Does 'batting around' mean 9 batters or 10, and why are we fighting about it?
The world is divided into two kinds of people -- glove vs. no glove people -- wait, no -- white-and-gold vs. blue-and-black people -- oh, sorry, wrong again -- we meant people who believe "batting around" refers to sending nine hitters to the plate in one inning vs. people who believe it means 10 batters.
But before you decide which camp to join in the latest dialectic battle of humanity, let's examine the question. What is batting around and why are we fighting about it?
"Batting around" has long been vaguely understood to mean a team's entire batting order coming up to the plate in a single inning. When we say 'vaguely' understood, we mean it -- the Wall Street Journal tackled the question on Monday, and asked MLB's official historian John Thorn to clarify:
The fog we're talking about today is whether 9 or 10 batters must reach the plate in an inning for it to be actually considered "batting around." Members of Team 9 say it's like the phrase "around the clock," which means 24 and not 25 hours.
But Team 10, in addition to presumably saying that 'around the clock' is not a specific term and Bill Haley is not a mathematician, is pretty serious about their argument too:
Given that time is not an inevitability -- see the Big Bang -- but a physical consequence, the leadoff batter has to reach the plate again.- Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) April 21, 2015
Or to sum it up, if 9 batters is batting around, then it disproves General Relativity.- Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) April 21, 2015
Plus, Captain America is #Team10:
Some players are a little more adamant:
takes 10 batters to bat around. If you have another opinion it's wrong and you should be placed in stocks in the nearest City Center- Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) April 20, 2015
Here's a quick breakdown of the Wall Street Journal's findings on how the world of baseball stands:
|John Mayberry, Jr.||David Wright|
|Josh Satin||LaTroy Hawkins|
Do the 10s have it? What do you think -- does batting around mean 9 batters at the plate or 10?