Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (A)
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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AA or A.A.
- "AA" is also the abbreviation for the American Association, which has been the name of numerous professional baseball leagues: a short-lived major league of the 19th century, a minor league for much of the 20th century, and more recently an independent (e.g., not affiliated with a Major League club) minor league all used this name at various points in baseball history.
- "Triple-A" is the highest level of minor league baseball. This level includes the Pacific Coast League, the International League, and the Mexican League.
- "Four-A player" (alternatively, "Quadruple-A player") is a term for a minor-league player who is consistently successful in the high minor leagues (i.e., AAA), but cannot translate that into success at the major-league level. Often poor management is responsible.
A-Ball or "Single-A"
- "Single-A" is the lowest grouping of modern affiliated minor league baseball, with sub-categories of "High-A," "Low-A," and "Short-Season A." The California League, Florida State League, and the Carolina League are categorized as "Single-A".
- Slang for a fielder's errant throw that sails high over the player to whom he intended to throw it. For example, if the third baseman were to throw the ball over the first baseman's head and into the stands, he is said to have "air mailed" the throw.
AL or A.L.
- Abbreviation for the American League, the newer of the two existing Major Leagues.
ALCS or A.L.C.S.
- Abbreviation for the American League Championship Series, a best-of-seven playoff series that determines which American League team will advance to the World Series. The ALCS (and the NLCS) came into being for the 1969 series. The team that wins the ALCS wins the American League pennant and the title of American League Champions for that season. The winners of the American League Division Series have met in the ALCS since 1995.
ALDS or A.L.D.S.
- Abbreviation for the American League Division Series, the first round of the league playoffs. The winners of the three divisions and the second-place team with the best record are paired off in two best-of-five series, the winners of which advance to the ALCS.
- The best starting pitcher on the team.
advance a runner
- To move a runner ahead safely to another base, often the conscious strategy of a team that plays small ball. Even if a batter makes an out, he may be regarded as having a less negative outcome to his plate appearance if he advances a runner into scoring position or from second to third, thereby increasing the chances of that runner scoring a run later in that inning compared to those chances had that runner not advanced while that out is made. In certain situations, batters deliberately bunt for an out and thereby sacrifice themselves in order to advance a runner to second or third base.
ahead in the count
- A term that signifies whether the batter or pitcher possesses the advantage in an at-bat. If a pitcher has thrown more strikes than balls to a batter in an at-bat, the pitcher is ahead in the count; conversely, if the pitcher has thrown more balls than strikes, the batter is ahead.
- If the pitcher is ahead in the count, the batter is in increasing danger of striking out. If the batter is ahead, the pitcher is in increasing danger of walking him.
- See also: count.
- (Also "gap" or "power alley".) The space between the leftfielder and the centerfielder, or the rightfielder and centerfielder. If a batter hits the ball "up the alley" with enough force, he has a stronger chance of advancing beyond first base and being credited with an extra-base hit (double, triple). Typically, this is an appropriate term for describing a line drive or ground ball; fly balls that hit the wall are not normally described this way.
- A play in which the defense has an opportunity to gain a favorable ruling from an umpire by addressing a mistake by the offense or seeking the input of another umpire. Some notable examples:
- 1. Since baserunners must touch all bases in order when advancing or in reverse order when retreating (tagging up), the defense may appeal if it appears a runner missed a base and continued on to the next one. This appeal must be done during a live ball; typically, the pitcher will step off the rubber and throw the ball to a teammate, who will then touch the appropriate base. If the umpire saw the runner miss the base, he will rule that runner out. Any errors made during this time will be considered "in play" and runners can advance. The defense making a play or attempting to make a play that is not initiated by the offense will remove the possibility of an appeal. For example: During a play with a runner on 2nd base, the batter hits the ball and the runner from 2nd runs home but misses 3rd. The batter is now on 1st base. If the runner tries to run after play has stopped (but not during a "dead ball") and the defense attempts to get him out, they can still appeal. If, however, the runner on 1st is only a few feet off of first, not attempting to advance and the offence attempts to put him out, this is considered a play and the option for appealing the runner at 3rd will no longer be available.
- 2. Because runners may not advance on a fly ball until it is caught, an appeal may be made in the same manner as above if a runner leaves his base too early or fails to return to it.
- 3. If a player bats out of order, the opposing team may bring it to the attention of an umpire. The offending batter is called out.
- 4. If a batter "checks" (stops) his swing at a pitch which is called a ball by the home plate umpire, the defense may appeal to either the first base umpire (for a right-handed batter) or the third base umpire (for a left-handed batter). If the umpire feels that the bat crossed the plate despite the batter's efforts to stop, the pitch is ruled a strike.
- Appeals involve the defense literally making an appeal to an umpire. At no time before the appeal do umpires announce that, for example, a runner failed to touch a base.
around the horn
- The infielders' practice of throwing the ball to each other after recording an out (provided that there are no runners on base). The purpose is as much traditional as anything else, but it serves to keep the infielders' throwing arms warm. Typically, if an out is made at first base, the first baseman will throw to the second baseman, who throws to the shortstop, who throws to the third baseman, who returns the ball to the pitcher. Patterns vary from team to team, but the third baseman is usually the last infielder to receive a throw, regardless of the pattern.
- An additional application of this term is for a 5-4-3 double play, which mimics the pattern of throwing around the horn.
- Slang for a fastball that is especially hard to hit due to its velocity and/or movement. See also "pill".
- The official scorer awards an assist (A) to every defensive player who fields or touches the ball (after it has been hit by the batter) prior to a putout, even if the contact was unintentional. For example, if a ball strikes a player's leg and bounces off him to another fielder, who tags the baserunner, the first player is credited with an assist.
- A fielder can receive only one assist per out recorded. A fielder also receives an assist if a putout would have occurred, had not another fielder committed an error.
- Slang for a ball batted directly at a defender.
- A plate appearance in which the batter a) hits safely, b) is retired, c) reaches on an error by a fielder, d) reaches base on a fielder's choice, e) is called out due to batter's interference, or f) reaches base on a passed ball or wild pitch that occurs with two strikes on the batter.
- At-bats (or "times at bat") are used for the calculation of a player's batting average and slugging percentage.
ate him up
- Slang expression of the action of a batted ball that is difficult for a fielder to handle.
attack the strike zone
- Slang for pitching aggressively by throwing strikes, not by trying to trick hitters into swinging at pitches out of the strike zone or trying to nibble at the corners of the plate. Equivalent phrases are pound the strike zone and challenge the hitters.
- Slang for "outs". If there are two out in an inning, players may say there are "two away".
- Games played at an opponent's home field are "away games".
- The visiting team is sometimes called the "away" team.
- A pitch that is too low or high and too far outside the strike zone is "low and away" or "high and away".
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