Henry James on Eliot on "a curved ball"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Sep 12 01:34:02 UTC 2012

On Sep 11, 2012, at 9:01 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:

> On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 8:06 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
>> Subject:      Re: Henry James on Eliot on "a curved ball"
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> On Sep 11, 2012, at 5:33 PM, Alice Faber wrote:
>>> On 9/11/12 1:47 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
>>>> [Begin extracted text]
>>>> They boasted of his making a feint to throw a ball in one direction
>>>> and then throwing it in another,
>>>> [End extracted text]
>>>> I know that this sentence better describes the action of a pitcher
>>>> keeping a runner on base and preventing a stolen base.
>>> Sounds like the "fake to third, throw to first" move that, for some
>>> reason, isn't actually a balk.
>> I think as long as the pitcher takes his foot off the rubber he's OK.  But that doesn't stop the fans from booing and screaming "balk".
> First-and-third move on way out?
> Associated Press
> May 11, 2012
> http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7915369/major-league-baseball-poised-pick-1st-3rd-trick-move
> [Begin excerpt]
> NEW YORK -- Yankees reliever Rafael Soriano stepped toward third base
> and bluffed a pickoff throw, then twirled and made a soft toss to
> first. No dice, the Tampa Bay runners didn't fall for that ol' trick
> -- they'd seen it too often.
> Starting next year, no one might ever see that exact play again.
> Major League Baseball is poised to pick off the much-maligned move,
> the fake-to-third, throw-to-first ploy that often succeeds only in
> getting the whole ballpark to shout "Balk!"

Aha!  So I'm not the only one who noticed.  But I never noticed that they *do* call it a balk against southpaws.  Probably just paranoid, those loony lefties.

> "I think they should get rid of it," Yankees reliever Boone Logan
> said. "Us lefties can't do that. If we do, they call a balk."
> "Besides, how often does it work? Maybe once in never," he said.
> [End excerpt]
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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