Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (R)

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The following is a glossary of baseball jargon (phrases, idioms and slang):

Appendix: Glossary of Baseball
0-9 · A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · Y · Z


rabbit ears[edit]
Indicates a participant in the game who hears things perhaps too well for his own good. A player who becomes nervous or chokes when opposing players or fans yell at or razz him is said to have "rabbit ears". Also, an umpire who picks up on every complaint hurled at him from the dugouts is described this way.
A curveball with a high arc in its path to the plate
rain check[edit]
(idiomatic) A ticket given to a spectator at an outdoor event providing for a refund of his entrance money or admission at a later date, should the event be interrupted by rain; an assurance of a deferred extension of an offer, especially an assurance that a customer can take advantage of a sale later if the item or service offered is not available (as by being sold out); or a (sometimes vague) promise to accept a social offer at an unnamed later date. The latter two meanings derive from the first, which OED states was first used in 1884; its first written entry into non-baseball usage is cited as 1930[1]
A rainout refers to a game that is canceled or stopped in progress due to rain. Generally, Major League Baseball teams will continue play in light to moderate rain but will suspend play if it is raining heavily or if there is standing water on the field. Games can also be delayed or canceled for other forms of inclement weather, or if the field is found to be unfit for play. If a game is rained out before play begins, it is rescheduled for a later date. If a game is called after play begins but before 4 1/2 innings have been completed (if the home team is ahead) or five innings have been completed (if the visitors are ahead or the game is tied), the game is not an official game. The umpire declares "No Game," the game is played in its entirety at a later date, and statistics compiled during the game are not counted. Games that are stopped after they become official games count in the standings (unless the game is tied, in which case it is replayed from the beginning), and statistics compiled during the game are counted.
rally cap[edit]
A cap worn backwards, sideways, or inside-out by fans or players to bring a "rally." Said to have originated by fans of the New York Mets during the 1985 baseball season, when the Mets captured several dramatic come-from-behind victories, and spread to the players themselves sometime during the 1986 season. It rose to national awareness during the 1986 World Series. The Mets were down three games to two and losing the deciding game to the Red Sox, when in the seventh inning, television cameras showed some of the New York Mets players in the dugout wearing their caps inside-out. The team rallied to win the game and the series.
A fielder's ability to move from his position to field a ball in play.
  • An RBI or "run batted in" is a run scored as a result of a hit; a bases-filled walk or hit-by-pitch or awarding of first base due to interference; a sacrifice; or a single-out fielder's choice (not a double play).
  • Official credit to a batter for driving in a run.
RBI situation[edit]
Runners in scoring position.
regulation game[edit]
A standard baseball game lasts nine innings, although some leagues (such as high school baseball) use seven-inning games. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. If the home team is ahead after eight-and-a-half innings have been played, it is declared the winner, and the last half-inning is not played. If the home team is trailing or tied in the last inning and they score to take the lead, the game ends as soon as the winning run touches home plate; however, if the last batter hits a home run to win the game, he and any runners on base are all permitted to score.
If both teams have scored the same number of runs at the end of a regular-length game, a tie is avoided by the addition of extra innings. As many innings as necessary are played until one team has the lead at the end of an inning. Thus, the home team always has a chance to respond if the visiting team scores in the top half of the inning; this gives the home team a small tactical advantage. In theory, a baseball game could go on forever; in practice, however, they eventually end (although see Longest professional baseball game). In addition to that rule, a game might theoretically end if both the home and away team were to run out of players to substitute.
A defensive technique where the ball is thrown by an outfielder to an infielder who then throws to the final target. This is done because accurate throws are more difficult over long distances and the ball loses a considerable amount of speed the farther it must be thrown. Also cut-off.
relief pitcher[edit]
A relief pitcher or reliever is a pitcher brought in the game as a substitute for (i.e., "to relieve") another pitcher.
retire the runner[edit]
To throw the runner out at a base, after which he retires to the bench.
retire the side[edit]
See side retired.
An argument or fight in a baseball game. Hence, Rhubarb, a novel by H. Allen Smith. Originally the word traditionally muttered by actors in a play to provide background noise; OED and CDS both credit sportscaster Red Barber with first using the term to describe a disturbance, at a baseball game in 1943; OED's first non-baseball cite is 1949.[2]
ribbie, ribeye[edit]
Slang for a run batted in (RBI).
ride the pine[edit]
(idiomatic) To be forced to remain a passive observer of something, as opposed to being an active participant. In baseball, it is applied to a player who has been benched or removed from the game; refers to the kind of wood the bench is made of.
  • A very strong arm. A canon, a bazooka, a gun. Also used as a verb, "He rifled the ball home to catch the runner."
  • A batter can also be said to rifle a ball when he hits a hard line drive. "Griffey rifles the ball . . . foul, just outside first base."
right off the bat[edit]
(idiomatic) Immediately; without any delay. OED dates this term to 1914 in Maclean's, a Canadian magazine. An older term, hot from the bat dates to the 1888 play Meisterschaft by Mark Twain.[3]
ring him up[edit]
A strikeout. The phrase is probably drawn by analogy to cashiers who ring up the total on the cash register when a customer is ready to pay up.
  • To hit a hard line drive, as in "He ripped a single through the right side."
  • A hard swing, usually one that misses the ball: "Reyes took a good rip at that pitch."
Acronym for Runners In Scoring Position. See runners in scoring position.
road game[edit]
A game played away from a baseball club's home stadium. When a team plays away from home, it's on a "road trip" and is the "visiting team" at the home stadium of another team.
road trip[edit]
A series of road games or away games occurs on a road trip, a term derived from the days when teams indeed traveled from one town to another by roadway or railroad.
A slightly derogatory acronym for a right-handed relief specialist. Stands for "Righty One Out GuY".
Conventionally, rookie is a term for athletes in their first year of play in their sport. In Major League Baseball, special rules apply for eligibility for the Rookie of the Year award in each league. To be eligible, a player must have accumulated, prior to the current season:
Fewer than 130 at bats and 50 innings pitched in the major leagues or
Fewer than 45 days on the active rosters of major league clubs (excluding time on the disabled list or any time after rosters are expanded on September 1).
room service[edit]
A ball that's hit right to a fielder, so he hardly has to move to get it. Also a pitch that's easy to hit.
A hard line drive. Also see "frozen rope".
The official list of players who are eligible to play in a given game and to be included on the lineup card for that game. Major League Baseball limits the regular-season active roster to 25 players during most of the season, but additional players may be on disabled list, and the roster can be expanded to as many as 40 active players after August 31st.
A starting pitcher in professional baseball usually rests three or four days after pitching a game before pitching another. Therefore, most professional baseball teams have four or five starting pitchers on their roster. These pitchers, and the sequence in which they pitch is known as the rotation. In modern baseball, a five-man rotation is most common.
The rubber, formally termed the pitching plate, is a white rubber strip the front of which is exactly sixty feet six inches (18.4 m) from the rear point of home plate. A pitcher will push off the rubber with his foot in order to gain velocity toward home plate when pitching.
rubber arm[edit]
A pitcher is said to have a "rubber arm" if he can throw many pitches without tiring. Livan Hernandez may have the ultimate rubber arm, having eclipsed 200 innings seven times in his ten-year career.
rubber game[edit]
A term used for the third game of 3-game series, the fifth of a best-of-five series, and the seventh of a best-of-seven series, when the two teams have split the first two, four, or six games, respectively. Originally a card-playing term.[4]
A play in which a runner is stranded between two bases, and runs back and forth to try to avoid fielders with the ball. The fielders (usually basemen) toss the ball back and forth, to prevent the runner from getting to a base, and typically close in on him and tag him. Also called a hotbox or a pickle. Sometimes used as a baserunning strategy by a trailing runner, to distract the fielders and allow a leading runner to advance.
runners at the corners[edit]
runners on 1st and 3rd, with 2nd base open.
runners in scoring position[edit]
Batting average with runners in scoring position (RISP) is used as an approximation of clutch hitting. Game announcers are apt to put up and comment on the latter statistic during a broadcast to set the stage for an at bat. A good hitter is expected to have a higher batting average when there are runners in scoring position.
Ruthian Blast[edit]
A home run that travels very far.


Return to Appendix:Glossary of baseball