Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (W)

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

Appendix: Glossary of Baseball
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A home run. "What a wallop!"
walk-off home run[edit]
A game-ending home run by the home team. So called because the losing team (usually the visiting team) then has to walk off the field. The term "walk-off" can also be applied to any situation with two outs or less in the last at-bat of the home team (such as the walk-off single, wild pitch, etc.) where the game ends as the winning run scores. For example, a bases loaded bases on balls in the bottom of the last inning has been described as "a walk-off walk". In reference to a home run, the older term is "sudden death", or, as touted by national broadcaster Curt Gowdy, "sudden victory".
warning track[edit]
The dirt and finely-ground gravel (as opposed to grass) area bordering the fence, especially in the outfield. It is intended to help prevent fielders from inadvertently running into the fence. 1950s and 60s broadcaster Bob Wolff used to call it the "cinder path". The first "warning tracks" actually started out as running tracks in Yankee Stadium and Cleveland Stadium. True warning tracks did not become standard until the 1950s, around the time batting helmets came into standard use also. Rather than having a warning track, some early stadiums had sloped mounds where the warning track would be. The change in pitch was similarly intended to prevent fielders from running into the wall.
waste a pitch[edit]
  • When a pitcher gets ahead in the count, say 0-2, he may choose to throw a pitch that is outside the strike zone in hopes that the batter will chase a pitch he can't hit. "Waste a pitch" is the opposite of attack the strike zone. An example of this usage drawn from a Q & A session: "Basically, it's the preference of pitchers on the mound about wasting pitches. Tigers hurlers choose to attack opposing hitters." Wasting a pitch is the pitching counterpart to the batter "taking" a 3-0 pitch in the hope that the pitcher will throw another one outside the strike zone and result in a base-on-balls.
  • The phrase is sometimes applied also to hitters who deliberately foul off a pitch that's a strike but that the hitter can't get good wood on.
  • To swing and miss a pitch, usually with a tentative swing.
  • When an umpire signals to a runner to take a base on an overthrow into the dug-out or in case of a ground rule double or a balk, he waves the runner to the next base.
  • When a third-base coach signals to a runner advancing toward the base to continue toward home plate he is said to wave the runner home.
  • "Doing the wave" in the stands.
Web Gem[edit]
an outstanding defensive play. Refers to the webbing of the fielders’ gloves. Popularized by Baseball Tonight on ESPN.
A hitter's power zone. "Clem threw that one right into Ruben's wheelhouse. End of story." From the boating term.
wheel play[edit]
Upon a bunt to the left side of the infield, the third-baseman runs toward home to field the bunt, and the shortstop runs to third base to cover. The infielders thus rotate like a wheel.
Legs. A player who runs the bases fast has wheels.
A term used to describe a swinging-strikeout (referring to the bat whiffing through the air without contacting the ball). The phrase has even been immortalized by ESPN's Dan Patrick, who uses it by saying "The whiff'.
A curveball. Just as a bullwhip may snap, so may a pitch when it breaks.
Walks Plus Hits Per Innings Pitched: a measurement of the pitcher's ability to keep batters off base. Calculated as (Bases on Balls + Hits allowed) / (Innings pitched)
A shutout.
whole new ball game; brand new ball game; whole 'nother ball game[edit]
(idiomatic) A drastic turn of events, a completely altered situation. In baseball, an announcer says "it's a whole new ball game" when the trailing team ties the score or takes the lead, usually after being behind by several runs. AHDI traces this to the 1960s.[1] A "whole 'nother ball game" signifies something completely unrelated, different, or irrelevant.
wild pitch[edit]
A wild pitch (abbreviated WP) is charged to a pitcher when, in the opinion of the official scorer, a pitch is too high, too low, or too wide of home plate for the catcher to catch the ball with ordinary effort, and which allows one or more runners to advance; or allows the batter to advance to first base, if it's a third strike with first base unoccupied. Neither a passed ball nor a wild pitch is charged as an error. It is a separate statistic.
The following illustrates how pitchers are credited for a win — the W — when two or more pitchers have participated on the winning side, some who may have only faced a single batter, and some who may have faced two dozen or more batters.
  • A win (W) is generally credited to the pitcher for the winning team who was in the game when it last took the lead. A starting pitcher must generally complete five innings to earn a win. Under some exceptions to the general rules, the official scorer awards the win based on guidelines set forth in the official rules (see MLB Official Rule 10.19). The winning pitcher cannot also be credited with a save in the same game.
    • An example of the allocation of credit for a win: Pitching for Detroit against Boston in Boston, Bonderman allows 2 runs on 5 hits, with 8 K's and 1 BB in 7 and two-thirds innings, throwing 103 pitches; he leaves the game with the score tied 2-2. Rodney relieves Bonderman, throws 3 pitches and faces 1 batter to end the 8th inning with the game still tied 2-2. In the top of the 9th the Tigers score 1 run to take the lead, 3-2. In the bottom of the 9th Jones "closes" and retires the Red Sox in order. Tigers win the game. Rodney gets a Win. Jones gets a Save. Bonderman receives a "no decision."
  • A loss (L) is charged to the pitcher for the losing team who allows the run that gives the opposing team a lead they do not relinquish for the remainder of the game. The pitcher who gives up a hit to score the "go-ahead run" does not necessarily receive the loss; instead the L goes to the pitcher who allowed the run-scoring player to reach base. A pitcher (including the starter) need face only one batter to be charged with an L.
For further discussion see Win (baseball).
Winter leagues[edit]
Currently, five minor leagues with seasons that happen during the "off-season" of major league baseball: the Arizona Fall League, the Dominican Baseball League, the Mexican Baseball League, the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League, and the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. The winter leagues used to include the Cuban League. A new winter league in Hawaii is scheduled to begin in 2006.
The baseball bat. See "get good wood."
worm burner[edit]
A hard hit ground ball that "burns" the ground.
Scoresheet notation for "wasn't watching", used by non-official scorekeepers when their attention has been distracted from the play on field. Supposedly used frequently by former New York Yankees broadcaster Phil Rizzuto.


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