Outside Paint: Baseball Cliches Translated

Credit: USA TODAY
Credit: USA TODAY

Baseball is not a game of pitching. Nor is it a game of catching, hitting or throwing. Forget the symmetrical likes and the asymmetrical outfield fences. Never mind the green grass, brown dirt and white ball. Pine tar? pssht… nothing to do with it. At the end of the day baseball might as well be professional wrestling because in baseball: the catchphrase is king.

Bet you didn’t know baseball is programming you with its catchy little lines of dialogue. You’ve heard them so often you can probably finish them before the person saying them.

What you may not know is that each of these catch phrases as a secret meaning. Legend has it that some baseball managers and players got together before a game in the 1930’s and agreed on these idioms and further agreed they will only be used during interviews with the media. (there’s no way the players say these things to each other).

In order to increase your enjoyment of the next pre or post-game interview, I have compiled a list of baseball lingo with the corresponding secret meaning.

Phrase:
“He moved the ball around”

Translation:
“We did a really crappy job of hitting a very hittable pitcher. He wasn’t really doing anything special at all, but our hitters just sucked at making solid contact so, rather than blame our hitters, we’re going to tell you it was the pitcher’s fault.”

Phrase:
“He changed speeds”

Translation:
“The opposing pitcher threw other pitches besides his fastball! Can you even believe it?! A Major League pitcher has learned how to throw more than one pitch? That’s just crazy, right?!!”

Phrase:
“I put a good swing on it.”

Translation:
“Holy crap! Did you see how far that ball went?! I’m serious, did you see that?! I destroyed that ball! I am a Greek god! I launched a freaking thunderbolt into the atmosphere! I’m surprised that fan is still standing after catching that home run!”

Credit: Routes and Routes
Credit: Routes and Routes

Phrase:
“Tip your cap.”

Translation:
“That guy is better than me. I mean, I tried. I really did. But he was better than me. I did bad. I wish I didn’t….. I want to go be by myself now. Do you have a juice box or orange slices for me?”

Phrase:
“We’ve got to get him going.”

Translation:
“Our player forgot to play baseball over the winter. I don’t understand why. It’s weird because he’s been playing since he was 17 months old. I assume he knows what he’s doing, but at this point, I’m not sure.”

Phrase:
“One game at a time”

Translation:
“Guys, seriously? Do you know how busy I am? I have meetings in the morning, then BP, then infield, then stretching, then running, then more BP and then the game. of course, then I have to talk to you guys until midnight and, if I have time, eat some dinner and go to bed by 2 am. To answer your question, I have no idea who we’re playing next week, I have no plans for a week from next Tuesday and I think its funny how you’re talking about the postseason on May 3rd.”

Phrase:
“Stay within myself”

Translation:
“Because leaving my own body would make it difficult to pick up a bat.”

Phrase:
“Missed with location”

Translation:
“Probably shouldn’t have thrown a fastball down the middle.”

Phrase:
“That’s baseball”

Translation:
“I got nothing for you. I could make something up. You want me to? Okay: maybe it was ghosts? I dunno. That play happened, then another one which resulted in a result. And then other things happened. Happy now? Can I go get a burrito now?”

Credit: Museummoutlets
Credit: Museummoutlets

Phrase:
“I’ve got to work on my mechanics.”

Translation:
“I suck.”

Phrase:
“I’ve got to get back to basics.”

Translation:
“I suck.”

Phrase:
“He has a live fastball”

Translation:
“Man throw ball hard, make glove pop.”

Phrase:
“it is what it is”

Translation:
“That thing happened. It didn’t not happen. Therefore the outcome occurred and furthermore the result resulted. Funny how the end happened at the end. And guess what, it’s going to happen again tomorrow.”

Phrase:
“Make contact”

Translation:
“Don’t strike out.”

Phrase:
“Good pitching matchup”

Translation:
“Hope you like a 2-1 final score”

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Richard Dorsha
Baseball is the greatest athletic endeavor we have. It is a sport of poetry, beauty and nearly imeasurable levels of skill. The Padres are my team, my only true team. They are the expression of my love for this grand game.

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