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Big 12 Tournament: The languages of baseball

BY ANDREA COHEN Modified: May 26, 2009 at 12:17 am •  Published: May 26, 2009
Atta kids! Got time to chat?
Chatter of the "Hey batter batter, swing batter batter” variety isn’t heard much around collegiate baseball

"It used to be that teams were into chatter,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said. "The idea was that chatter indicated that you were into the game. That goes away, the higher level you’re at because there’s a lot more to think about. The game gets quieter the older you get. Some teams still think it’s important, but I really don’t.”

In Oklahoma City this weekend, the chatter was more in the form of random pitcher encouragement, and it was peppered with lots of "atta kids” and "Come on babe, let’s go now,” that emitted from the Kansas dugout.

"We just try to keep it positive,” said Jayhawk Tony Thompson, who was named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team.

Other teams take a different approach. Intrastate rival Kansas State does a lot of chattering, but it’s less encouraging.

"Mostly, we just pick on each other,” K-State’s Jordan Cruz. "If you heard us, you’d think we were terrible teammates, but it’s just a thing we do. Like, if (star pitcher) A.J. Morris gives up a hit, he’s definitely getting made fun of. Someone’s gonna yell, ‘Hey, good pitch.’

"Especially in college baseball, momentum is a huge thing, so you want to be loud. Coach is always talking about it. You just scream whatever comes to mind. You’ll scream out someone’s name who’s not being loud. So you get to call them out, and you’re making noise.”

A home run by any other name
The phrase home run (originally from horse racing, according to Dickson’s dictionary) has spread to just about every other walk of life, but it’s rarely said by baseball players.

OU’s Aaron Baker said it’s usually a "bomb” or "round-tripper” in the Sooner dugout, and Texas A&M guys usually go with "blast.”

The Texas Tech Red Raiders aren’t exactly sure how to spell their version of home run.

"A doy,” Tech pitcher Nathan Karns said. "I have no idea how you’d spell that. D-O-Y?”

"Every generation has their own word for home run,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said.


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