[Ads-l] bobble/bauble

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Oct 3 13:04:56 UTC 2017

> On Oct 3, 2017, at 1:17 AM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> I suppose the "cot"/"caught" merger is to blame for the appearance of
> "bauble" here (three times!)...
> ---
> https://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/the-error-in-baseball-and-the-moral-dimension-to-american-life
> 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.”
Nice.  I’m sure that’s what it is—in our colleague’s terms, “awe”-dropping strikes again.  And here I thought a bauble becomes an error only when you get cold feet before the wedding and seek to become disengaged.  Tough to sort out those diamond miscues.


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