31 August 2011

The Lie: In baseball, they’re called “runs.” They’re completely different than “points.”

The Truth: They’re exactly the same as points. There’s no reason to call them anything besides points, yet we insist on calling them runs. Additionally, we call a referee an “umpire,” a coach a “manager,” and an assistant coach a “coach” – all of which we do for no other reason than to annoy fans of other sports. The vocabulary of baseball is an arcane lexicon full of bizarre, vaguely erotic terms like suicide squeeze and backdoor slider. And it’s crucial that you learn them all.

Given the genes he’s inheriting, my son won’t ever play professional baseball, but he might yet develop his old man’s rare talent for pointing out the shortcomings of those who do. Why waste time with his athletics when all he’ll really need are his acerbics? Other dads play catch with their sons; I teach my son how to yell at the T.V. in a fluent and articulate manner.

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