There are many reasons I love baseball – the competition, the feeling of summer, nasty curveballs – but it also offers some very amusing lingo. Baseball people use these terms regularly and without hesitation, often stated as matter of fact. They’ve been in baseball for so long that no one bats an eye or chuckles when uttered. Though I’m 26, I often find myself reverting to my 12-year-old, laughing at any innuendo that would hit my eardrum and tickle my funny bone. Sometimes, you don’t know that you hear them but I always hear them and I always find them funny. Sorry, mom.
“(Batter) is in the two-hole.”
Uh, what?: Sometimes, you might hear that a manager put a player in the two-hole, as if he needed assistance.
What it means: Very simply, it means the player is batting second in the lineup. According to “The Book,” the two-hole comes to bat in situations about as important as the the #3 hitter but more often. So, the two-hole should be a high-OBP hitter and better than the #3 hitter. In effect, the two-hole is a better hitter than your #3 hitter.
“(The pitcher) drops a deuce on him.”
Uh, what?: Of course, “dropping deuces” on someone easily alludes to a certain population that fancies a particularly dirty act.
What it means: For most pitchers, the “1″ is a fastball and the “2″ is a curveball. Though it has many nicknames (hammer, Uncle Charley, hook), the deuce is one of the most popular. You’ll hear this a lot when the hitter seems fooled by the curveball.
Uh, what?: I mean, I don’t know anyone named “Save” but he sounds like a lucky guy.
What it means: I’ll let Wikipedia do this one: a save is credited to a pitcher who finishes a game for the winning team under certain prescribed circumstances.
Uh, what?: Broadcasters say it with emphasis. Almost too much emphasis.
What it means: A hit, typically a line drive, that lands between two outfielders.
“One tool player”
Uh, what?: Personally, I would hope any man has one, and only one, tool.
What it means: Scouts often refer to players by the number of tools at which they excel. Allow me to explain further. There are five tools that scouts use to evaluate position players: hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning, defense and throwing.
“… and he goes to the backdoor.”
Uh, what?: Sometimes it’s done by accident. Sometimes it’s the result of a little experimenting.
What it means: When a pitcher is throwing to an opposite handed batter (i.e. righty vs. lefty), the pitcher will throw a pitch to the outer third of the plate and put action on the ball forcing it to come back and hit the corner.
Uh, what?: For this kind of thing, you could get up to 12 years in jail.
What it means: Plainly, a hitter strikes out without even offering at the called third strike.