Thursday, May 17, 2012

Project 'Runway', Starring R.A. Dickey

R.A. Dickey's autobiography Wherever I Wind Up elicited some emotion, some chuckles, and some good, fresh terms for the ol' language-of-baseball blog.

In one part where Dickey is ironing out aspects of his not yet famous knuckleball with a mentor, Dickey reveals some names for parts of the ball that I never heard before.

"He asks me to show him my grip, and I hold the ball up with the fingernail of my index and middle fingers bitting into the 'runway'--the part of the ball where the seams come closest together," Dickey writes.

"He suggests I move my nails to just underneath, the 'horseshoe.'"

("runway" to the left, "horseshoe" to the right)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Greinke Toys With Mets With 'Nintendo Stuff'

Perhaps the greatest compliment for a pitcher isn't that his stuff is "nasty" or even "filthy", but that he throws "Nintendo stuff."

Zack Greinke has been hot and cold the last few years, but last night it was (video) game on for the lanky Brew Crew righty.

Writes the NY Times:

In one particularly nasty sequence, in the third, Greinke struck out [Metsies catcher Mike] Nickeas on a 70 m.p.h. curveball, an 83 m.p.h. slider and a 94 m.p.h. fastball.
"He’s 95 and then comes at you with that curveball at 70,” Nickeas said. “It’s Nintendo stuff.”

"Nintendo stuff" came to be, 1, because ballplayers get to play video games all day long, and 2, because Stephen Strasburg and his one in a billion arm defied all flesh and blood description.

Drew Storen, then of the Harrisburg Senators, said this of Stras at the time.

He’s got Nintendo stuff. You create a player on a video game, and that’s what he has. The ball just comes out differently from his hand. He does something that nobody else can do.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tongue in Cheek, Axford Pens Cliche After Cliche After Cliche

John Axford, the Brewers' stellar closer and wearer of the finest 'stache in baseball, poked some fun at the cliche-filled post-game comments from his ball-playin' ilk while ducking out to tend to his very pregnant wife over the weekend.

Axford had just blown a save, snapping his 49 game save streak against the Cubs Friday. He wasn't avoiding the press afterwards so much as he was hustling to the hospital because his wife was in labor.
"Ax" was good enough to leave a note for the press. With a large "Media" scrawled on the top, Axford wrote, "All I can do is begin another streak and keep my head up! Cliche...cliche...Another cliche. Gotta go!"
Ax then signed it "Love," the O a heart.
We [heart] him for that.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mo Hurts Himself 'Shagging'

To be sure, there's nothing funny about Mariano Rivera, pure class on and off the field, sustaining a season (and nearly career) ending injury. Even for the Yankee haters out there--sorry, rooting for Rivera's misfortune is off limits.

OK. Once that is clear, let's consider how it happened, and a delicious double entendre involved.

Rivera was, of course, shagging flies, as he does before every game, when his knee buckled.

As any fan of the game knows, that means catching BP fly balls.

It's known, simply, as "shagging," which has a much different meaning across the pond, as any fan of Austin Powers well knows.

"I'm glad it happened when I was shagging," said Rivera after announcing he would play next year. "That's what I love to do."

C'mon, at least that injects a hint of humor to an otherwise sad situation.

I've reached out to Paul Dickson, author of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, to find out where the term "shagging" comes from.