Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Vocabulary Of Baseball

I'll bet that most of my Farang friends are watching the World Series.  Of my Thai friends, I'd be surprised if any were watching at all.

For the uninitiated, if you've only seen baseball on television you may miss the fact that the field is very big, and there are big spaces in between the players.  TV tends to compress all of the images.  As a great man once said, the object of baseball is to "hit it where they ain't."

A ball hit to the outfield may be a mere "fly ball;" it may be a "line drive;" it may be a "blooper;" or a "Texas leaguer;" or a "floater."  A line drive may be a "frozen rope;" a fly ball may be a "dying quail."  A line drive may go up a "power alley," and travel all the way to the wall. 

A ball to the outfield may "fall in" or be "run down."  It may go down the line or into the corner, or it may be hit into "the gap."  If three fielders are closing for the catch but they all miss it, the ball falls into the "Bermuda triangle."  (A new one on me.) 

A ball hit to the infield is usually just a "ground ball," but it may be a "dribbler;" or a "chopper;" or a "bunt."  They may be down the line, some even traveling "over the bag;" they may be "in the hole," or "up the middle."  They may even be said to "have eyes."  Balls hit in the air in the infield are generally either "pop ups" or "floaters."

If the batter strikes the ball but it doesn't go into fair territory, the ball may be "fouled back;" or "fouled off;" or "fouled out of play."  Or it may just be "foul tipped."

If you've never played baseball, you may be forgiven to think that there's not much going on.  But believe me, for a baseball fan, the whole thing can be quite exciting.  


chris said...

My personal favorite; the "rotation" play.

P Winn said...

My favorite play is the rundown; so much going on. Not many players know how to do it correctly; I even corrected my college coach on it! (I had a very fundamentally sound high school coach.) My favorite games are pitcher’s duals (sacrilege to the fans I know). My wife likes to watch games with me because I explain what’s going on before the play starts; I even guess the pitch that coming next (I’m right about 75% of the time). Great World Series.

fred c said...

I like pitchers' duels myself. I know that many people complain that "there's nothing happening!" But really, a lot is happening, isn't it? These days I just like to watch them play, I'm not attached to any teams in particular winning. Check the mechanics, try to follow the strategy, see some great plays. It's a beautiful game.