Archive for the 'Rogue’s Baseball Index' Category

Rogue’s Baseball Index Term: Francoeurganda

Francoeurganda is a Rogue’s Baseball Index term coined by Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk, to refer to the annual Spring Training proclamations that on-base nightmare Jeff Francoeur has been working on his plate discipline and will be a new hitter this year. As yet, this form of optimistic propaganda has not preceded measurable improvement in any of the years before which it was broadcast.

According to Calcaterra, “No matter how poorly [Francoeur] does, someone is going to say that this, by gum, is the year he breaks out. No matter how little he progresses, Francoeur himself is going to say that he’s working on his plate discipline. You can set your watch by this alternate universe jive. And frankly, I’d miss it if we didn’t have it.”

visit Francoeurganda in the RBI wiki

Rogue’s Baseball Index: The Tater Trot

Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus — where this will be cross-posted — and the legendary Wezen-Ball contributes this term:

The pitcher glowers over the edge of his mitt, staring in at the catcher. A barely perceptible nod of the head and he sets himself before beginning his wind-up. The batter waits impatiently. The pitch. The swing. The bat cracks as the batter makes solid contact with the fastball. The ball screams off the bat; the pitcher snaps his neck back to follow the flight of the ball. The batter pauses for a second as he watches the ball sail over the fence before running down to first. The home run has been hit and the crowd is cheering wildly.

But the play isn’t over. The batter still has 360 feet to traverse before he actually scores a run. The game is on pause until he touches all three bases and home plate; meanwhile, 40,000 eyes are now focused on him rounding the bases.

No other sport does this, pausing the game while the scoring player runs through a certain, prolonged motion. It’s akin to asking Adrian Peterson to run from one goal post to the other after reaching the end zone before his touchdown can be ruled official. Or telling Kobe Bryant that his basket won’t count unless he does four baseline-to-baseline sprints. Or making Alex Ovechkin skate from goalline to goalline and back before they can ring the light.

That’s what baseball does, though, removing all distraction from the field of play and focusing the stadium’s attention on the batter – a single, lone man – as he runs out his obligation, still excited with his success. This home run trot – this tater trot – is not only a moment of in-game euphoria but also a glimpse into the spirit of the batter. After all, how the player handles this excitement and attention tells us a lot about what kind of person he is.

Does he start running the bases at the crack of the bat, hoping for that double, only to pull up and casually jog the rest of the way home once the ball clears the fence? Does he stand at home plate and admire his blast before reluctantly lumbering around the bases? Maybe he never seems to pick up his head once, running as hard on those first few steps out of the box as he does on those last few steps through the plate? Is there joy on his face throughout the circuit? A smirk, maybe? Or is he stone-faced and officious as he celebrates his success?

The answers will be different for every player. The manner in which a player runs out a home run is, after all, a personal thing, influenced by a lifetime spent on the diamond. This intersection of lifetime experiences, personality, talent, and enthusiasm is what makes each and every tater trot unique and worth watching.

If she had her way all players would be forced to balance a tray of fried potato treats on their heads while rounding the bases.

Tater Trot at Rogue’s Baseball Index, the RBI Wiki.

JoePos’d, from the Rogue’s Baseball Index

The Rogue’s Baseball Index is back with another term, reminding you of the time-sucking virtues of the Kerouac of the Keyboard, the belovedly bellicose Joe Posnanski.

In the two minutes of free time you have to catch up on baseball news, it is inevitable that your baseball-obsessed friend with weird amounts of free time will sense a weakness in your defenses and take the opportunity to send you a link to the densest, longest, most intricate baseball blog post on the internet.

Along with the link, he will send several direct questions pertaining to paragraphs eight and fourteen of this blog post, essentially demanding a detailed, nuanced response to the already detailed and nuanced blog post. You will feel obliged by the bond of comradeship to carefully read through the lengthy diatribe, tracking the cyclonic language and the crescendo of logic asserting with admirable equivocation the importance of Jeff Nelson’s role on the 2000 Yankees and the fluctuating role of the set-up man throughout the course of human history from Pompeii to 9/11.

45 minutes later, you have completed a thoughtful, well-reasoned response to your friend’s, and when you see him at the bar the next night, he will have no idea what you are talking about.

You have been JoePos’d.

The term is derived from the well-reasoned, professional-grade and incredibly long blog posts of sportswriter Joe Posnanski, whose capacity to argue vehemently for the Hall of Fame credentials of one player or another knows no bounds.

JoePos’d in the RBI Wiki

RBI News

Today’s the day of the big Rogue’s Baseball Index relaunch.  Below is the text of our intro post over there:

Welcome to the new and improved Rogue’s Baseball Index blog. When we unveiled the RBI in September, it was as a Wiki, a browse-able dictionary with no practical uses and without even its own domain name. Today the RBI is reborn as a blog. It’s still baseball like you’ve already thought it, only this time it’s delivered to your doorstep (or RSS Feeder) every day. Check in for new terms every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and archived gems on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The wiki will also still available for your perusing pleasure.

If you’re still not quite sure what this is all about, you can visit our About Page. But here’s the main idea: The Rogue’s Baseball Index (or RBI for short) is what we have deemed an alternative baseball lexicon: it’s a baseball dictionary, if Merriam was Mike “King” Kelly and Webster was Bill “Spaceman” Lee. It’s brought to you by Ted Walker and Eric Nusbaum, the guys behind Pitchers & Poets. We’ll also have regular contributions from Carson Cistulli. Artwork and Design are by Mark Penxa and Kolin Pope.

Tell your friends. And don’t forget to subscribe by RSS.

Celebrity Rogue #13: Glenn Stout — No SOB — Puts On His Crap Cap

RBI_rogue marketing post_enos slaughtersAnd so begins the long goodbye. This is our last celebrity contribution, and it’s with pride that we introduce a pair of terms by Glenn Stout, author and editor of the Best American Sports Writing series, but more importantly a mensch whoembodies the Rogue’s cunning knack for the humor in baseball’s minutiae. His terms take us to places familiar, but never-quite previously stated, and will leave you, we promise, with a whole new way to tease Joe Buck.


The SOB is the son of a broadcaster. Since the late 1980s The Golden Throats of baseball broadcasting enacted the peerage system. Since that time baseball broadcasting jobs, like belly fat, male pattern baldness, and alcoholism, have generally been passed from father to son.

No other talent is required.

The Crap Cap

This is the cap you wear when doing crappy, sweaty dirty jobs that will otherwise ruin your good cap, such as changing the oil, running a chain saw, cleaning a sludge pit, caring for a baby, nursing lepers, cleaning up after a dog with a stomach virus, etc. It is a cheap, cotton, non-regulation cap of a) a team neither you nor anyone else really cares about [ see Padres, San Diego], b) a team you detest beyond all logic that you wear solely for purposes of defilement [New York residents, see Red Sox, Boston. New England residents, see Yankees, New York. All other residents of the continental U.S., see both], or c) your favorite team, but given away as a promotional item, usually with a cardboard brim or in a horrific “painter’s cap” edition, also often sporting the corporate logo of the company that thought it was good marketing to give away a cheap-ass, lousy cap.

Alright folks, it’s been fun posting these definitions these past five business days. But now,we’re afraid it’s time for a return to regular content. In the meantime, the Rogue’s Baseball Index will live on, growing constantly. Seriously. Feel free to visit it many times per day, tell your friends, dress up as the rogue in public, etc. There will be RBI updates here when applicable too.

Thanks to you for reading, and a big thanks to our baker’s dozen of fine contributors.

Celebrity Rogue #12: James McManus’s Ozzie Guillen

The Rogue's Baseball Dictionary - Arguing the Call

It might surprise you that the latest RBI term comes from writer Jim McManus, a devout White Sox fan, but its content is no shocker to the rest of us. This time out, McManus is preaching truth about some revisionist history.

Ozzie Guillen

A supposedly solid player and student of the game who was actually an inconsistent shortstop and banjo hitter with a big mouth–and an even bigger strike zone–during his once promising but ultimately forgettable career.

McManus is the author of numerous kick-ass books, including Positively Fifth Street and Physical: An American Checkup. His latest, Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker, hits stores in late October.

Celebrity Rogue #11: Drew aka Lloyd the Barber’s Caroms Cosmic and Chins Hidden

RBI_rogue marketing post_joe morganOur 11th celebrity rogue is a double-duty blogger, over at Blue Jay-themed Ghostrunner on First, and seafood  on treadmills themed Walkoff Walk (anybody notice the WoW sandwich today?). His passions, besides Vernon Wells, include deep analysis of the strange body language that accompanies major league defense.

The Cosmic Carom

When an infielder responds to missing a grounder through the legs via a bad bounce by staring dejectedly to the heavens, as if to blame the orbiting moon and prevailing gravities for affecting the path of the ground ball. The head back, wide-legged stare is held long enough to convey victimhood, but just short of interrupting regular cutoff-man duties for fear of angering the baseball gods further.

Similar to I’m At A Loss, as both events are tragic outcomes born from the routine.

See also:

The Hidden Chin

The outfield equivalent of the Cosmic Carom, the yin tot the I’m At A Loss yang. With a runner on second base, an outfielder charges a base hit with “outfield assist” on his mind. Should thoughts of unloading the canon supersede thoughts of fielding the batted ball, the Hidden Chin will result. The ball sneaks under the fielders glove, rolling unmolested to the fence. The fielder stops, turns, and sprints head down to retrieve.

Tomorrow, alas, marks the end our Rogue Parade. We’ll bring you terms termed up by men who have written actual books — not just on the internet, but on paper. As always, for more, see the Rogue’s Baseball Index.

Celebrity Rogue #10: Phil Bencomo’s Timely “Flubs”

RBI_rogue marketing post_there's no IPhil Bencomo of The Baseball Chronicle brings a little Chicago flavor to the Rogue’s Baseball Index.  No, not Italian Beef or Chicago-style Pizza. More to do with that goddamn north-side baseball team.


A derogatory nickname for the Chicago Cubs, used typically by Cubs fans after witnessing losses and poor play. Almost always accompanied by a long, mournful sigh, an exasperated look of defeat and a curse word lightly tinged with rage.

Sample usage: “Looks like the goddamn Flubs showed up today…”

Si quieres leer mas del Rogue’s Baseball Index, hay bastante aqui mismo.

Celebrity Rogue #9: Kris ‘Catshirt’ Liakos of Walkoff Walk Serving Up a Creampuff

RBI_rogue marketing post_read above a texas league levelThe Rogue’s go marching on as we introduce to you a term by philosopher and scribe Kris Liakos of Walkoff Walk. His term is pure WoW, and reminds me of that time he emailed me during the first week of Pitchers and Poets’ meager existence  with the headline “Who the fuck are you guys?”


Creampuff (n), Kr-eem-puff: The baseball player equipped with all necessary tools aside from a functioning body. Clearly meant to play baseball by virtue of his status as a major leaguer, a level not reached by just any dope, his nemesis is the very vessel that got him there. Creaks, cracks, aches and breaks accompany the Creampuff around the bases as often as his cleats. For him, the infield hit isn’t a hustle play, it’s a stupid move that taunts a heretofore healthy hamstring. He knows it, the manager knows it, the hamstring knows it, and you do too.

Notable Creampuffs include:

  • Rich Harden
  • Mike Hampton
  • Milton Bradley

For more of such wisdom see the Rogue’s Baseball Index.

Celebrity Rogue #8: Corban Goble of Epilogue Magazine Heats Things Up

RBI_rogue marketing post_two cleatsCorban Goble, editor of the silky smooth Epilogue Magazine,  brings us two terms this afternoon, representing the opposite ends of a man’s social spectrum. First a term for the kind of guy you know too well, and never want to become . Second, a modern spin on an ancient metaphor.

The Refugee Fan

There are a handful at every game. A transplanted Northsider obstinately donning his deep blue Cubs jersey at an Orioles-White Sox doubleheader. That guy wearing a Dimaggio jersey perched behind the Rockies’ dugout. The fan that resisted wearing anything else in their entire wardrobe in order to make a resonant statement while attending the cathedral of another man’s religion, resolute to fly their flag in any company. Perhaps they’ll speak openly about their childhoods (the Cardinals are my father’s favorite team, RIP) or allude to some vague pastoral. Oh, and they’re usually jerks.


Babermetrics is the general study of collecting, analyzing, and deciphering deep hook-up related stats typically ignored by the mainstream, far too concerned with base-counting and “home runs” rather than consistency and other critical components of hooking up with girls. Notable babermetrics statistics include Bar Factor, The College Coefficient, and VORB (value over replacement barfly).

For more of these gems be sure to hit up the Rogue’s Baseball Index.