[Ads-l] bobble/bauble

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 3 05:17:43 UTC 2017

I suppose the "cot"/"caught" merger is to blame for the appearance of
"bauble" here (three times!)...

In practice, “ordinary effort” describes, as Bill James wrote, what should
have happened. What should have happened in a piece of fielding can have
nothing to do with the play of the fielder. Utter offered me a case: The
runner hits the ball into the outfield, the fielder baubles the ball, and
the runner advances to second. Is that an error? It depends. “What we would
have to look at is—is it a single or is it a double? Or is it a single and
advance on an error or on the throw?” The way that the scorer determines
whether that bauble is an error or not has less to do with the action of
the fielder than with the action of the runner. “Was the runner going all
the time? Did he never think about stopping at first? Or was he running and
looking at the play and then slowed down a little bit and then took off
when he saw the little bauble?” If he paused, noticed the misplay, and ran
to second, “That becomes the error.”


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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