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Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh Pirates’

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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You Think You Have Issues?

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 12, 2008

The use of the word issues to mean problems has become so pervasive that many of us no longer know that there is a difference between the two words–but have no fear: we here at languageandgrammar.com are always here to remind you. I’ve included an entry about it in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, and Sherry recently wrote two posts about it (You Have Problems, Not Issues and Update on Issues and Problems). As if that were not enough (notice that I’m using the subjunctive), here’s yet another entry.

A recent article about the Pittsburgh Pirates talked about the top 10 issues facing the team in the upcoming season (Pirates Spring Preview: Top 10 Issues). For most teams, I might relent and allow issues to be used in a preview article since the article might, indeed, be a list of topics. For this team, though, there’s no doubt that they’re highlighting problems for the team–if not problems, at least challenges that the team needs to overcome.

This once-proud franchise is a major league disaster. They haven’t had a winning season since 1992, and it’s not likely to change any time soon. The payroll is limited, prospects are few and far between, their best players have little trade value, and the owners seems to be completely committed to lining their pockets with the revenue-sharing money. In fact, a recent free agent who received a competitive bid from the team said that he wasn’t really interested in playing for the team.

Believe me, this team has problems, not issues–and a lot of them.


Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever

Sherry’s Grammar List

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