[Ads-l] bobble/bauble

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 3 14:03:51 UTC 2017

On Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 9:04 AM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>

> > 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.

The "baubles" have now been changed to "bobbles" by an unmerged editor.


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