Monday, June 18, 2012

Surely You Own a Shirsey

Posey Shirsey

I was checking out the Met game on the Gamecast last week, and trying in vain not to follow the real-time Twitter feed on the right of the screen.
One tweeter mentioned a guy sitting in front of him, wearing a Carlos Beltran "shirsey."
So I Googled "shirsey," a nice diversion from another Met loss.
"Shirsey" is, in fact, a real thing, with its own website selling, yes, shirseys.
You've seen shirseys before. Perhaps you even own a few. It is the team jersey-styled t-shirt--a shirt-jersey, of course, for those who perhaps can't quite afford a full-on replica jersey.
The @Shirseys Twitter feed even acknowledges its budget-minded focus.
"When you've only got $20 to spend on your favorite player," reads its tagline.
The beauty of the shirsey is, while it is styled after the baseball jersey, you can grab a shirsey bearing the name and number of your favorite hockey guy, hoops dude, or footballer. founder Jake Fehling explains what the heck a shirsey is on his site:
I asked myself the same question two years ago when my cousin-in-law (if that’s even a thing) Alex from South Jersey told me how excited he was with his new Phillies Chase Utley shirsey. All I could offer back on the other end of the phone was dumb-founded silence. Did he just say an “Utley purse key”? No, that makes even less sense. An “Utley hershey?” Mmmmmm, but no.
An Utley shirsey.
I finally responded with an “ohh, yeah…hell yeah, nice, man,” but it wasn’t until about five minutes into the call that I finally did the math:
T-shirt + jersey = shirsey. I dig it.
Over the next several months I heard the word used 3-4 more times. I had gone nearly 30 years of never coming across “shirsey” — calling the ones I owned at the time: “t-shirt jerseys” — and now within three months I’ve got family members and buddies from different parts of the country throwing around the word as if it was commonplace. Maybe these people are all onto something, I thought…

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Slumping Batter May Have a 'Screw' Loose

You hear it fairly frequently--So-and-So batter is really hitting the ball on the screws.
In Sports Illustrated's season preview, Prince Fielder's "bat speed looks good this spring," noted a scout. "He's hitting the ball on the screws."
Last spring, a hard luck Derek Jeter was finding his hard hit balls beelining straight to someone's glove.
Wrote ESPN NY:
With two out and a runner on first in the seventh inning of a relatively close game, Jeter again hit the ball on the screws only to see it disappear into the glove of first baseman Miguel Cabrera.
Even at the high school level, they are screwing around on the diamond. Noted Huntington (SC) High school coach Brandon Cassell a few weeks ago:
"Really, two and a half or three weeks ago, we just started hitting the ball on the screws."
It is akin to, in more modern baseball parlance, "squaring up on the ball."
I just popped out to the garage to check out a baseball bat. I didn't find any screws.
While you can, of course, throw a screwball (though few pitchers do anymore), there are no screws in the ball either.
So why do we say "hitting the ball on the screws"?
Wikipedia's fairly useful baseball glossary offers what may well be a good explanation of the term's origins:
The phrase apparently derives from golf, referring to "a well executed shot. In the good ol' days, when woods were made of wood, club makers fitted a plastic insert into the club face as a safeguard against premature wear. These inserts were fastened to the club with screws. When a golfer would hit a good shot, he would say, 'I hit it on the screws'."[8]