T oday’s question:
What is a walk-off home run?
You know, when I started out as a columnist seven years ago, back in the days when I was rosy-cheeked and bright-eyed and full of optimism and faith in the basic goodness and intelligence of humankind, I would have been surprised that you couldn’t figure this one out by yourselves. And I would have chuckled in a kindly, rosy-cheeked, bright-eyed, optimistic sort of way and thrown it away.
Now, seven years later, I still see this question come in all the time, at least during the baseball season, and I pull my grimy green eyeshade lower over my brow and chomp on my unlit cigar stub and throw another empty gin bottle at the cat and take my Lord’s name in vain, which I am fairly sure is in violation of one of the Ten Commandments.
Not really. Cigars make me woozy and I never cared much for gin. And I don’t need to wear a green eyeshade because the room in which I work is sort of dimly lit. I can’t afford a lot of electricity on what I get paid.
Anyway, think, people, think. What do you think a walk-off home run is?
A walk-off home run is a homer hit in the bottom of the ninth inning or the bottom of an extra inning that allows the home team to walk off the field as winners.
Let’s say it’s the bottom of the ninth and the Diamondbacks, playing at home, are behind by one run. There is one man on and one out, Chris Snyder hits a home run, giving the D-Backs the lead, and the game is over. Walk-off home run.
What is the origin of the phrase “chew the rag”?
Nobody knows for sure. It originally meant “to discuss, mainly to complain.”
Some people think it is military slang and that when soldiers ran out of tobacco they would chew a rag. That sounds sort of silly to me. Other people think it stems from “to rag on,” as in to complain.
In any event, it is an Americanism and dates back to around 1885.
Reach Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (602) 444-8612.
*Clay Thompson writes for The Arizona Republic. You can read his column by going to http://www.azcentral.com