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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

WaPo - Baseball Cliches Categorized

In transcripts of those interviews, we found roughly 20,000 phrases (and their variations) that occurred over and over (including “over and over,” which showed up 113 times). We eliminated normal baseball terminology, then took a look at what we had. Here’s what came up big.

Statistics on the frequency of baseball clichés. This could be fun.

Bote Man Posted: August 29, 2018 at 01:30 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: baseball lexicon, cliches

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 02:11 PM (#5735610)
I didn't really like the formatting of the article with all the highlighted text segments, but I had to just keep grinding through it.
   2. Bote Man Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5735685)
I run the uMatrix script blocker in Firefox and if I cared enough I could probably figure out which offender was serving up the script to do that animation and stop it, but alas I do not.
   3. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:25 PM (#5735695)
"Democracy Dies in Darkness" is the biggest cliche on the page.
   4. Nasty Nate Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5735710)
It's not really a cliche, but there's a baseball phrase that confuses me a little. When people say "the right-fielder threw a strike to the third baseman to nab the runner who was attempting to advance," do they mean that the throw would have passed over the base roughly at the height of the strike zone, or are they using "strike" in the general, not specific-to-baseball, way? If it's the former, it is used very generously. And if it's the latter, I find it awkward to use a baseball word as a metaphor for something else in baseball.
   5. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5735736)
[4] It means the throw was accurate.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:14 PM (#5735746)
"Democracy Dies in Darkness" is the biggest cliche on the page.
Not as much of a cliche as the completely gratuitous jab at the "liberal media" though. Couldn't resist it, eh?
   7. Perry Posted: August 29, 2018 at 04:23 PM (#5735751)
do they mean that the throw would have passed over the base roughly at the height of the strike zone, or are they using "strike" in the general, not specific-to-baseball, way?


Somewhere in between, I think. It's an accurate throw in the sense that a strike is an accurate pitch.
   8. Batman Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5735844)
A fielder throwing a strike refers to the fact that no bowling pins are left standing on the field.
   9. Yanigan Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:55 PM (#5735870)
When in doubt, take it seriously, but not literally.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:33 PM (#5735931)
I'm more interested in the emergence of new cliches. For example, it seems like "selling out," for fully committing to a play like diving for a ball or advancing for a base, and "moving the line along," for stringing together hits, have both either emerged or become much more widely used in the past couple of years.
   11. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: August 29, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5735951)
"Democracy Dies in Darkness" is the biggest cliche on the page.

Not as much of a cliche as the completely gratuitous jab at the "liberal media" though. Couldn't resist it, eh?


I just find it funny that the WaPo didn't come to this conclusion until January 20, 2017. (And you can take off the scare quotes, Ace.)
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:01 PM (#5735967)
I'm more interested in the emergence of new cliches.

I'm at the age where I want all these new cliches to get off my lawn. That includes any and all forms of "to grind," "to battle," "walk-off," the post-game interview phrase "take me through _____" masquerading as a question, and the #1 cliche I want to launch into the sun, "financial flexibility."
   13. Hank Gillette Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:05 PM (#5735973)
“Win one game at a time.” If anyone figures out how to win multiple games at a time, they should do it.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 29, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5735978)
I'm at the age where I want all these new cliches to get off my lawn.
I see what you did there.
   15. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 30, 2018 at 08:08 AM (#5736114)
When in doubt, take it seriously, but not literally.

But it's fine to take it literally, too. It is what it is.
   16. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5736187)
8. Batman Posted: August 29, 2018 at 06:24 PM (#5735844)
A fielder throwing a strike refers to the fact that no bowling pins are left standing on the field.
These guys are often around Fenway, what if they get on the field?

   17. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:19 AM (#5736191)
5. NJ in NY (Now with Baby!) Posted: August 29, 2018 at 03:59 PM (#5735736)
[4] It means the throw was accurate.


Somewhere in between, I think. It's an accurate throw in the sense that a strike is an accurate pitch.
You guys are right. I guess I find it an awkward idiom, especially around home plate where actual strikes happen. I'll hear an announcer use the phrase, and I can't help thinking "eh, that was high and outside - not a strike."
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5736203)
I'm more interested in the emergence of new cliches. For example, it seems like "selling out," for fully committing to a play like diving for a ball or advancing for a base, and "moving the line along," for stringing together hits, have both either emerged or become much more widely used in the past couple of years.


"Clean inning" is only a few years old, isn't it?
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:57 AM (#5736235)
"Clean inning" is only a few years old, isn't it?
I think so, along with "shutdown inning" and "immaculate inning."
   20. Batman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:14 AM (#5736247)
One of our middle school teachers used to say "You're batting a hundred" when you got something right. Of course, he was fired when they found him snorting cocaine in the classroom.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5736254)
We can all take smug comfort that baseball cliches will never be as bad as football ones.
   22. stanmvp48 Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5736371)
"Going yard" for hitting a home run
"Scuffling" for not playing well
"Pitching a no-no" for a no hitter

   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5736385)
Another terrible new one: "Going oppo" for an opposite field home run. Ugh.
   24. Nasty Nate Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5736401)
I'm not even disputing that it's terrible, but I like "going oppo" because I like the word oppo. It's fun to say. oppo.

oppo

Hey, it's even fun to type.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5736407)
Concur with [23].

Re: [21], I'm thankful there's not much opportunity to suggest a baseball team could "run the table." Ugh.
   26. Bote Man Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:08 PM (#5736985)
Do you ever notice some words, you say 'em enough, they don't even sound like words anymore? Gum. Gum. Gum. Gum!
   27. Bote Man Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:15 PM (#5736993)
bay-bee! hicks gets the two outs throwing cheese. - phredbird, from yesterday's OMNICHATTER

I did not see that on the WaPo list, nor did I see variations on "put some mustard on that pitch". It doesn't get any more baseball than that!

Also, "those pitches look like beach balls the way he's hitting right now."
   28. Bote Man Posted: August 31, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5737003)
One of my pet peeves is when they talk about classes of superstars, as though you could just go down to your local 7-11 and pick up one of your Max Scherzers or your Mike Trouts.
   29. Sunday silence Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:10 PM (#5737255)
Dry Humping..
   30. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:37 PM (#5737277)
Oppo also leads directly to a player having "oppo pop," which is delightful.

100% on board with "walk-off" too, that's a perfect descriptor for what's happening.

But then what do I know, I'm just a grinder who takes it one game at a time and I'm just trying to put goose eggs up on the scoreboard

ps: Dingers are my preferred nomenclature for jacks, jimmy jacks, touch-em-alls, going yard, parking it, homers, taters, deep flys, and moon shots. Circuit clouts are an accepted substitute.
   31. Bote Man Posted: September 01, 2018 at 12:53 AM (#5737301)
The first time I ever encountered the phrase "crooked number" was in that book about 3 days with Tony La Russa managing the Cards. It's painfully obvious now, but when I first read it I wasn't exactly sure what he was trying to communicate. I've never heard that expression anywhere but in baseball, so I guess that counts as one.
   32. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 01, 2018 at 09:02 AM (#5737336)
I remember "crooked number" as a Joe Garagiola thing, back in the days of my youth when he did GoTW for NBC. Though if he ever said it, he'd probably stolen it from Dizzy Dean. Who would've learned it from Father Baseball himself.

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