If you watch enough MLB-Baseball you will inevitably hear a repetition of certain words, phrases, idioms and other speech forms. If you're like me after a while some of them can become annoying. In this post I will describe a list of candidates for the most annoying baseball phrase, term or usage and at the end you can place your vote for the most annoying expression.
Obviously: Any interview with Justin Verlander contains at least three obligatory utterances of the word. He is not alone, however, as its usage is widespread. Most times the things they are referring to are infact obvious, sometimes they are not. When I hear the word I usually understand one of two implied messages. Either the speaker is trying to say "I'm not stupid, I know this is the case" or "You the viewer are stupid if you don't know that this is the case." I'm not against using this word, I just think it's overused.
He's in the best shape of his life: Every spring training countless players come to camp in the best shape of their life. A quick google search reveals that several players have accomplished this feat this year. In his post from 2012 SB-Nation's Grant Brisbee analyzed this phenomenon.
I Just want to do whatever it takes to help this club: This is often stated by players who are new to a team (e.g Kinsler) or by players who are forced to play positions or do things which are not what they are used to (e.g. Smyly Bullpen). In most cases, I have no reason to doubt the the player's statement is genuine, however, I often have the nagging suspicion that they are simply using a trained PR phrase that players must use when in "the show." This is reminiscent of the interview with Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) at the end of the film Bull Durham. Here he is being trained.
Things Rod Allen says: Specific options are too numerous to list
He gawn: No explanation necessary
Strange constructions for indicating the subjunctive: A large portion of baseball conversation involves considering how plays, games, teams and seasons may have turned out differently under other circumstances. The english language has a nice means of doing this called the subjunctive. With the subjunctive it's possible to discuss theoretical possibilities as if they were real. For example, in discussing the fielding prowess (or lack) of an infielder, one often hears: "player X doesn't get that ball". Also, in other situations: "If they had a [insert name here] on that play their chances of winning go up."
What happened to phrases like "... player X WOULDN'T HAVE GOTTEN that ball ... " or " if they had a GUY LIKE [insert name here] ..."? I don't want to harp on this point too much, I'm really not a Grammar-Nazi. It's just that these types of sentences sound wrong to my ears. Maybe the english language has evolved and these are acceptable ways of speaking, I don't know. Is there an english teacher in the house?
Over qualification of statistics: Player X leads the league in extra-base hits in the 7th inning against left handed pitchers under 6' 2" whose first name begins with the letter 'A' on fridays in the month of June during leap years after the Dodgers moved to L.A. in which they had a winning percentage between 45 and 55 percent.
Run down: Whatever happened to the word "Pickle?" The phrase "run down" might be a better general term as far as english goes but I'm preferential to the word "pickle." It's not like there has been a political correctness campaign run by the vegetable lobby demanding the removal of offensive words.