Monday, May 16, 2005

A Baseball Glosary for Eloise

Eloise expresses befuddlement at baseball jargon. Doing my part to help her (and the Warrior Monk) out, I offer a primer:

hit and run: a play in which the baserunner begins running at the time the pitcher delivers the pitch in order to get an infielder to commit to cover the base to which the baserunner is running, thereby opening a "gap" in the infield for the batter to exploit.

pitcher: the guy standing in the center of the diamond who throws toward home plate a lot.

pitch: the throw by the pitcher toward home plate.

batter: the guy holding the bat.

bat: long wooden stick used to hit the pitch (see def. of "pitch" above).

base: those square things at the corners of the infield.

infield: the part of the field with sand on it.

field: the part of the stadium where the game is played.

baserunner: a guy standing on one of those square things in the part of the field where all the sand is.

home plate: looks like a base (see def. of "base" above) but is not square.

run: a score. Every time a player touches the nonsquare base thing, a run is scored.

WHIP rating: "walks and hits per inning pitched": only serious dorks give a crap about this. If someone starts talking to you about a pitcher's WHIP, walk away slowly as there is no chance you will ever have an interesting conversation with this person.

Umpire: those guys on the field (see def. of "field" above) wearing nice shirts and prescription glasses. American League umpires also wear hats with their names on them. In the world's oddest coincidence, all American League umpires are named "Al".

"beer inning": long-standing American tradition where if a run is scored in a beer inning, all wives must immediately purchase their husbands a beer. The beer innings are the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 9th innings, as well as all extra innings.

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