Thursday, August 27, 2009

Attention Everyone

Okay, for anyone who says the home team can "walk off with a win," I made a handy diagram to help you see the light. Click to enlarge:

A walk-off win means the losers were forced to walk off the field, since this is the only type of game where the losers are on the field when it ends. That's what happens on the final play, as clearly shown in the diagram above.

Eckersley, or whoever came up with the term, looked at this scene, saw what was happening, and named it: walk-off. A walk-off win. The winners don't walk off with a win, as nearly all writers and Don Orsillo describe it, they win in walk-off fashion. You can't go off a field if you're not on it, and you're not walking if you're running. The home team is doing the opposite of walking off. They're running on.

At the end of the celebration, sure, the winners then walk off the field. But the winners walk off the field after any game! After they shake hands, etc. I still say part of the confusion comes from mixing up "walk-off" with the figurative term "walking away with a win." My first step is getting Kelly O'Connor on my side. Once I've got her, I figure our side then makes a strong push at Don and all the writers, and wins the argument in a walk-off. Meaning THEY walk off the debate floor while we celebrate on the tables.

The only things I will concede in this non-argument:

1. Sometimes a losing player is seen doing a slow trot as opposed to a walk. But most guys are walking, heads down.

2. People could be just taking the term and making it work with what they want to say. Like if I say, "Scott Brosius was snoring too loud so I croaked him," it's the other guy who's croaking, not me, but I'm using it from the opposite perspective and it somehow works. In fact, Eck himself will take the term "punch out," meaning to strike a hitter out, and use it from the batter's perspective: "Pedroia punched out again." I still say it sounds bad, though, to say something in the exact opposite way it should be said.

A little off subject, but last night I heard Don O. say "Thome strikes out Bard!" and it made me scratch my head.

Then, in my local paper this morning was a picture of Posing Papi after he hit his walk off dong and the caption said, "Boston's Manny Ramirez celebrates his game-ending home run against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in Boston." It was from the Associated Press, but I don't know where the caption came from.
Ha! And last night TC said the Yankees were playing the "New York Rangers."
Doesn't it follow the same rules as boxing does? You can win by knock out, but you are not knocked out. It's a matter of perspective. I suppose the correct expression is lose by knock out, but that just sounds wrong.
I'm pretty sure you're agreeing with me. Yeah. Slightly different than knockout but essentially the same concept.
It seems like it went from being a verb phrase (the way Eck used it), to being a noun phrase ("The Red Sox have won 3 walk-off games this year"), to now sometimes being a verb phrase again that doesn't have anything to do with the original origin, because people just got used to the noun version and forgot what it meant. Or forgot that there was *already* a verb version of it. I think it is the intermediary step that caused all this.
I think you had said this before and it's also a good call.
A walk off home run for the win.....come on guys.... you trot around the bases then "walk" off the field and into the dugout. That's what I thought it meant.
But you walk off the field into the dugout after ANY win. See my point?
How about the Red Sox force the losers to "walk off" the field -- like walking the plank! That puts the term back on the Sox's side.
Oh, and words change meanings over time. Laura is reading the Diary of Samuel Pepys on line and she has told me dozens of examples of words that meant one thing in 1665 and now mean the exact opposite (and have for a long time). It happens. Language is alive.
Yeah, Laura's told me that before. It's one thing for something to evolve over time, it's another when people just don't know what they're talking about. It's like the whole "you're/your" thing--people have just stopped using "you're" entirely. Like I always say, If everyone does something wrong, it doesn't mean everyone's right, it means everyone's stupid.

And in the comment above that--that, in fact, is what I'm saying. We force the losers to walk off the field. That IS what it means.
Here is an example:

doubt = fear/suspect

"I doubt he will prove to be a devious man" once meant "I fear and suspect he will be devious"

Now, of course, it means "I do not think he will be devious"
It's one thing for something to evolve over time, it's another when people just don't know what they're talking about.

But how can you tell which is which? Things happen/change faster now.

We don't call it the "World's Series" anymore -- are we all wrong/stupid?

(okay, bye, "enjoy the game!")
About 25 years ago, I read this quotation attributed to the Cleveland Indians' Al Rosen: "The greatest thrill in the world is to end the game with a home run and watch everybody else walk off the field while you're running the bases on air."

That has always stuck with me, and when the "walk-off win" terminology came into vogue a few years ago, I always thought it was used wrong. Al Rosen said the losers walk off the field, so that's the way it is, dadgummit.
Seems obvious to me! And I"m fine with calling it a "walk-off win" as long as you know what the walk-off part refers to. But I guess nobody does, which they prove by saying "the (winners) walk off with a win" or headlines that beam "Red Sox walk off against Chicago," which to me would imply Chicago won.
However, Rosen was also President and CEO of the MFY in 1978 and 1979, so we cannot trust him.

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