May 2, 2011

Baseball's "backwards talk"

One day in the Magic Land of Baseball -- though no one can say which day it was, definitively -- a sportscaster did something very odd. He started talking backwards. And like a viral meme, this strange way of speaking took over the Magic Land of Baseball, where it thrives to this day.

What the heck am I talking about? Here are some examples:

"And back to the bag at first, is Ellsbury!"
"Very sharp tonight, is Chris Young."

Get the idea? Seriously, how could such a trend catch on? It's not like it sounds good. It's not like it's easier to say. It's just dumb. But does that stop them?

"He's got an idea up there for sure, does young Zimmerman."
"And trying to keep it a three-run spread, is Jordan Smith!"

It's insane. They do this in every game.

"Stayed back on it, did Ike."
"Almost throwing the ball away, was Runzler!"

C'mon guys, seriously. Listen to yourselves. How did a thing like this ever get started? Anyway, just one more odd thing about the language of baseball: backwards talk.


Artichoke Annie said...

I don't believe I have ever met a person that really "listens" to a baseball game the way you do. I find it so interesting, and then I look for similarities in my own guys 'Len and Bob'.

I didn't have much in my little notebook this week - maybe these:

"guys make outs" - when referring to an out that might not have happened otherwise.

"lost the handle" - referring to a player's flubbed ball handling.

"make up calls" - when (your favorite) - umpires - uses some latitude on a call to make up for a previous bad call.

So let's "play ball" ...

writenow said...

I like those! One I'll be covering soon: the creepy unspoken rules of umpiring. You're already on the case with this:

"make up calls" - when (your favorite) - umpires - uses some latitude on a call to make up for a previous bad call."

I don't know how some of these unwritten rules came into being, but they ought to be tossed out of the game. Admit your damn mistake with the original call -- right then and there. Don't make another "bad" call to make up for it.