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Glossary of Baseball I
ice cream cone
- See: snow cone.
I have it. You get it.
- A fielding play, usually where a lofty fly ball is to land equidistant between two fielders. Both are unsure who should catch it, usually resulting in last-second leaps or dives. Often neither does, in which case the one who had the better chance is charged with an error.
- A half-inning in which the pitcher strikes out all three batters with exactly nine pitches.
in the batter's eyes
- A high fastball, usually at or near the batter's eye level. Above the strike zone, so a ball, and hard to hit, but also hard to lay off.
infield fly rule
- The umpire calls the batter out when (a) there are less than two outs in the inning, and (b) the batter hits a fly ball that can be caught with ordinary effort by an infielder in fair territory, and (c) there are runners on first and second or the bases are loaded.
- The batter is automatically called out in this situation whether or not a fielder attempts to catch the fly ball, assuming it stays fair. The rule states that the umpire is supposed to announce, "Infield fly, if fair." If the ball will be almost certainly fair, the umpire will likely yell, "Infield fly, batter's out!" or just "Batter's out!"
- This rule is intended to prevent the fielder from intentionally dropping the ball and getting force outs on the runners on base. The rule is a little mystifying to casual fans of the game, but it has been a fundamental rule since 1895, allegedly to prevent the notoriously tricky Baltimore Orioles from intentionally dropping the ball.
- First baseman, second baseman and third baseman, plus the shortstop, so called because they are positioned on the infield dirt. The pitcher and catcher are typically not considered infielders, but instead as the battery. However, for purposes of implementing the Infield Fly Rule, the catcher, pitcher, and any player stationed in the infield when the pitch is delivered are included as infielders.
Inherited runners or inherited baserunners are the runners on base when a relief pitcher enters the game. Since a previous pitcher has allowed these runners to reach base (or was simply pitching when the runners reached base, such as in the case of a fielding error), any inherited runners who score when the relief pitcher is pitching are charged to the previous pitcher's runs allowed and/or earned runs allowed total, depending on how each runner reached base. Modern box scores list how many runners each relief pitcher inherits (if any), and how many of those inherited runners the relief pitcher allows to score, called inherited runs allowed (IRA).
- In general, a baserunner is in jeopardy at any time the ball is live and he is not touching a base, unless he overran first base on a fair ball or is advancing to a base he was awarded, e.g., on a base on balls or hit batsman. A baserunner who is in jeopardy may be tagged out by a fielder at any time while in jeopardy. A baserunner is also in jeopardy, regardless of whether or not he is touching a base, if the ball is live and any of the following conditions apply:
- He is touching a base he was forced to vacate, i.e. his teammate hit a fair ball;
- He failed to tag up on a caught fly ball;
- He failed to touch a base when he last passed it, or failed to touch the bases in order; or
- He is touching a base that a preceding baserunner is also touching.
- Major league teams may remove injured players from their active roster temporarily by placing them on the injured list. Another player can then be called up as a replacement during this time.
- An inning consists of two halves. In each half, one team bats until three outs are made. A full inning consists of six outs, three for each team; and a regulation game consists of nine innings. The first half-inning is called the top half of the inning; the second half-inning, the bottom half. The break between the top and bottom halves is called the middle of the inning. The visiting team is on offense during the top half of the inning, the home team is on offense during the bottom half. Sometimes the bottom half is also referred to as the home half.
- A pitcher who may or may not be a starter or a closer but who can be relied on to pitch several innings either to keep his team in contention or sometimes when the game is no longer close, is an "innings eater". Headline: "Appetites never diminish for 'innings-eating' pitchers".
The success of most pitchers is based on statistics such as won-loss record, ERA or saves, but the unsung "innings eater" is judged by how many innings he pitches and the impact his work has on the rest of the staff. "I don't have a whole lot of goals going into the season. I don't shoot for a certain ERA or a certain strikeout number or certain number of wins," says Blanton, entering his second full season. "I try to go out and get a quality start every time, six innings or more, and not miss any starts. I feel if I can do that, I'll get my 200 innings in a year and everything else falls into place with that."
- The inside baseball is an offensive strategy that focuses on teamwork and good execution. It usually centers on tactics that keep the ball in the infield: walks, base hits, bunts, and stolen bases. This was the primary offensive strategy during the Dead Ball Era. Inside baseball is also a common metaphor in American politics to describe background machinations. The equivalent modern term is small ball.
inside the ball
- Proper mechanics of a baseball swing, in which the hitter rotates his body while keeping his hands and the bat close to his body, with the bat coming across the plate after the body has almost fully rotated 90 degrees from his initial stance. Sometimes the phrase used is that the hitter "keeps his hands inside the baseball", and sometimes that the hitter himself "keeps inside the ball" - never mind the connotation of a player's literally being inside a baseball. "He's staying inside the ball so good, man", Dunn said. "For big guys like us, that's a hard thing to do. You always want to get the head [of the bat] out. His right hand is staying inside, so good. That's why he's able to hit the ball to left, to center, to right. He's in a good place right now."
- When the batter swings at a pitch with his hands ahead of the end of the bat. For a right-handed hitter, this often leads to balls being hit toward the right side of the diamond. One of the most famous "inside-out" hitters is Derek Jeter: "While Jeter became known over his two decades for rising to the occasion and delighting fans with his heroics, he was above all a technician, slashing at pitches with his trademark inside-out swing."
inside-the-park home run
- A play where a hitter scores a home run without hitting the ball out of play.
- A run scored by a team already in the lead. These surplus runs do not affect the game outcome but serve as "insurance" against the team giving up runs later.
intentional pass/intentional walk
- Additional terms for the intentional base on balls.
- Interference is an infraction where a person illegally changes the course of play from what is expected. Interference might be committed by players on the offense, players not currently in the game, catchers, umpires, or fans; each type of interference is covered differently by the rules.
- Regular-season games between teams in different major leagues, which allow natural rivals and crosstown rivals to play each other more often, not just in play-offs.
Internet baseball awards
- While Major League Baseball calls on the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWA) to name the most valuable player, rookie of the year, and Cy Young Award winner each year, since 1997 Baseball Prospectus has conducted an on-line poll to make Internet Baseball Awards in those categories as well as manager of the year.
- A batting average below .200. A player with a batting average of .195 is said to be on I-95, a reference to the numbering on the Interstate Highway System. See also the Mendoza Line.
in the books
- The game is over. Long-time New York Mets radio broadcaster Howie Rose (first on WFAN, now on WOR) ends every Mets win with the catchphrase, "Put it in the books!" (Rose's memoir is entitled Put It In The Book!)
in the hole
in the (his) kitchen
- Pitching in on the hitter's hands.
- A game is in play when the umpire declares "play ball" at the beginning of the game or after a time-out.
- Any batted ball is "in play" until either the play ends, the umpire calls the ball foul, or there is fan interference or some other event that leads to a dead ball. A ball hit into foul territory but in the air is in play (a fielder may attempt to catch it for an out and runners may attempt to advance after such a catch), but only before it hits the ground or the fence.
- In sabermetrics, a special definition of "ball in play" is the calculation of "batting average on balls in play" (BABIP), which excludes home runs even though they are fair balls.
- Also see play.
IO (in and out)
- Infield and outfield practice. "Everyone take your positions for a quick IO"
- ^ Mel Antonen, "Appetites never diminish for 'innings-eating pitchers'", USA Today, 3 April 2006. [retrieved 2 July 2011]
- ^ Brian MacPherson, "Hard work is paying off handsomely for David Ortiz", Providence Journal Archived 2012-05-04 at the Wayback Machine, May 1, 2012
- ^ Jonah Keri, "Good-bye, Mr. November: Taking Stock of Derek Jeter's Divisive Legacy", Grantland, September 24, 2014.
- ^ Baseball Prospectus awards and Internet Baseball Awards