それではいきましょう、なるほどなるほど～のレッスン3、Let’s check it out !
- In English, it's usually called bonehead play, or boner, as in “On September 8th, Randy Ruiz (Rakuten) and Yoshio Itoi (Nippon Ham) both committed bonehead plays.”
- There is an interesting story that has a connection to this word. A player by the name of Frederick Merkle, a member the New York Giants at the time, committed a base-running error during a key game against the Chicago Cubs on September 23, 1908.
- As the story goes, Merkle hit a single in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs to put runners on first and third in a 1-1 tie game. The next batter, Al Bridwell, hit a single that scored the runner on third to give the Giants what seemed to be a 2-1 victory. The fans immediately poured onto the field to celebrate. But there was one problem: Merkle never touched second base and instead ran toward the dugout when he saw the run score. The Cubs noticed this and scrambled to get the ball to second for the force out.
- According to the MLB rule book (present-day rule 4.09a), the run actually doesn't count because Merkle ended the inning on a force out. When the Cubs appealed the play, the umps agreed: Merkle was ruled out and the run was canceled. But since there were too many fans on the field, the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
- At the end of the regular season, the Giants and Cubs finished with the same record and a make-up game was scheduled. The Giants ended up losing that game and the pennant. Had it not been for Merkle's base-running error, the Giants would have won the game on September 23rd and the Cubs and Giants may have never needed a makeup game.
- It was this base-running error that earned Merkle the nickname Bonehead. The play itself is also commonly referred to as Merkle's Boner. Important note: be careful of how you use the word boner in sentence because it also has another meaning that has nothing to do with baseball.
- In English, we call this pitcher the setup pitcher, or the setup man, not セットアッパー. Setup pitchers refer specifically to the relief pitcher that pitches just before the closer, usually in the 7th or 8th innings. Hideki Okajima is a setup pitcher for closer Jonathan Papelbon.
- The word "back" is actually missing in the Japanese word. The complete English is brushback pitch. The word brushback can be traced back to two words, brush + back. Individually, "brush" can mean to touch something with a sweeping motion and "back" means away from the front. Add the two meanings together and you get: to sweep (or move / push) something away from the front. And this is exactly what the brushback pitch is supposed to do: move the batter away from home plate.
日本語では“バック”という単語が抜けていて、正しい英語ではbrushback pitch（ブラッシュバック ピッチ）となります。brushback（ブラッシュバック）という言葉は、brush（ブラッシュ）とback（バック）の2語に分けられます。ブラッシュは「掃くような動作でさわる」という意味があり、バックは「前から離れる」という意味があることから、2語を足すと「何かを前から掃く（動かす）」という意味になり、これがbrushback pitch（ブラッシュバック ピッチ）がバッターをホームベースから離れさせるような投球を意味する理由となりました。