In the ballpark – Educated guess
Out in left field – Crazy Playing
Hardball – Not going easy
Strike out – Ultimate Fail
Home run – Ultimate Success
Win or lose, good or bad, if you experience life you experience baseball. The game may have been eclipsed in popularity by other sports, but whether it’s business or love – baseball jargon finds just the right touch to express any emotion.
A valentines date can be described either as a success or failure simply by suggesting what base was reached. If you misunderstand that phrasing, just ask Elaine Benes and New York Met/first baseman, Keith Hernandez. Picture yourself in the following situation:
“KEITH: Ya know I hate to brag but, uh, I did win eleven straight golden gloves.
KEITH: I wouldn’t have brought it up but since you mentioned it.
ELAINE: Ha, I didn’t mention it.
KEITH: Well I won them anyway.
ELAINE: Well so what. I mean you played first base. I mean they always put the worst player on first base. That’s were they put me and I stunk.
KEITH: Elaine. You don’t know the first thing about first base.
ELAINE: Ha ha well I know something about getting to first base. And I know you’ll never be there.
KEITH: The way I figure it I’ve already been there and I plan on rounding second tonight at around eleven o’clock.
ELAINE: Well, uh, I’d watch the third base coach if I were you ‘cause I don’t think he’s waving you in.”
This sarcastic exchange from the episode of “Seinfeld” entitled The Boyfriend has been played out in various forms in media as well as in real life for decades. While some terms reflect pure innuendo, others can have dual meanings.
If you are batting a thousand you can have a perfect batting average, close every business deal, or snag any girl you want at the party.
Hitting a home-run can earn you a trip around the bases adding a run to your score, taking a challenge head-on and maximizing results, or umm.. ehhh.. well you know what the ladies call that one.
Having two strikes against you means you have your work cut out for you. You have to be defensive and make sure to just get the bat on the ball and don’t worry about swinging for the fences. It can also represent missed opportunities or mistakes, don’t go for the glory, just make sure you don’t get fired. Even the densest male can see where this is headed in relationship terms: Marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of home-runs in marriage but you don’t want to be caught-looking and strike out if you know what I’m saying.
Whether it’s playing hard-ball or touching-base with someone, just getting a ballpark-figure or dealing with someone who is out-in-left-field, baseball jock-talk dominates our lexicon and rules our analogies.
Unless I’m way-off-base, throwing in baseball lingo doesn’t even phase the most unaware observer. Being thrown a curve-ball can be taken in-stride and earn you a rain-check so you can live to fight another day.
So when you are in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded, with a full count down by two runs, just remember that getting you out is just as tough for the other team as it is for you to get a hit.
My dad was not much of a sports fan, actually not at all until I started playing. But even he knew that you miss 100 percent of the swings you don’t take. So for valentines 2012, men of UVU (@gilbertcisneros), step up to the plate and please, at least just make contact!
Jonathan Boldt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @jboldt24