Friday, October 22, 2010

Yanks Have 'Snowball's' Chance in Hell

Every so often a geniune inside-baseball phrase pops up in the newspaper, straight from the mouths of the ballplayers. Such as "swinging at the rosin bag"--a term for a batter swinging at every last pitch, location be damned--which I'd never heard in, oh, almost four decades of following baseball, until Jerry Manuel said it over the summer.

And the way Lance Berkman described the Rangers' Little League-esque comedy of throwing errors in the 2nd inning of their game in the Bronx Wednesday. It went Francoeur to Young to Wilson to Treanor, if you're scoring at home, with assists from the grass, the dirt, and the backstop. (Speaking of swinging at the rosin bag--can a team that sends Jeff Francoeur to the dish four-plus times a game truly expect to make the World Series?)

“That’s what we call a snowball fight in the industry,” Berkman told our pal George "Cable Swag" Vecsey of the Rangers' spasmodic defense on the play. “It can deteriorate on you in a hurry. I’ve been on the other end of that. You’re trying to get an out desperately, and the ball’s flying around, and you end up making a throw that’s ill-advised.”

Little white balls flying around the yard...A snowball fight. Brilliant.

Berkman has emerged as a mensch in the Yankees clubhouse, despite a mostly middling performance on the field. The reporters gravitate to Fat Elvis (If you haven't read about how Berkman got his "Fat Elvis" nickname, it's funny) for his veteran perspective and humor.

A hunk o' burning glove

Fat Elvis's quote is interesting for a few reasons. I like the juxtaposition of the kids-at-play with the corporate jargon of "the industry." We've written a lot about the intrusion of corporate-speak into Major League Baseball--no great surprise, I guess, when guys are making $15 mil a year and "diversifying their portfolios" with stakes in bottled water, financial services, race horses, or whatever widget draws their attention.

The Yanks will of course be all business when they face the Rangers tonight.

1 comment:

Susan said...

The metaphor feels even more apt on these cold days and nights. The balls must feel like actual snowballs.