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Baseball Terms Glossary
(Starting with "L")

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_baseball






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This is an alphabetical list of selected unofficial and specialized terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, and their definitions, including illustrative examples for many entries.

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L

lace

To hit the ball very hard, typically a line drive. "Monroe laced it to left field."

LAIM

An acronym for League Average Inning Muncher. A LAIM is generally a starting pitcher who can provide around 200 innings over the course of a season with an ERA (Earned Run Average) near the league average. A LAIM is counted on to consume innings, keeping his team in the game but not necessarily shutting down the opposition. The term was coined by baseball blogger Travis Nelson, but is used by other writers as well.

late innings

The seventh, eighth and ninth innings of a regulation nine-inning game.

laugher

A game in which one team gets a large lead, perhaps early in the game, and it appears that the other team has no chance at all of catching up. With nothing to worry about, the manager and team can relax. An easy win; a romp; a blowout.

launch

To hit a long fly ball, as if launching a rocket. "Orso, who recently signed with Alabama Southern to play college baseball next season, launched several rocket shots and by far hit the furthest home runs of anyone in the competition. . . ."

launch pad

A term for a ballpark in which many home runs are hit.

Lawrence Welk

A (rare) 1-2-3 double play ("...and a one, ana 2, ana 3"). A reference to pop orchestra director Lawrence Welk.

lay down

A player who bunts the ball is said to lay down a bunt. Also see dump.

lay off

If a batter decides not to swing at a pitch, especially if he deliberately avoids swinging at certain types of pitches, he may be said to "lay off" a pitch. Pitchers tempt hitters to swing at pitches that they cannot hit; batters try to lay off such pitches. "Batters can’t seem to lay off his slider, just as his parents can’t seem to lay off his carrot cake — they’re nearly addicted to it."

lead

  • When a baserunner steps off a base before a pitch is thrown in order to reduce the distance to the next base he takes a lead.
  • The player who is first in the batting order for a given team in any given inning is said to lead off the inning.

leadoff hitter

  • The first batter listed on a team's line-up card (in the 1-hole or the "leadoff spot" on the line-up card). When the announcers read the starting line-up they might say, "Leading off, and playing short-stop, is Sammy Speedyrunner. Batting second, playing second base, Carlos Contacthitter. Batting third, in the pitcher's spot, is designated hitter Burt "Biggie" Brokenleg. Batting clean-up, playing left field, Thor Thunderbat. . . ."
  • The first batter in an inning (who could be in any hole on a team's line-up card). If that batter gets a single, or a home run, or a walk, the announcer would say he has a "leadoff single," a "leadoff home run," or a "leadoff walk."

leaning

A baserunner is said to be "caught leaning" or "leaning the wrong way" when he is picked off a base while shifting his weight toward the next base.

leather

  • Referring to a fielder's glove, a player with good leather is a good defensive player (typically an infielder).
  • Flashing the leather means making an outstanding defensive play.
  • A leather player refers to a player who is outstanding on defense but only average or even less on offense. Ron Karkovice is one example of a "leather player".

left on base

Baserunners that are still on base when the third out is made. The total number for a team and a player is usually published in the box score. Abbreviation: LOB.

left-handed specialist

A left-handed relief pitcher specializing in getting one out, often in critical situations. See also LOOGY.

leg out

To run hard to get safely on base or to advance a base: "Podsednik legged out an infield hit, stole second and scored when Everett legged out a double."

letter high

A letter-high pitch is one that crosses the plate at the height of the letters on the batter's chest. Also see at the letters. Equivalent term: "chest high." "Dietrich fouled off a couple of pitches before Porcello put him away with a letter-high fastball at 94."

lift

To remove a player from the lineup in the middle of a game. "Casey was lifted for a pinch runner."

lights-out

A pitcher who so dominates the hitters that the game is effectively over once he takes the mound — so they can turn out the lights and go home. The pitcher retires the batters in order without allowing a single run. "Putz pitched lights-out baseball once he took over the job for good from Guardado."

line drive

  • A line drive or liner is a batted ball that is hit hard in the air and has a low arc. See also rope.
  • A line drive may also be said to be "hit on a line."
  • A batter may be said to have "lined out" if the liner was caught by a fielder.

lineup

The batting order, which also lists each player's defensive position. An announcer reading the starting lineup for a game will typically begin something like this: "Batting first, playing second base. . . ."

lineup card

  • A form kept by each manager listing the starting players and all other players who are on the active roster and available to play in the game. Typically this form will be taped to the wall inside the dugout for the manager and coaches to consult when they need to make substitutes during a game.
  • Before the game starts the manager hands a line-up card of the starting players to the home plate umpire. This line-up will change throughout the game as players starting players are removed and substitutes inserted.

live arm

A strong arm, usually describing a pitcher who has a great deal of velocity on his pitches. "That pitcher has a live arm."

Live Ball Era

The time since 1919 or 1920 when several rule changes favored the strategy of the power game over the time-honored inside game, ending the Dead Ball Era.

lively fastball/life on the ball

A fastball that seems to be not just fast but also hard to hit because it may have some movement on it or it may appear to speed up as it gets closer to the plate. "'His fastball has got more life to it,' Jays cacther Rod Barajas said. 'It's finishing. What I mean by that is the last 10 feet [to home plate], it seems that it picks up speed.' According to Barajas, that has particularly helped Ryan against right-handed hitters. 'They end up being late, because that last 10 feet, it seems like it picks us a couple miles per hour, Barajas said".

load the bases

A succession of plays that results in base runners on first, second, and third bases. See also bases loaded or bases full.

LOB

Abbreviation for left on base.

locate

A pitcher's command is reflected in his ability to locate the ball – to throw it to an intended spot. A pitcher with "good location" not only has command but makes the right choices about where to throw the ball against particular batters.

lock him up

  • To sign a player to a long-term contract, thereby keeping him off the free-agent market. "Come on Uncle Drayton, you have to lock this guy up for a few years. He is one of the best in the league and along with Berkman, is the new face of the Astros".
  • To throw a pitch that keeps the hitter from making any effective swing. For example, when a left-handed pitcher throws a roundhouse curve or an inside fastball to a left-handed hitter, the hitter may appear to freeze in place. "We had him 0-2. We were trying to go in with a fastball, hopefully lock him up." Also see "freeze the hitter".

lollipop

A soft, straight pitch with a lot of arc.

long ball

A home run. A team is said to "win by the long ball" after a walk off home run or the team hits several home runs to win. Headline: "Phillies Use the Longball To Take Game 1 from the Dodgers".

long ones

Home runs. "He ravaged Pacific Coast League pitching for seven more long ones before being recalled by the Reds later the same month."

long out

A ball that's hit deeply into the outfield and is caught by the fielder is a "long out."

long reliever

A type of relief pitcher. Long relievers enter early in a game (generally before the 5th inning) when the starting pitcher cannot continue, whether due to ineffective pitching, lack of endurance, rain delay, or injury.

long strike

A foul ball which finishes particularly close to being fair, often where a fair ball would have been a home run. So named as despite the good effort of the hitter, the result is a strike against him.

LOOGY

A mildly derogatory nickname for a left-handed specialist. An acronym for "Lefty One Out GuY," a left-handed pitcher who may be brought into the game to pitch against just one or two left-handed batters to take extreme advantage of platoon effects.

look the runner back

  • When there is a runner on first base, a pitcher who has already gone into the stretch may step off the rubber and either threaten a throw toward first base or just stare at the runner to encourage him to step back toward first. In either case he's said to "look the runner back" to first (rather than throwing over to first in an effort to pick the runner off).
  • When there is a runner on second or third base (but not first) with fewer than two outs, an infielder fielding a sharp ground ball briefly stares at the runner to discourage him from trying to advance. The fielder then throws to first to force out the batter.

looper

A softly hit Texas leaguer that drops in between the infielders and outfielders. Also blooper. A fielder may make a superior defensive play, however, and turn a looper into an out. "Sacramento’s Lloyd Turner ended the fourth with a sprinting, sliding snag of Alvin Colina’s looping liner to left that sent the stands into a frenzy."

Lord Charles

A slang term for a "12-to-6" curveball. Similar to Uncle Charlie.

lose a hitter

When a pitcher gives up a walk, especially when he gets ahead in the count or has a full count but gives up a walk, he is said to have "lost the hitter."

losing record

During the regular season, the team lost more games than it won. For a modern Major League team, this means a team lost at least 82 games out of 162 games played in what is called the losing season.

losing streak

A series of consecutive losses.

loss

An entire team receives a "loss" on its record if it scores fewer runs than the opposing team. The pitcher gets pinned with the loss (an L) on his record is the pitcher that allowed the base-runner whom eventually scored the ultimate lead. See win.

lost his swing

See find his swing.

lost the ball in the sun

When a player attempting to catch a fly ball is temporarily blinded by the glare of the sun in his eyes, he may "lose the flyball in the sun."

loud out

When a batter hits a long fly ball that is caught in the outfield, perhaps when a crowd reacts loudly thinking it will be a HR, the announcer may say the batter made a "loud out." "Home runs are already overrated. A home run in one park is a loud out in another." "Long, loud out as Garciaparra takes Green to the warning track. But the former Dodger makes the catch easily and we’re in the bottom of the third."

lumber

A baseball bat. Sometimes used in reference to a powerful offensive showing, "The Yankees busted out the lumber tonight with a 10-0 victory." Also timber.



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Published - February 2011







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