great guest, Hall of Famer and current owner of the Texas Rangers, Nolan Ryan.

Of course, we all know that Ryan started his career with the Mets. In five seasons he was 29-38 with a 3.58 ERA. The deal that sent Ryan to California for Jim Fregosi is undoubtedly the worst trade in franchise history.

So what did the Mets do wrong? Nothing, as it was more a unfortunate circumstance. Ryan revealed during the podcast that his struggles were due to the Vietnam War. Ryan was in a “top priority reserve unit in Houston,” and was called to duty every other weekend. If his turn in the rotation came up, he was skipped, thus not allowing him the consistent reps necessary at that point in his development.

After the trade to Anaheim, he served his six years and was discharged, giving him the opportunity to pitch every five days without interruption.

Repoz Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:16 AM | 213 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mets

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   1. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 17, 2012 at 08:50 AM (#4082922)
A pro athlete being called up for military duty. Oh, the humanity.
   2. adenzeno Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4082928)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.
   3. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4082933)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.


Ken Holtzman went 9-0 one year, pitching on weekend passes from his reserve unit.
   4. AROM Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4082937)
Ok, we had a thread the other day about who would be the next Bob Feller, crusty old get off my lawn HOFer. I think Ryan is making sure he gets proper consideration.
   5. TerpNats Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:44 AM (#4082938)
My father served in the National Guard in the late 1960s, and among those serving with him was then-Yankees pitcher John Cumberland.
   6. Downtown Bookie Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4082940)
So what did the Mets do wrong? Nothing...


The Mets did everything wrong in that trade.

The Mets traded for a past-his-prime, injured Fregosi, who in 1971 hit 15 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, and had a batting average of .233. The Mets were then shocked, shocked that in 1972 Fregosi, in a Mets uniform, hit 15 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, and had a batting average of .232. What a disappointment! While the stat didn't exist at the time, Fregosi's OPS+ of 89 in both 1971 and 1972 just shows that the Mets got exactly the player they should have expected to get.

In addition, the Mets didn't give up just Ryan to get Fregosi. The Mets gave up Ryan, Frank Estrada, Don Rose, and Leroy Stanton. After making the trade, Mets GM Bob Scheffing called Whitey Herzog, who was then the Mets Director of Player Development. Scheffing asked Herzog to notify Stanton that he had just been traded to the Angels for Jim Fregosi. Herzog told Scheffing that was a horrible trade, that there was no way he would trade Stanton for Fregosi.

Repeating for clarity, at the time of the trade, Whitey Herzog told Mets GM Bob Scheffing that trading Leroy Stanton straight up for Jim Fregosi was a horrible trade. Herzog said Scheffing just hung up on him.

Ryan in 1971 (at the age of 24) had been a top line starter for the Mets, before running out of gas in the second half of the season. The split stats show this, as Ryan was 8-6 with a 2.24 ERA, a WHIP of 1.294 and a Strikeout-to-Walks ratio of 1.59 at the end of June, 1971. Consider also this passage from Roger Angell, published in the New Yorker in June, 1971 (and re-printed in the book The Summer Game):

The [Mets] pitching has been excellent, of course - most especially the bullpen of McGraw, Taylor, and Frisella - and Nolan Ryan has succeeded Jerry Koosman as the stopper next to God, Tom Seaver. Watching Ryan work can be wearing; a typical Ryan inning (as confirmed by my scorecard of a recent game against Houston) consists of a walk, another walk, a swinging strikeout, another swinging strikeout, another walk, and a line drive straight into the glove of the right fielder. One way or another, he gets the job done - he has won six games so far, and has an earned-run average of 1.72.


Bottom Line: Ryan (and Stanton, and Estrada, and Rose) for Fregosi was a horrible trade. To say that the Mets did nothing wrong, that the trade turning out bad for the Mets was simply "a unfortunate circumstance", implying that the results could not be foreseen, is simply wrong.

DB
   7. Matt Welch Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:48 AM (#4082942)
Pretty sure it was every *four* days until 1977.

He also had some nagging injuries w/ the Mets, IIRC, which became the back-story for his heroic exercise regimens the rest of his career.
   8. Repoz Posted: March 17, 2012 at 09:59 AM (#4082950)
Time to pull out the Ted Williams story about Bernie Allen and the military.

Spring training 1970, Ted Williams was looking around for that "Allen fella" at 2B. One of Ted's coaches told him that Bernie Allen was away due to National Guard duty.

An angered Williams said..

"First WWII, then the Korean War, now the Vietnam War...those basstards just won't leave me alone!"
   9. AROM Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4082953)
"The Mets traded for a past-his-prime, injured Fregosi, who in 1971 hit 15 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, and had a batting average of .233. The Mets were then shocked, shocked that in 1972 Fregosi, in a Mets uniform, hit 15 Doubles, 5 Home Runs, and had a batting average of .232. What a disappointment! While the stat didn't exist at the time, Fregosi's OPS+ of 89 in both 1971 and 1972 just shows that the Mets got exactly the player they should have expected to get."

The year before his final with the Angels, Fregosi had a 127 ops+, 22 homers at short, +14 with the glove, which worked out to a 7.7 WAR season. The year before that he was at 114 ops+. A proto sabermetrician of the day might have run a Marcel and praised the Mets for buying low on a superstar who just had one bad year, was only 30. Plus Ryan couldn't find the strike zone and TINSTAAPP.

Maybe it was a failure of scouting to not realize the severity of Fregosi's injuries. When you bet on a player to return to form after a bad year instead of only looking at the most recent season, you will be right more often than wrong.
   10. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:11 AM (#4082956)
Ryan was in a “top priority reserve unit in Houston,” and was called to duty every other weekend. If his turn in the rotation came up, he was skipped, thus not allowing him the consistent reps necessary at that point in his development.

Craig Wright has argued that Ryan's military service time helped his development because it limited the stress and workload placed on his young arm.
   11. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4082963)
Pretty sure it was every *four* days until 1977.


More like 1980 or 1981. But even before that it was every fifth about a third of the time. They did have off days and rainouts, after all. And teams did have fifth starters, they just skipped them whenever possible.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4082964)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.


Garry Maddux served in Vietnam, though he was a minor leaguer at the time he was there.

   13. Darren Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4082970)
I found this story pretty interesting. Didn't strike me as griping or "in my day...." stuff.
   14. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4082980)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.


Garry Maddux served in Vietnam, though he was a minor leaguer at the time he was there.

True, although while in Vietnam he was exposed to chemicals that damaged his skin and made it painful for him to shave, which is why he always wore a beard.

There were actually six Vietnam veterans who later made the Majors. Two of them I'd never heard of (Chuck Goggin and Bobby Jones), but besides those two and Maddux, there were also Jim Bibby, Ed Figueroa, and Al Bumbry, who was a platoon leader for two years in Vietnam, earned a Bronze Star, and was the AL ROY in 1973. AFAICR Bumbry and the Steelers' Rocky Bleier were the two pro athletes whose Vietnam service got the most play during the time of their careers.

   15. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4082985)
BTF: Gef the Talking Mongoose Says Using "Impacted" Instead of "Affected" in Headline Shows Editor Should be Doing Something Else.
   16. Kinerkorner Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4082986)
I think when Mike said "what did the Mets do wrong... nothing", he was referring to the development of Ryan, rather than the trade itself. They obviously made a huge mistake, which is amplified by the fact they knew his military service was ending and would get to see him for a full season. Why not let that play out is beyond me. Bad "in the moment" trade.

Also, another big thing I took from the interview is that he was hurt by being traded, rather than this prevailing thought that he or his wife (who was nice enough to set up the interview) forced it to happen. He's been more connected to his Mets past since he's become an owner because he has a fresh perspective on it. This is a very proud and very intense guy... he seems to have wished his California years were in NY.

- Nik (I'm one of the guys speaking to Ryan in the interview)
   17. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4082991)
Gef: Thank you! I'm glad there's at least one other person out there who acknowledges that "impact" still isn't a verb, no matter how badly people want it to be. Along those same lines, memo to corporate America: "Spend" will never be a noun. Stop it.

EDIT: And neither will "ask."
   18. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:39 AM (#4082997)
"impact" still isn't a verb, no matter how badly people want it to be


Really? The usage of impact as a verb (as in definition 6, at least) dates from the 18th century.

im·pact [n. im-pakt; v. im-pakt]
noun
1. the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision: The impact of the colliding cars broke the windshield.
2. an impinging: the impact of light on the eye.
3. influence; effect: the impact of Einstein on modern physics.
4. an impacting; forcible impinging: the tremendous impact of the shot.
5. the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology: the impact of the industrial revolution.
verb (used with object)
6. to drive or press closely or firmly into something; pack in.
7. to fill up; congest; throng: A vast crowd impacted St. Peter's Square.
8. to collide with; strike forcefully: a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars.
9. to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter: The decision may impact your whole career. The auto industry will be impacted by the new labor agreements.
verb (used without object)
10. to have impact or make contact forcefully: The ball impacted against the bat with a loud noise.
11.to have an impact or effect: Increased demand will impact on sales.


neither will "ask."


"Tell" however, is a perfectly cromulent noun.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4083000)
OK, fair point about definition #6 (as in "impacted wisdom tooth"), but aren't 7-11 just a recent concession to common misuse?
   20. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4083004)
I'd say that is arguable for 9-11, but not so much for 7-8. 7 seems closer to being an archaic use than a concession to recent misuse.
   21. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 17, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4083006)
EDIT: And neither will "ask."


The "ask", is what you pay for a stock or option.
   22. Arbitol Dijaler Posted: March 17, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4083010)
Yeah, ask is a very common business noun.
   23. Sweatpants Posted: March 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4083014)
BTF: Gef the Talking Mongoose Says Using "Impacted" Instead of "Affected" in Headline Shows Editor Should be Doing Something Else.
BTF: Making a Capitalization Error as You Mock Editor Makes You Look Silly, and, in Other News, Garry Maddox Still Unrelated to White Pitching Brothers of 1990s
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4083022)
"Common business noun" = Word commonly misused by businesspeople as a noun. Not the same as "actual noun."
   25. frannyzoo Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:00 PM (#4083043)
Put me down on the side of Gef and others...impact is not a verb. Screw Vietnam. I'd rather fight a war over impact as a noun. And two spaces after a period. And not using conjunctions to start sentences) as if they did not indicate dependent instead of independent clauses. Give me no comma splices, or give me death. Using the comma, of course, to separate the two independent clauses separated by the conjunction.

Okay, back to grading 8th Grade papers now...
   26. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4083046)
BTF: Making a Capitalization Error as You Mock Editor Makes You Look Silly, and, in Other News, Garry Maddox Still Unrelated to White Pitching Brothers of 1990s


What was the capitalization error? "Instead," maybe?

(AP style also dictates single rather than double quotes in heds, FWIW, though obviously I didn't adhere to that. Bad, bad me.)
   27. Something Other Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:13 PM (#4083051)
Was Ryan b!tching about this, or merely explaining. The excerpt suggests the latter.

I agree with Gef. We've lost the battle, though.
   28. Sweatpants Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4083053)
What was the capitalization error? "Instead," maybe?
Be.
   29. Karl from NY Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4083054)
Yeah, ask is a very common business noun.

Yup. http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2004/01/07/48304.aspx
   30. flournoy Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM (#4083057)
A grammar argument! My invite must have been lost in the mail.
   31. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4083058)
Be.


Don't have my stylebook with me, but I'm close to 100 percent positive that being verbs aren't capped. I could be wrong, though -- more often than not (like for about 30 minutes yesterday, at which point I glanced at the page & saw what I'd done) I abbreviate Wisconsin as "Wisc." instead of the correct "Wis." in heds.
   32. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4083059)
Nothing like an argument about the use of language to bring out character. Except for an argument about porn. Or God. Or politics. Steroids. The HOF. Come to think of it, they're all the same argument.
   33. Chris Fluit Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:29 PM (#4083061)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.


In another recent thread, someone mentioned that Rod Carew missed a few weekends for the same reason which is part of the reason he played less than 130 games in '68 and '69.
   34. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4083062)
My invite must have been lost in the mail.


I see what you did there.
   35. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4083063)
part of the reason he played less than 130 games in '68 and '69.


Fewer...fewer than...
   36. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4083072)
I'm glad there's at least one other person out there who acknowledges that "impact" still isn't a verb, no matter how badly people want it to be.
"Impact" is known to have been used as a verb at least since 1601.
Along those same lines, memo to corporate America: "Spend" will never be a noun.
"Spend" is known to have been used as a noun since at least 1688.
Fewer...fewer than...
"Less" is known to have been used in the sense that you want to exclusively use "fewer" since at least 888. That's not a typo: Not 1888. 888.

The "rules" that your grade school English teacher told you are, generally speaking, arbitrary and fabricated, and in many cases are totally contrary to how the English language actually works - and has worked for hundreds of years, or even a thousand and more.
   37. Karl from NY Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4083076)
My invite must have been lost in the mail.

What zip code was it in?
   38. Downtown Bookie Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4083077)
Nothing like an argument about the use of language to bring out character. Except for an argument about porn. Or God. Or politics. Steroids. The HOF. Come to think of it, they're all the same argument.


Yeah, but sometimes the alliances are different. That's what makes it fun.

DB
   39. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4083087)
Chuck Goggin


As Goggin advanced to the plate, Pirate organist Vince Lascheid played, "My kind of town, Chuck Goggin is...."
   40. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: March 17, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4083089)
BTF: Prescriptivists Impact Enjoyment
   41. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:35 PM (#4083121)
I heard somewhere that Tim Johnson served in Vietnam.
   42. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:40 PM (#4083127)
Ok, we had a thread the other day about who would be the next Bob Feller, crusty old get off my lawn HOFer. I think Ryan is making sure he gets proper consideration.

And I had dibs! Let's check back in 20 years and see who's the winner.

I guess I've confidently seized the middle ground on "impact" as a verb, "less" / "fewer" and stuff like that: I'm aware of the language - I still remember one of my law review classmates saying "more fastly" when she meant "quicker" - and I try not to do use it that way myself, but I'm sure I screw things up from time to time. In fact, I know I do - watching video or reading transcripts can be mighty humbling.
Besides, maybe Shakespeare said "more fastly" somewhere, because it suited the meter, or it was a pun, or some other dang thing.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:42 PM (#4083130)
"Repeating for clarity, at the time of the trade, Whitey Herzog told Mets GM Bob Scheffing that trading Leroy Stanton straight up for Jim Fregosi was a horrible trade. Herzog said Scheffing just hung up on him."

If you have a quote from Herzog from a newspaper of the time spelling out words to this effect before the start of the following season, that would suffice.

But if this is Herzog years later remembering things in just such a way that made him look smarter and Scheffing look dumber - er, that might be worth noting.

Not to say that I think Herzog LIKED the trade, but he wouldn't be the first person in human history to have a memory that accentuates his own acumen - as opposed to him maybe just not liking how much the Mets gave up....

   44. Something Other Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM (#4083140)
Nothing like an argument about the use of language to bring out character. Except for an argument about porn. Or God. Or politics. Steroids. The HOF. Come to think of it, they're all the same argument.
This can't be true. I'm only in favor of two or three of these things.
   45. bjhanke Posted: March 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM (#4083142)
I checked out "impact: in the OED. Taking the list from comment #18,

1. the striking of one thing against another; forceful contact; collision: The impact of the colliding cars broke the windshield. - Yes, old, but is limited to physical impacts.

2. an impinging: the impact of light on the eye. - Much later, derived from #1.

3. influence; effect: the impact of Einstein on modern physics. - A modern extrapolation of #1, which is supposed to be limited to physical collisions. The word does not apply to mental or metaphysical concepts until much later than its use to refer to physical acts.

4. an impacting; forcible impinging: the tremendous impact of the shot. - Dicey until modern times, although an obvious extrapolation of #1.

5. the force exerted by a new idea, concept, technology, or ideology: the impact of the industrial revolution.
verb (used with object) - Same as #3. And as modern as #3.

6. to drive or press closely or firmly into something; pack in. - The original canonical definition. In the old days, this definition was often spelled "impack."

7. to fill up; congest; throng: A vast crowd impacted St. Peter's Square. - Old, and "impacted" was treated as a separate word from "impact." They did not have exactly the same connotations, and "impacted" actually predates any use of "impact" as a verb.

8. to collide with; strike forcefully: a rocket designed to impact the planet Mars. - Old, and backformed from "impacted." In this form, it loses a lot of its application to sharp physical strikes, and is most commonly used to refer to the act of packing something in tight. The use of "impact" as a verb, in any context, is later than its use as a noun because of the backforming from "impacted."

9. to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter: The decision may impact your whole career. The auto industry will be impacted by the new labor agreements.
verb (used without object) - A later variant on #3, and dependent on the backforming mentioned in #8.

10. to have impact or make contact forcefully: The ball impacted against the bat with a loud noise. - A variant use of #1. Essentially the same.

11.to have an impact or effect: Increased demand will impact on sales. - Modern extrapolation from #3, and another backformed use as a verb.

The original word is mixed up, in the old days, with the rarer "impack", as in "I will go impack my suitcase with my travel clothes." This word died out before the spelling change to "empack" would have kicked in.

As for Nolan Ryan, there are a surprising number of pitchers who, when young, went to war, or some kind of military service that limited their baseball time, and then had very long careers, very likely because they were "used" so lightly when young. Warren Spahn is my favorite example. Ryan is another. My worry about Ryan's pronouncements about treatment of young arms is that he may be channelling his own career, which would be a mistake. On the other hand, his team has done pretty well since he went there.

- Brock Hanke
   46. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM (#4083148)
By the way, Fregosi wasn't done as a hitter. From ages 31-35 he put up a 108 OPS+ -- probably mostly in platoon situations but certainly solid for a 3B/bench guy. In fact his 111 OPS+ for the Rangers is a good match for his 116 with the Angels.

And this just in -- b-r says Fregosi batted righty, not lefty like my brain says. Stupid b-r.
   47. Morty Causa Posted: March 17, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4083162)
Again, on nouns becoming verbs (no big deal) and especially as to the us e of "impact" as a verb, I refer you to the Man, Mr. Stven Pinker, who's probably forgotten more about language than most grammar puss experts collectively know:

Through the ages, language mavens have deplored the way English speakers convert nouns into verbs. The following verbs have all been denounced in this century: to caveat... to input... to host... to nuance... to access... to chair... to dialogue... to showcase... to progress... to parent... to intrigue... to contact... to impact... As you can see, they range from varying degrees of awkwardness to the completely unexceptionable. In fact, easy conversion of nouns to verbs has been part of English grammar for centuries; it is one of the processes that make English English. I have estimated that about a fifth of all English verbs were originally nouns. Considering just the human body, you can [head a committee, scalp the missionary, eye a babe, stomach someone's complaints], and so on -- virtually every body part can be verbed (including several that cannot be printed in a family journal of opinion).



What's the problem? The concern seems to be that fuzzy-minded speakers are slowly eroding the distinction between nouns and verbs. But once again, the person in the street is not getting any respect. A simple quirk of everyday usage shows why the accusation is untrue. Take the baseball term [to fly out], a verb that comes from the noun [a pop fly]. The past tense is [flied], not [flew]; no mere mortal has ever [flown out] to center field. Similarly, in using the verb-from-noun [to ring the city] (form a ring around), people say [ringed], not [rang], and for [to grandstand] (play to the grandstand), they say [grandstanded] not [grandstood]. Speakers' preference for the regular form with [-ed] shows that they are tacitly sensitive to the fact that the verbs came from nouns. They avoid irregular forms like [flew out] because they intuitively sense that the baseball verb [to fly] is different from the ordinary verb [to fly] (what birds do): the first is a verb based on a noun root, the second, a verb with a verb root. Only the verb root is allowed to have the irregular past-tense form [flew], because only for verb roots does it make sense to have [any] past-tense form. The quirk shows that when people use a noun as a verb, they are making their mental dictionaries more sophisticated, not less so -- it's not that words are losing their identities as verbs versus nouns; rather, there are verbs, there are nouns, and there are verbs based on nouns, and people store each one with a different mental tag.


See the gloss on flying out in baseball
   48. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4083191)
Quite a few MLB players were in the reserves during the Vietnam War. I do not believe that any MAJOR League players saw combat, but many Minor league players did.


Bob Johnson (not Indian Bob Johnson or the one who spent five years as Brooks Robinson's backup</a> probably would have gotten to the majors in 1968 if he hadn't been called up to some sort of military service that lasted the whole season. Apparently he always had command problems and the Mets gave up on him when he was worse in AAA in '69 than he had been in '67, but he ended up having a few good years.

Not sure why Dave Schneck gets the "Did not play in major leagues (Military Service)" tag and Johnson doesn't.
   49. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4083194)
Not sure why Dave Schneck gets the "Did not play in major leagues (Military Service)" tag and Johnson doesn't.


It must be a work in progress. Hank Greenberg doesn't have one either.

edit: And Jerry Coleman has it for 1943-1945 even though his ML debut was in 1949. If Coleman can have one for a season 5 years before his debut, Christy Mathewson should have one for a season 2 years after his retirement.
   50. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM (#4083203)
I just have a problem with corporatespeak "inventing" improper usages for words just for the sake of perpetuating corporatespeak, when we already have perfectly adequate words for what they want to express. I.e. "ask" as a noun. There's a word for that: "request." Just use that. Or "spend" as a noun - it's an expenditure, or a cost, or spending. Use those. Using other words incorrectly just for the sake of having your own lexicon is just being a douche.
   51. Chris Fluit Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:32 PM (#4083209)
Wow, the language police are out in full force in this today. Must be trying to catch the St. Patty's Day crowd.
   52. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:34 PM (#4083211)
I'm pretty sure the use of "bid" and "ask" referring to the sell and buy price of a stock has been in use for a long time.
   53. Elvis Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM (#4083219)
It's not the direct quote from Herzog but here is a collection of articles on Ryan dating from the time in question (and other times, too)
http://books.google.com/books?id=C7e6ybXOyocC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14&dq=whitey+herzog+on+nolan+ryan+trade&source=bl&ots=PTwyPlKN8x&sig=Nrk_hVquMTFjgv2JcqoBSoYlJIE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rfVkT82pOqL-sQKHjLW2Dw&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=whitey herzog on nolan ryan trade&f=false

   54. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:48 PM (#4083221)
It must be a work in progress.

Yes. I feel like I've noticed this tag more, more recently, but it was still missing for some guys.
   55. Swedish Chef Posted: March 17, 2012 at 04:54 PM (#4083225)
There's a word for that: "request."

But that is also a nounified verb*.

*) Or did the noun come first?
   56. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:05 PM (#4083229)
I.e. "ask" as a noun. There's a word for that: "request."


"Request" seems like a lousy way to covey the meaning of "asking price."
   57. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4083230)
Do we take the Swedish Chef to be an authority on English grammar, bork, bork, bork?
   58. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4083231)


"Request" seems like a lousy way to covey the meaning of "asking price."


I was referring more to ask-as-noun's ongoing creep outside of the specific stock-trading usage. It's now being used pretty commonly in corporatespeak to refer to any request.
   59. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4083236)
I was referring more to ask-as-noun's ongoing creep outside of the specific stock-trading usage. It's now being used pretty commonly in corporatespeak to refer to any request.


Well, why does bid get a pass? It's pretty clearly a nouned verb as well. You bid (verb) on something you want to buy. That amount is your bid (noun). You ask (verb) a price for something you want to sell. That amount is your ask (noun).
   60. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:18 PM (#4083239)
The set's set set sets set.
   61. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM (#4083243)

Well, why does bid get a pass?


Honestly, probably because that usage was in place before I was alive to develop an aversion to corporatespeak. I may have yelled at that particular cloud at the time as well.
   62. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 17, 2012 at 06:05 PM (#4083263)
because that usage was in place before I was alive to develop an aversion to corporatespeak


Or bridge-speak.
   63. Kinerkorner Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:02 AM (#4083398)
Listen to the spot right here... http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ivieleagueproductions/2012/03/14/the-kult-of-mets-personalities-nolan-ryan-kris-benson
   64. bjhanke Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4083412)
Miserlou (#59) - Actually, this use of "ask" as a noun is very recent. Well within my lifetime (I'm 64), ask was never a noun. The word that was used in the sentences you constructed was "offer", which was both the verb and the noun. Using "bid" as both a noun and a verb was pretty much restricted to bridge, the stock market, and auctioneering, as #62 notes.

That being said, and in spite of my long reference to the OED, the actual issue here is that English is a living language, which means it changes over time. Sometimes, as with "groovy" from the 1960s, the change proves to be a fad and passes into extinction. Other times, as with "cool", the new word meaning sticks around for so long that it looks like it will be permanent. Cool meant "good" before I was born in 1947, and shows no signs of going away. Getting annoyed at corporatespeak has its plusses and its minuses. As a plus, it shows that you are aware that corporate executives make up these new word usages as a way of insulating themselves from the uninitiated, just as though they were 13-year-olds. As a minus, it can make you rigid and cranky when new usages show up. One really amusing change that is now underway is the change of "nerd" and "geek" to mean "really, and admirably, computer literate." Meanwhile, "dweeb" is still a slur implying that you have no social skills, just like geek and nerd used to.

If you want a bigger issue to obsess over, consider what is happening to preposition usage. You can now say "different than" instead of "different from", and "for" seems to be usable for pretty much any preposition in any sentence. I do occasional freelance proofreading. The last time I did some, I got a book that had been copy-edited by someone in India, whose grasp of English, much less American usage, was, well, less than perfect. I usually find 2-5 errors per page in a book; this one was averaging 25(!) errors per page. I sent in my first chapter and promptly got a call from my editor. She told me to stop flagging all those errors, and only focus on the ones that completely destroyed meaning. Her reason was that making a change cost the company $2.25, and they just couldn't afford to spend that much 25 times per page. Eventually, things like that are going to unhinge the language, as will the influence of globalization, where every language picks up influences from 20-30 other ones all the time. I have no idea how that will all pan out. But I do know that just about everyone recognizes, without thinking about it, that "I was, like" means "I said." And that one is almost as old as I am. - Brock (Master's in English, son of an English teacher, occasionally professional proofreader, now amused at what happens to English every 5 years or so)
   65. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 18, 2012 at 04:07 AM (#4083417)
I just have a problem with corporatespeak "inventing" improper usages for words just for the sake of perpetuating corporatespeak, when we already have perfectly adequate words for what they want to express. I.e. "ask" as a noun. There's a word for that: "request." Just use that. Or "spend" as a noun - it's an expenditure, or a cost, or spending. Use those. Using other words incorrectly just for the sake of having your own lexicon is just being a douche.


The English language has never given a fig for what you and the other word nazis throughout history have "problems with". It will continue evolving, just as it always has.
   66. Lassus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 07:26 AM (#4083424)
It's a little sad/bizarre that no one has come back to accept their error on "impact".


I was referring more to ask-as-noun's ongoing creep outside of the specific stock-trading usage. It's now being used pretty commonly in corporatespeak to refer to any request.

I had never heard this usage of "ask" until this thread, and I feel happy not to be in that milieu.


Anyhow, put me down as a "language evolves and changes" guy.
   67. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4083433)
"Impact" is known to have been used as a verb at least since 1601. "Spend" is known to have been used as a noun since at least 1688. "Less" is known to have been used in the sense that you want to exclusively use "fewer" since at least 888. That's not a typo: Not 1888. 888.

In the year before Samuel Johnson's death, he was bled copiously (and futilely) by his doctor. Bloodletting was already commonplace in 888. Not 888 A.D., 888 B.C. Take that, medicine nazis!
   68. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4083443)
It's a little sad/bizarre that no one has come back to accept their error on "impact".


What error is that? It's not an all-purpose verb, period. Citing usage from hundreds of years ago means nothing. Stupid people have been saying stupid things stupidly since language has existed, I'm sure, but that doesn't mean that they weren't stupidly saying stupid things, & that we should all accept the antiquity of their stupidity as somehow legitimizing it for the rest of us.

Undoubtedly, illiterates were confusing "I" & "me" 500 years ago. Therefore, there should be no distinction between the two, me suppose.

I'm sorry, but at some point "because it's stupid" is just going to have to suffice, no matter what references some language hippie (opposite of language nazi, I suppose) is able to drag up.
   69. Greg K Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:48 AM (#4083458)

The English language has never given a fig for what you and the other word nazis throughout history have "problems with". It will continue evolving, just as it always has.

In a sense the English language does care what individuals think. After all it's not evolving outside the influence of humans. It's sort of a constant negotiation between English speakers to determine what is the best form of the language. With that in mind I'm always interesting in people examining (and even complaining) about how exactly the language is evolving. The ones who actually make the final determination are the millions and millions who "vote with their mouths", so to speak, and use whatever words they feel are most effective. The complainers are just articulating the same kind of thought process and evaluation of words that everyone else uses implicitly in everyday speech.
   70. Lassus Posted: March 18, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4083461)
I'll take OED references as having more impact than your rant, gef.
   71. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4083465)
The English language has never given a fig for what you and the other word nazis throughout history have "problems with". It will continue evolving, just as it always has.


Relax, man, I'm not suggesting that anything is going to happen or not happen based on whether or not I care for it.
   72. bjhanke Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4083478)
I'm not sure that gef's attitude is so completely off. I cited the OED because it is very very good (even in my 1971 reprint of the 1933 edition) at listing the historical first for every use of old words (it is dicey to useless after 1900, and it tends to use literature-only sources when it can). What it does NOT do well is go through the usage of the word over time and note when a usage has fallen out of place and then come back into favor. I think gef could make a very good case that the usage of "impact" has added and dropped a lot of those definitions that were first used in the 1600s. In particular, the use of impact to refer to something other than a physical collision or a suitcase packing and also its backforming from "impacted" to become a verb seem to have gone out of fashion a couple of centuries ago, and then come back in, but I can't document that from the OED. That's just me reading a lot of plays, really. Without an OED, gef had no way of knowing that they had had an earlier existence. He also may not care about archaic uses that then stage a comeback. The only thing I find difficult in his essay is that he's doomed to a lot of disappointment if he expects English to remain static for any period over 5 years. He can't do anything about it, and it won't stop happening. My mom (the English teacher) used to deliver similar rants and get all worked up. It's one of the reasons we went in together to buy an OED. That way, she could look up archaic uses, which made her feel better when she found one that matched the new change. It's worth remembering that English, in the 1700s-1800s, went through a period of getting cleaned up and subjected to the rules of Latin grammar (one of Samuel Johnson's pet peeves, if I remember right). So gef is really in agreement with Johnson, which is pretty good linguistic company. As long as the changes in English don't make him unhappy, I can respect that opinion. I don't see the point in making himself unhappy about something he cannot change. I watched my mom go through that corner of hell several times. It seemed pointless, and then she was cranky to deal with. - Brock
   73. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 18, 2012 at 11:57 AM (#4083481)


Don't have my stylebook with me, but I'm close to 100 percent positive that being verbs aren't capped.


No. Being verbs are always capitalized in headlines, just like any other verb.
   74. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM (#4083483)
"Less" is known to have been used in the sense that you want to exclusively use "fewer" since at least 888. That's not a typo: Not 1888. 888.


That just shows that illiterates have been around as long as the language.


Well, why does bid get a pass? It's pretty clearly a nouned verb as well. You bid (verb) on something you want to buy. That amount is your bid (noun). You ask (verb) a price for something you want to sell. That amount is your ask (noun).


Interesting tidbit: "bid" (the verb) comes from the same Indo-European root as "Buddha." The connection: Bid -- to offer -- to present -- to make aware of -- to be aware -- to be enlightened -- Buddha.
   75. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:25 PM (#4083487)
I'm sorry, but at some point "because it's stupid" is just going to have to suffice, no matter what references some language hippie (opposite of language nazi, I suppose) is able to drag up.

Why is it stupid? Because you say so? I used to get fussed over grammar ####, but #### it, man. As long as it's obvious what the meaning is, why does it matter? (I completely reject any argument that allowing language to evolve causes any sort of descent into stupidity.)
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4083493)
As long as it's obvious what the meaning is, why does it matter? (I completely reject any argument that allowing language to evolve causes any sort of descent into stupidity.)


I mostly agree with this comment to a point. The problem when you say as long as it's obvious what the meaning is, then slippery slope rule applies and it allows people to delve into the really stupid such as writing "c u l8r" which is pretty clear what it means, but it should never be acceptable.

   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:39 PM (#4083524)
Why is it stupid? Because you say so?


Well, of course.

Why is the position that Derek Jeter truly deserved his 37 consecutive Gold Gloves ridiculous? Because people with brains say so?

Well ... yeah.



   78. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4083525)
The problem when you say as long as it's obvious what the meaning is, then slippery slope rule applies and it allows people to delve into the really stupid such as writing "c u l8r" which is pretty clear what it means, but it should never be acceptable.


Careful. You've just hurt the feelings of several people here.
   79. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4083528)
The English language has never given a fig for what you and the other word nazis throughout history have "problems with". It will continue evolving, just as it always has.


But part of the evolutionary process is getting past the word nazis. Sometimes new words beat them back, and become part of the language. Other times, the nazis turn them away.

Suggesting language evolves and acting as if the hardliners should back off is actually asking for a change in the process, not supporting it.




   80. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4083531)
Careful. You've just hurt the feelings of several people here.

No, I think there's only one person here who intentionally misspells things.
   81.   Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4083536)
Not every change is evolution.

The use of "linguistic evolution" as a defense mechanism to support every single mangled word and misspelling is tiresome at best and intellectual rape at worst.
   82. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: March 18, 2012 at 01:58 PM (#4083540)
Citing usage from hundreds of years ago means nothing.


It's not usage from hundreds of years ago. It's usage for hundreds of years.
   83. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM (#4083564)
Not every change is evolution.


Evolution or just mere change--call it what you will--that is just engaging in labeling without explanation. The issue is whether we tolerate it and under what conditions we tolerate and accept that change. Talking in censurious terms (that impugns character and morals) based on what an English teacher with her primer told you in high school years ago is what has to be justified. Why does the matter begin and end there for some people?
   84.   Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:49 PM (#4083574)
I don't give a fuck about any English teacher or authority, the OED included. The false dichotomy you folks want to draw between the touchy-pee-pee "evolution of language" vs. the straw-man of some indoctrinated sense of rule is an argument from absurdity.

My argument is for common fucking sense. Some changes have it, and some don't. There is no need to assign any motives to the argument beyond the belief that we should accept changes that follow a sense of rationality and not just carte-blanche accept all changes out of some puerile knee-jerk rejection of rule and order.
   85. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: March 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM (#4083584)
It's a little sad/bizarre that no one has come back to accept their error on "impact".

"NYBD: Nolan Ryan Says Military Retarded his Mets Development."
   86. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4083589)
"NYBD: Nolan Ryan Says Military Retarded his Mets Development."


I fully support this headline.
   87. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4083595)
84:

The problem with common ####### sense is it’s often wrong or meaningless or unhelpful as to specific cases. You say you just go by what’s rational? Okay. What is your rational basis for getting your panties in a wad about the use of “impact” as a verb when making nouns verbs happens like breeding rabbits and have been for as long as rabbits have been breeding? If you got something to support you position besides that ninth-grade English teacher and that primer, well, what is it?

The issue isn’t that every noun turned into a verb should be accepted carte blanche; the point is you can’t reject a verb on that basis when it’s been happening since time immemorial. (There’s every a Constitutional amendment along those general lines, I think.) If you got rationality on your side, fine—but you need to demonstrate that you do, not just assert you do.
   88. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:21 PM (#4083597)
Okay. What is your rational basis for getting your panties in a wad about the use of “impact” as a verb when making nouns verbs happens like breeding rabbits and have been for as long as rabbits have been breeding?


We already have a perfectly good English word for that idea: "affect"?
   89.   Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:25 PM (#4083600)
Okay. What is your rational basis for getting your panties in a wad about the use of “impact” as a verb


Nothing.

I don't think I've chimed in on that one.

Although, I will say that it's not aurally pleasing to me personally. "Impacted" sounds like when you have a blockage in your large intestine. I think that "affected" certainly sounds better, but I don't "get my panties in a twist" about it.
   90. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4083601)
88:

The soup kitchen approach to English vocabulary:? Only one word per meaning? That's so puny, mental-wise. No, and anyway, affect and impact are not exactly coextensive in meaning at all. You'd really have to have mental horse blinders on to believe that.

89:

Good. Glad to hear it. Then, let me concede, that I too believe in rationality as a general principle to be applied to most anything.
   91. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4083603)
If you've ever used the word "cherry" you have implicitly accepted the idea that English words change meanings all the time. That process didn't stop when you were born.
   92.   Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:30 PM (#4083604)
If you've ever used the word "cherry" you have implicitly accepted the idea that English words change meanings all the time


Straw

Man

Argument
   93. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4083605)
"NYBD: Nolan Ryan Says Military Impacted his Development, Mets Retarded."
   94. Morty Causa Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4083608)
This discussion is almost exactly like the one wrt "between you and I" that was had at Slate on the Lexicon Valley page. it's kind of funny how we view language in terms that can be describle as so personal as to verge to the intimate.
   95. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:40 PM (#4083613)
Straw

Man

Argument


No

It

Isn't.

People in this thread have objected to "impact" as a verb and "ask" as a noun based on their belief that English doesn't allow words to change meanings. English does that all the time. It also has a lot of synonyms, which is why "We already have a word for that" is a non-starter.

The great strength of English as a language is that nouns can be verbed and verbs can be nouned. There are great bunches of synonyms with the same denotation but subtly different connotations, which helps greatly in creating poetry. English, in fact, invents new words all the time, and the people complaining today about "impact" are exactly the same people back in the fourteenth century complaining about "cherry."

If your objection to something is "That's not a word," you're wrong.
   96.   Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:43 PM (#4083616)
People in this thread have objected to "impact" as a verb and "ask" as a noun based on their belief that English doesn't allow words to change meanings


No they haven't.

Nobody on the ####### planet actually believes that words don't change meanings or that language doesn't change. We all studied Shakespeare in high school, you aren't unique.
   97. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:44 PM (#4083617)
If your objection to something is "That's not a word," you're wrong.

Yeah, well, fpw(onlcc you.
   98. cardsfanboy Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:45 PM (#4083618)
People in this thread have objected to "impact" as a verb and "ask" as a noun based on their belief that English doesn't allow words to change meanings.


I'm fairly certain no one in this thread on either side of the equation, believes that English doesn't allow words to change meanings.

Edit:dang you Shock, that is twice I came into a thread and basically repeated you.
   99. Sunday silence Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM (#4083619)
My favorite is when they correct me for saying "almost unique." You apparently break some rule when you do that, although it is not clear if it's one
of logic or of grammar as the argument tends to blur. However, the use of "near fatal," "almost graduated"
"almost finished" "nearly done" and countless other phrases just leaves me shrugging my head.
   100. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: March 18, 2012 at 03:47 PM (#4083621)
No they haven't.


Look at post 17 and explain to me how the poster doesn't think that words don't change meanings and that language doesn't change.

(DIFFERENT TOPIC:

Undoubtedly, illiterates were confusing "I" & "me" 500 years ago. Therefore, there should be no distinction between the two, me suppose.


That would have been funnier with "me suppose" replaced with "methinks.")
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