Sunday, July 22, 2012

Baseball stuff

I found out a few things about baseball this year. Longtime readers know I love the game but am fairly new to it. I guess I've been watching for nearly six years now. In any case, one thing I learned is that the catcher and pitcher are referred to as "the battery". For some reason, this makes me smile. (And as with anything you learn, you suddenly hear it said all the time. That is so weird.)

Also, I was surprised this year when a third foul-bunt was called an out. I had no idea this rule existed. Here's what I found at
Foul balls were not considered strikes initially. Some years later, when it became clear that a batter might hit foul balls endlessly in an effort to get a good pitch to hit, the pitcher was given somewhat of a break by an 1858 rule that declared any foul ball to be a strike, unless there were already two strikes on the batter. After the bunt came into existence as a strategy, it also became clear that a batter could literally bunt all day to try to get his pitch. To retain some balance, the rule was further amended, in 1894, to declare any foul bunt a strike.
Hey, that actually makes sense. Moving right along... During a game this year, I heard an announcer say that 100 active MLB players are on ADHD medication. Now, I'm very suspicious about the value of all these speed prescriptions that are handed out like candy to ADHD people, especially kids, so I view this with a jaundiced eye. However, I guess this means 100 current baseball players are on speed (or something similar). Weird.

Finally, to put to bed an issue I raised in my "language of baseball" posts (click on the tag below to see them) last year, I heard something new about calling a fly ball a "can of corn". The other day, when an announcer used this phrase during a game, he said, "And as Red Barber used to say, 'that's a can of corn.'" Mystery solved.