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Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

League Slams Players for Foul Language–Circa 1898

Posted by languageandgrammar on June 17, 2011

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

For those of you who believe that poorly behaving athletes is a modern problem, check out this yahoo.com blog: Late 19th century ball players sure used creative vulgarities.

The blog highlights a memo (I don’t know what it was called then!) from the league, highlighting some of the vulgarity used by baseball players around and, in some cases, directed at fans, issued in 1898. The blog shows the offending phrases blocked out, but the article includes a link if you want to see the uncensored correspondence.

I’ll put it this way: It’s a good thing that they didn’t have access to Twitter back then. Yikes.

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Baseball’s What Not to Say

Posted by languageandgrammar on April 6, 2009

I apologize to all of the people I know who will read this and think I’m singling them out because they will most likely make some version of the statement during the next 24 hours. I’m not, and that’s part of the point of the type of statement I like to call “You Thought You Were Clever, But….” We all do it–we make that non-clever, obvious statement even though when we hear the very same statement, we roll our eyes and shake our heads.

Do  your friends, family, and co-workers a favor, and don’t make any of these comments about the local Major League Baseball team after the first game of the season:

  • The Pirates are going 162-0 this year
  • At least we know that the Pirates won’t go 0-162 this year
  • At least we know that the Pirates will win one game this year

There are probably other versions, but you get the point.

It’s not funny. It’s not original. It’s as annoying as saying “See you next year” on December 31.


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Big Off-Season Move

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 26, 2009

Winter is nearly as important to baseball as summer, when the games are played, because the foundation for the team is set during the winter off-season. With that in mind, it appears as if the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team that I’ve followed for about 40 years, are setting the stage for an outstanding year.

Oh, I know that the Pirates have been in a slump lately–their last winning season was 16 years ago–but I think that’s all about to change. While some teams continue to waste time acquiring new and better players (winter transactions), the Pirates have taken a more enlightened approach.

The New York Yankees have signed the two best pitchers available (CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett) and the best offensive player (Mark Teixeira), but it’s the Pirates who have stolen the headlines recently:  They’ve added sleeves to their uniforms (Pirates Add Sleeves to their Uniforms).

My initial reaction to the headline was  “What? The Pirate uniforms didn’t have sleeves last year?” I’ll admit that I didn’t watch many games (who would? They lost 97 of them), but I don’t recall seeing them in tank tops or sleeveless shirts.

Then, I thought about the big picture (which is hanging over a very large sofa in the Guggenheim, I believe). There’s an adage in fashion that a person should dress for the job that he or she wants. The theory is that dressing for the life you want will help you to prepare for that life, making it more likely to actually happen.

That’s what the Pirates are doing. While the Yankees waste their time signing players that will help them win baseball games, the Pirates are preparing themselves to be a good team by focusing on looking good. And what is a better way to do that than by wearing sleeves?

Better times are ahead.


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