As you'll probably remember, yesterday I lamented the lack of baseball things being named after baseball players. What, I wondered, happened to colorful turns like "John Anderson" and "pull a Brenegan"?
To that end, I came up with a few of my own, and I'm happy to report that both Yogi (swinging at a pitch outside the strike zone, and getting a hit) and Lofton (getting hurt while sliding into first base for no good reason) seem to enjoy some support. Now it's your turn, and mine: We can popularize these! It not occurs to me that I probably should have waited until, oh, next April to get all worked up about this stuff. But hey, tomorrow a bus might run over me. Gather ye rosebuds.
Anyway, I also asked for your suggestions in the comments, and boy did you ever respond. Here are some of my favorites, along with a comment or three ...
Someone suggested Bixler -- that's Brian Bixler, for you non-Nats/Astros/Bucs fans -- and for a couple of things, one of them getting picked off while a pinch-runner. But if we're going to have a term for that, it's got to be Herbie, because by far the single most famous instance came in the 1974 World Series, when Oakland's Herb Washington got picked off at a key moment in Game 2. See, Washington was only a pinch-runner; in 105 career appearances, Washington never batted or fielded or pitched. He ran, and he only ran. And he wasn't really all that good a baserunner.
Another good one: pulling a Beltran (or getting Beltran'd), which is what happens when a hitter takes strike three right down the middle to end a game. You know, like Miguel Cabrera in Game 4 of the World Series. He sure Beltran'd the hell out of that one.
Someone suggested the term La Russa inning, which sounds good but we could probably spend all day coming up with a definition. At least three relief pitchers in one inning? At least three reliefers in one scoreless inning?
Someone suggested John Shelby for a long hitting streak by an otherwise nondescript hitter. That's got a nice ring, but I might also throw Kenny Landreaux out there. Shelby's long hitting stream went 24 games (in 1988), while Landreaux's ran 31 games (1980). Then again, Shelby was a significantly worse hitter than Landreaux. So maybe he better embodies the spirit of the term.
There was a nifty little exchange in the comments when one reader suggested Gregg to describe a team releasing a player who's still owed a fair amount of money. This led to someone else suggesting that Jason Bay's a better example, and someone else said Gregg should be reserved for a called strike that was actually well outside the strike zone. Because of the late umpire Eric Gregg. I like that very much. He struck out on a Gregg.
When a pitcher loses a game because of poor run support, he's been Cained. Or given a Caining. Because of Matt Cain, who sported a losing record until going 16-5 this season. Of course, the term won't make any sense if Cain keeps winning. Which he probably will. So we'll accept this one, but just provisionally. We can always do something with Death Valley Jim Scott if we need to.
There were, of course, a number of suggestions involving Derek Jeter, and they're all so good I really can't choose, except I suspect the first has the best shot at actually catching on ...
Or an hour-long romp. Whatever.
As you might remember, I suggested an obscure literary reference to describe an outfielder stealing a home run, in honor of both Mike Trout and avant garde novelist Richard Brautigan. Now, before that I did run through the list of trout species, but the only one that sort of intrigued me was Apache. Seemed a little obscure, though (and bound to offend someone, I'm sure). I did skip over cutthroat, so of course someone suggested it. Well, yeah ... but I like my baseball non-violent. Otherwise we'll soon be injecting words like blitz and sudden-death and drill into the vernacular. So upon reflection, I'm sticking with Brautigan, like "Pujols hit a long drive to center field, but Austin Jackson brautigan'd him."
I think this is my favorite of all of them:
We can all get together on this one, can't we?