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An essential guide to baseball slang for newbies to the sport

A guide to baseball's odd and endearing nomenclature, for those who watch the game only in October:

Pitchers' duel: Low-scoring game where pitchers are so dominant that it renders the other players (and fans) inconsequential. Considered by many to be the highest form of baseball.

Slugfest: Opposite of pitchers' duel, where lots of runs are scored.

Snoozefest: See "pitchers' duel."

Seventh-inning stretch: Point at which fans attempt to stand after consuming too much oink. The game's approximate midpoint, because of the endless pitching changes soon to follow.

Oink: Ballpark meat, usually pork.

Can of corn: Easy pop fly. In Kansas City, a restroom, or a popular dessert.

Chew: Tobacco taken orally. Also, Tommy Lasorda's favorite verb.

Southpaw: Leftie, liberal, nonconformist. Throws with opposite hand from normal people. Thinks with opposite side of brain.

Northpaw: A pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.

Taxes: Where Astros and Rangers play.

Taxes Leaguer: Bloop single.

Heater: A day game at Dodger Stadium. Also, a scorching fastball. Usage: "Bring the heat."

High cheese: A ball up in the strike zone. Usage: "Lay off the high cheese, you idiot." Also, a Packers fan after the second quarter. Usage: "Lay off the schnapps, you cheesehead."

Sliders: Tiny burgers. Best served with high cheese.

Pitcher: The best way to buy beer.

Short Stop: The best baseball bar in L.A.

Sandy Koufax: Legendary Dodger ace. Also, a great name for an L.A. beach (someday).

Infield fly rule: Batter is automatically out — and runners advance at their own risk — after a routine popup to the infield, with less than two outs, and runners on first and second, or first, second and third, on alternate Tuesdays in July.

Dropped third strike: Batter may advance to first base after a strikeout when ... oh, who cares? — it never works.

Deuces wild: Scullyism for two balls, two strikes, two outs.

Little nubber: Scullyism for weak rolling hit. Also, players' pet name for Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal.

Refill: Something snack bars never give.

Re-Phil: What Manager Ryne Sandberg will do next season in Philadelphia.

Strained oblique: Strained stomach (see "oink").

Tommy John surgery: Procedure to repair an elbow ligament, usually in a pitcher.

Farmer John surgery: Procedure for making a Dodger Dog edible, usually involving a quart of mustard and extra relish.

The wave: Antiquated but beloved expression of fan boredom or joy, mimicking the swirling action seen in stadium toilets. Detested by purists.

Beach balls: See "the wave."

Purists: People who detest things real people love.

Balk: Mistake in pitching motion with runner(s) on base. Penalty: Runner(s) advance one base.

Beer balk: When the dude in front of you doesn't decide what he wants till he reaches the snack counter despite having waited in line 20 minutes. Penalty: Ejection.

Squeeze: Something teenagers do to keep warm. Archaic, a bunt with a runner on third (rarely seen today).

Garlic fries: After baseball, God's greatest work.


Twitter: @erskinetimes

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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