The mercy rule

Very creative use of language heard tonight on the new MLB channel: mercy-ruled.

That’s “mercy-ruled,” as in the verb form of the noun “mercy rule.” As in “the Puerto Rican team mercy-ruled the U.S. team tonight.” Specifically, the Puerto Rican team mercy-ruled the U.S. team in the opening game of the second round of the World Baseball Classic and officially won by a score of 11-1 in seven innings.

The World Baseball Classic, you see, has a mercy rule. If a team is leading by ten runs in the seventh inning, the officials call a mercy rule. Baseball in the Olympics operated in much the same way. The mercy rule is basically there to protect the players from killing themselves, trying to win what is officially deemed an unwinnable (or very unlikely-to-be-winnable) game. For major league baseball players who still have an entire season left to play, I guess that makes sense. It sucks for the fans of the losing team, though, who love nothing better than a huge come-from-behind win by their team.

(Hey, I watched the Red Sox come back to beat the Yankees in seven games and win the 2004 American League Championship Series. Miracles happen. Who’s to say the U.S. team couldn’t have come back and defeated the Puerto Rican team tonight after all? Okay, well, just about everyone. But my point stands.)

Normally, it bugs me when people try to use nouns as verbs that aren’t and shouldn’t be made into verbs–or, as blogger Douglas Groothuis calls it, “the verbification of nouns.”  The business world is especially guilty of that trend. And I hesitate to even provide any examples, lest anyone think I’m endorsing the whole phenomenon. But I know you know what I’m talking about. Don’t you?

But for some reason, I’m amused and sort of charmed by the new word I learned tonight. Mercy-ruled. I may have to find other ways to fit it into my daily lexicon. Until I do it too much and someone has to mercy-rule me.


About jenniferlarsonwrites

I'm a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee. I have a master's degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree in English from Rhodes College. I'm a born-and-bred Southerner who spent a few years in Southern California, a rabid baseball fan and a would-be grower of tomatoes. You can also visit me at LinkedIn or on Twitter at @JenniferLarson.
This entry was posted in Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The mercy rule

  1. Pingback: Revenge on the mercy rule « Jennifer Larson, Writer at Large

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s