Baseball Slang… We Swing the Big Stick

“Souvenir City”, “Warning Track Power”, “The Long Ball”, “Ducks on the Pond”, “Fence Buster”, “Glass Arm”, “Mendoza Line”, “Worm Burner”…

I really enjoy slang; and the driving factor in this comment is because slang terms are easier to remember in my very minute vocabulary (Let’s put it this way, I am not an English major by any means). In fact as of right now, I am dubbing Slang as the official language of The Kings Of Cork.

For instance, the term “Home Run” has MANY slang terms. The long ball, jack, dinger, souvenir, just to name a few of my favorites.

What I would like to do here is introduce a few slang terms that others have coined here to help them catch on, as well as bring up a few I have thought of and you guys can help spread the word (or comment on them in the comments section about how uncreative I am).

Some of these are more fantasy baseball relevant but most can be used in the every morning baseball box score chat with the guy in the cubicle next to you.

The Golden Sombrero – I’m sure most of you have heard this baseball term before (it has nothing to do with how many churros Prince Fielder can eat before the 3rd inning, although I bet it’s about 34). This feat is typical for ball players like Mark Reynolds, Ryan Howard, Bobby Bonds and Jose Hernandez (showing my Brewer bias right there). So what is it you ask, the crowning of a golden sombrero happens when a single player records 4 strikeouts in a single game. These are more common than you may think. In fact, there has been a golden sombrero in 4 straight days. Jose Guillen recorded one vs the Rangers last night, May 24. Ryan Ludwick recorded one in a 10 inning game vs the Angels on May 23. The night before him Aramis Ramirez, who has been awful, wore the crown in a 10 inning game vs the Rangers. And the night before him, Will Venable got the most shameful kind, a sombrero in a 9 inning game vs the Mariners. The list continues. Other versions of this feat are the platinum sombrero and the titanium sombrero, which are 5 k’s and 6 k’s by a single player in a single game respectively. The titanium sombrero is not a common accomplishment. It’s never been done in a standard 9 inning game, but in extra innings it has been done 8 times. Most recently by him Geoff Jenkins on June 8, 2004 (yes another great Milwaukee Brewer).

Gilbert Brown BurgerThe next item was coined by TMR (Talented Mr Roto) aka Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz on the Fantasy Focus podcast. They call it: The Combo Meal. This term is geared more towards fantasy baseball. It’s the achievement of scoring a Run, an RBI, a Home Run, and a Stolen Base all in a single game. Really, it’s as simple as hitting a home run and stealing a base in the same game (since a player would acquire at minimum a run and an RBI on the home run itself). This is one of my new favorite slang terms. What is a combo meal at any restaurant? You get multiple items at a discounted price if you purchased them all separately. Well this accomplishment is the same definition in fantasy baseball. Typically a team has to pay for home runs in one power player and pay for stolen bases in another speedier player. But with a combo meal, the fantasy owner reaps the rewards of a 5 category player. The most recent combo meal was achieved by Alex Rios on May 24. The only question now… Would you like to supersize that?

These next few terms are just a few of my ideas of what stats could be used for slang terms:

Bogo (pronounced B-oh-go) – These are my favorite types of promotions Mountain Dew has. A cap that reveals a coupon for Buying One, Gets One free. This literally saves me at least hundreds of dollars a year. Let’s just say if you would like to make your own Christmas tree this year, I have your supplies. Anyways, I would like to coin the term Bogo as the achievement of a relief pitcher getting a win in 1 inning of work. You buy an inning of work and you get a win. For those of you that know fantasy baseball, wins are a hot commodity. Five wins at the end of the year can easily make the difference between first and fifth in the standings for that category. So if you have guys like Tyler Clippard, who has 7 wins translating to 7 bogo’s this year, you are reaping the benefits.

Binary 20 – You guessed it; I’m a math/science major. For you computer illiterate folk (are there any left under the age of 60?), binary is the language of all computers (and the matrix). Its numbers, words, everything consisting of only 1’s and 0’s. A quick lesson in binary counting: one is 1, two is 10 (think of it as 1-0), three is 11, four is 100… and so on. I know, confusing at first. But think, you now get the age old joke of “There are only 10 types of people in this world: Those who understand binary and those who don’t” (a nerd’s sense of humor is just as hard to understand as binary). Back to the term… Binary 20. Now that we can count, twenty is equivalent to 10100. Or in box score notation, a player with a single game stat line of 1-0-1-0-0: 1 Run, 0 Hr, 1 RBI, 0 SB, and 0 Batting Average. This combination can be achieved several ways. The easiest for a player to accomplish this feat would be to have no hits, a fielder’s choice that scores a run for the RBI and he is driven in for a Run that inning. Or a player going hitless, but recording a walk with the bases loaded and then being driven in for a Run. The possibilities are endless. Binary 20’s aren’t necessarily a great stat to have, but it’s better than an 0’fer night which helps nothing statistically. The latest player to achieve the B-20 (I’m coining the term B-20 as the abbreviation to Binary 20): Scott Podsednik, May 21 vs the Rockies.

And lastly The Ring of Fire – Yes you are going Down Down Down and it Burns Burns Burns… The Ring of Fire. Thanks Johnny Cash. One of my favorite Cash songs (mainly due to the college hockey memories it’s associated with), this song is about the downsides of love and was written during the June Cash divorce from her 1st marriage. There are many other speculations out there, but some aren’t PG so I won’t be listing them here (that’s what Google is for). I’ve determined that this baseball term should be associated to something teams love but hate to waste. So why not associate it to a great single game stat line for a pitcher who doesn’t get the win but receives the loss decision. It also fits the slang verbiage nicely as the ring being the 0 in the wins column and the pitcher pitching lights out or on fire. The actual definition of this term I’m leaving vague. No single stat line qualifies for a Ring of Fire, but let’s say a pitcher goes at least 7 innings in a game, gives up at most 2 runs and has 10+ strikeouts but acquires the loss. That is a fantastic line and any offense behind him should have given him an easy win (Adam Wainwright’s line on May 26 vs the Padres – 7.0IP, 1ER, 12K’s, a loss of 1-0). Or how about a complete game pitched, 0 ER, but a loss decision (Matt Cain’s line from May 22 vs Oakland: 8.0IP (they were away team), 0ER, 1R on an error, a 0-1 loss). Those my friends are Rings of Fire.

Remember you heard these here first.

So have at it Kings of Cork. Comment away, discuss my ideas (hate or love), or suggest your own slang term ideas and I will add them to the list.

Category: Baseball Nonsense  Tags: ,
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