Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Baseball Lingo

Over the years of writing in this space, posts have included outdated lingo ("can of corn") and cool lingo ("yakker"). But we really haven't added much in the way of new lingo over the years. Oh sure, there are the new statistical jargon such as WAR and wOBA. That's off the field stuff. What about on the field? This long-time Fan remembers when, "Big Fly" was relatively new (did Joe Morgan bring that to the table?). But what else has been added? How many others can you think of off the top of your head? This writer is coming up empty except perhaps, "concussion syndrome." Who wants that to be our centerpiece? Exactly.

With so little happening in the world of baseball lingo, perhaps we need to invent a few of our own. If we use a little imagination, we can freshen up the place a little bit. The easiest way to create new lingo is to base it on stuff certain players become known for. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Take Daric Barton, for example. And after last season, the A's would probably let you have him. But he was pretty good in 2010. He led the majors in non-intentional walks, for example. But in the first half of 2010, Barton was inexplicably bunting every time he came up to bat with runners on base. He had ten by the end of the first half.

This writer doesn't know a whole lot about market inefficiencies that are the crux behind the whole Moneyball story, but bunting every at bat with a runner on base couldn't have been one of them. If this writer remembers correctly, his frustrated manager said that Barton was doing that "sacrificing" on his own. Barton must have gotten the message (and a few manager spikes up his butt) because he only had two sacrifice bunts the rest of the season. Derek Jeter has been known to do the same thing on occasion. But we'll leave Jeter out of this and use Barton for a new bit of lingo.

From now on, every time a batter bunts for a sacrifice on his own volition, we can name the action after Daric Barton. The Fan's first thought was to call it a "Bart On." That separates his last name to make it a lingo. But that doesn't have the right pizzazz to it. A player bunts and the play-by-play guy would say, "Why would he bunt there? He must have got his Bart On." Nah. Doesn't work. Perhaps the Fan is dating himself, but some time ago, there was a bombshell named Bo Derek in Hollywood. She was the featured actor along with Dudley Moore in the movie, Ten, since that's what she was. With that memory in mind, the Fan suggests that every time a batter bunts when he really shouldn't, we'll call it a "Bo Daric." Fan in the stands can watch a National League pitcher bunt with runners on first and second with one out and groan, "Oh man, not a Bo Daric!"

But our new lingo can be named after good things too. When a second baseman dives in the hole to make a great stop, we can call it an Alomar. But to make it cool, you'd have to stretch out the syllables like this: "AL-Oh-Mar!" We could call a triple a "Rollins." That would be cool. It's far sexier than calling it a "three-bagger."

What else can we come up with? This writer doesn't know about you, but, "Loogy" is fairly new jargon (hey, the Fan thought of one!) but to be frank, it's already gotten old. We have to name it after somebody. How about if we call Loogys, "Jaycees," instead? The name is in honor of J.C. Romero. But there could be better ones out there. Usage: "The Astros are going to bring their Jaycee in now to face Fielder."

Here is a list of a few more the Fan can think of. Add in your own suggestions in the comments. We can then create a poll of the submissions to see what should stick.
  • A Fidel-ity - A Cuban defector. It's got to be better than calling such a player, "defected," right?
  • Futilla - Bad hitting catcher. It's a combination of Futile and Butera. Or perhaps A Shoppage would be better in honor of last year's Bay Rays' catcher.
  • A Soriano - Any swinging strike on a slider way wide of the plate and in the dirt. Usage: "Oh man, Burnett got him to Soriano that thing." If you have any questions about this one, just watch the 2003 post season series between the Red Sox and the Yankees.
  • A Laffey - This replaces "Laugher" as the definition of a one-sided contest. Why? Because those are the only games Aaron Laffey pitches.
  • A Yu - Any Japanese post-er. Speaks for itself.
  • A Macoris - Any of the three dozen players that hail from San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. It's just too much to say. Pronunciation: "Mack-or-eee." The fear here is that this would turn into, "macaroni" in no time.
  • A Hairball - Named after any Hairston, a family whose players are like cats because their careers have nine lives.
  • A Halladaze - Named after the Phillies' pitcher and used for any batter walking back to the dugout after a particularly baffling curve.
  • An Oxy - Any ballplayer whose name is an oxymoron such as Fielder, Outman, etc. Or it could be Angel Pagan, whose very name is an oxymoron.
  • Donkeyed - Any player who suddenly loses all ability to play the game. Named after Mr. Dunn of course. Usage: "He was a pretty good player before he donkeyed.."
  • An Albert - Any player who fails to run out a ground ball. Named after Pujols, of course."Geez, A-Rod pulled an Albert out there and trotted to first."
  • A Gardener - Any batter that looks at two fat strikes in a row to start an at bat. Named for Brett Gardner.
  • A Huffer - Any player signed to a stupid contract based on one surprising year. In honor of Aubrey Huff, of course.
  • Crawful - Any player signed to a big contract who fizzles with his new team. This comes courtesy of @soxanddawgs who used it all of 2011 for Carl Crawford. Could have been Werthless too.
  • An Ichiro - Singles.
  • A Yunick - Any Betancourt-type player you wish wasn't on your team.
  • Bronsoned - Any homer-prone pitcher that gives up a homer. 
Those are the Fan's suggestions. Can you think of any more?  Let's spice this thing up a bit!

***Update*** Just thought of another one: A Posey-do. Where a catcher ole's the runner at home to avoid a collision.


Thomas Slocum said...

I'd have to say "yard" has definitely come into use during our era, wouldn't you?

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Yes, it has. You're right, Thomas.

The Knox Score said...

I played college ball as a SS and there were some that I heard during my years on the field that I thought were great and was reminded of this tonight listening to Daniel Bard on WEEI in Boston.

Bard referred to warming up in the Pen and not entering the game as the Dry Hump.
Ive heard a Double Play referred to as the Coupon and a Triple Play recently referred to as a Groupon.

A former coach used to ask me to Doggy Bad a SS when sliding into second to break up a double play.

Dennis Eckersly refers to a HR as going Bridge, which I think is awesome.

When a guy swings and misses I've heard the phrase "Take the kid off that swing you're scaring him"

and on a strikeout looking Ive also heard Can I help you? No thanks just looking.

Just a few, haha Im sure I have more that I can't think of yet, but these are very original ones that Ive heard used during gameplay

michael said...

I think "cheese" for a fastball is one of my favorites from Eckersley, and "cheese with hair on it" for a fastball with movement is awesome!