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Sports Article    

Baseball season is drawing near


By SCOTT BURNSIDE sburnside@kentuckynewera.com

Since basketball has taken a month off due to snow conditions, let's drift away to the sport coming up on the calendar baseball.

The major leagues are getting ready to report to camp. The chewing tobacco salesmen are on alert and this weather is driving basketball officials wacko.

It might be a perfect time to think baseball, especially now when all the teams are created equal and only playing time will prove the real difference. Rookies, in our minds, look like Stan Musial or Nellie Fox (a tribute to our White Sox heritage).

Right now, for all we know, the World Series might feature the White Sox and the lowly Cubs (heh! heh!) Baseball fans are optimists on opening day.

Since there might be a few rookie fans getting ready to dip their scorebook into this truly American sport (don't even think about that English game of rounders, which some zonk heads think preceded baseball).

First off you'll need to know the lingo of the game. A portsider is not a boat, but a left-hander. The hot corner is not the place in the kitchen where the stove and microwave sit, it's where third base resides.

Some of the newer terms for baseball are: lena (spanish for line drive); chunker (a ball hit softly that falls between fielder); lid (a player's cap); pumped (a pitcher who gives up a lot of runs); cheese (a ball thrown very, very fast); cheddar (a ball thrown which is faster than cheese); yaker/dinger/dong (a home run); dosed (a batter hit by a pitcher, i.e., someone who has taken a dose of medicine and hammer (a good curve ball).

That's a good start for new fans, but one also must be indoctrinated in another area of baseball.

One of our favorite pastimes at baseball was heckling the players, but that was before age slowed our legs down. With the help of Heckledepot.com we've done some research and came up with a few heckling terms which will stand you out from the crowd. There's no obscene language listed here, because that's reserved for drunks and Oakland Raider fans.

For fielders: "You've got the range of a rosebush!" "You couldn't throw a cat out of the window." "I've seen better hands on a clock." "Bozo called and he wants his mitt back."

For pitchers: "Serve it up, snack bar." "One finger means fastball, not miles-per-hour." "He's got as much control as two rabbits on a first date." "I've seen more heat in a toaster." "Hey lunch meat, keep serving that baloney."

For umpires: "So, which one of you is the designated driver?" "The French judge says it's a strike." "You need to go to confession for that call." "Hey, flip over the plate and read the directions."

For batters: "Do your parents know that you do this for a living?" He couldn't hit the ground, if he fell out of the bed." "You're the weakest line, sit down." "You couldn't drive anyone home if your car was in their driveway."

Now, mind you, these comments should never be used at prep baseball games. Parents should be generally seen, not heard at high school games.

So, lets just kick back, put our feet up and think about warm weather and baseball.

Scott Burnside's column runs every Wednesday. He can be reached by telephone at 887-3226 or by e-mail at sburnside@kentuckynewera.com.


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