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.
To run into and knock over the catcher when running home from third base, or to run into a first-baseman when running from home to first. In either case, neither the catcher nor the first baseman may be able to duck out of the way because he must play the ball and stay in position in order to make an out.
Rain delay refers to situations when a game starts late due to rain or is temporarily suspended due to rain. A game that is suspended after it has begun may be resumed either the same day or at a later date. A game that never begins, or that is canceled after it begins due to rainy weather is a rainout and in most cases will be rescheduled for a later date – a make-up date. In the event of a non-tie game past the 5th inning with heavy inclement weather, the game may be called (finalized) with the winner being the team that was winning at the end of the last completed inning, except during the MLB postseason.
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, a make-up game is rescheduled for a later date. If a game is called after play begins but before 4½ 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. In the MLB postseason, however, games that are called before 4½ innings have been completed are treated as suspended games.
To really hit the ball hard, all over the park. When you're raking, you're hitting very well. "Mike Gosling allowed one run on five hits over 6⅓ innings and Alex Terry raked Pawtucket pitching for 14 hits as the Bats defeated the Red Sox, 7-1, in an International League game Wednesday."
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 some time 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.
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).
The 162 game schedule that all Major League Baseball teams usually complete. However, if a special one-game playoff is required to determine which team goes to the league division championship series (the ALDS or the NLDS), this 163rd game is also counted as part of the regular season. All team and player statistics from this game are also counted as regular season statistics. For example, if a pitcher wins his 20th game in the 163rd game played in the one-game playoff, he would be a "20 game winner" for the season. Similarly, a batter's performance in that extra game might determine whether he wins the title for best batting average or most home runs in the season.
On occasion, teams do not complete every game of the regular season, specifically when playing a make-up game owing to the previous suspension or cancellation of a game due to weather or some other factor would require scheduling hardships and when the outcome of that game would not affect which teams might make the playoffs.
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.
When a Major League player recovering from injury or illness plays a short stint with one of the team's minor-league affiliates before coming off the disabled list. The particular affiliate may be chosen based on its proximity to the club's home town rather than the level of play. A rehab assignment does not carry the same stigma for an established Major League player that being sent down to the minors for performance reasons does.
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. Also the second throw during a double-play. As in "They were only able to get the lead runner because the relay was not in time."
A player of common skills available for minimum cost to a major league baseball team. A team of replacement-level players would be expected to win a baseline minimum number of games, typically 40-50, per 162 game season.
A roster designation for players who are not available because of the player’s own doing, e.g. declining to play or getting arrested, that allows a team to remove a player from both their active roster and their payroll for an indefinite amount of time while retaining their rights to the player.
Although baseball bats are symmetrical in shape, and thus there is no such thing as a right-handed baseball bat (or a left-handed baseball bat), in colloquial language a hitter who bats right-handed may be referred to as a "right handed bat" or "right-hand bat". Headline: "Can That Right Handed Bat Play Third Base?"
Also "right-hand hitter". A batter who, paradoxically, bats from the left-side of home plate. Typically, an individual who is right-handed in most activities, including throwing a baseball, stands in the left-side batter's box, the one further from first base.
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. It also comes from the "cha-ching" motion that plate umpires use to signal a strikeout. "Outside corner, ring him up, strike three called!"
Acronym for Runners Left in Scoring Position, typically seen in the box score of a game. This is the sum of the number of runners left ocuppying second and third bases (scoring position) when the batting side has been retired.
When a fielder makes a spectacular play that denies the batter a hit or a home run, the batter may be said to have been "robbed" by the fielder -- as if the fielder had taken away something that belonged to the hitter. Headline: "A-Rod robbed of HR, Joba will join rotation."
When a questionable call is made by an umpire that leads to losing a game, the losing team or its fans may complain that the team was "robbed". "Braves Robbed of a Win . . . was Beltran Out at 3rd in the 9th?"
The position occupied by the third base umpire, likely because the third base umpire does not generally have to make as many calls as the other umpires. For example, "Jim Joyce is in the rocking chair at third base."
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:
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 the disabled list, and the roster can be expanded to as many as 40 active players after August 31st by bringing up players on the 40-man roster.
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, are known as "the rotation" or "starting rotation". In modern baseball, a five-man rotation is most common.
Often a manager identifies pitchers by their order in the rotation, "number 1", "number 2", etc. "Discussions over whether Jason Schmidt or Brad Penny is more deserving to occupy the No. 2 spot in the starting rotation behind Derek Lowe can cease, as least temporarily."
A curveball that instead of breaking sharply makes a more gradual loop. "One Boston writer in the late-'40s summed up Joe Dobson's roundhouse curveball this way: 'It started out somewhere around the dugout and would end up clipping the outside corner of the plate. There are curveballs, and there are curveballs.'"
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.
A pitcher is said to have a "rubber arm" if he can throw many pitches without tiring. Relief pitchers who have the ability to pitch consecutive days with the same effectiveness tend to be known as "rubber arms". Examples of these include Justin Verlander and Aroldis Chapman.
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.