Savornig cliche . . . and a win.
  • Jeff Roberson/AP Photos
  • Savoring cliche . . . and a win.

A couple of months ago I took to the Bleader to protest a troubling new direction the parlance of the national pastime was taking. The idiom “walk-off home run” was being plundered for parts: sportswriters were now giving us walk-off singles, walk-off balks, and even walk-off triple plays. I commented: “I actually admire ‘walk-off triple play’ for its absurdity, but it opens the floodgates to walk-off outs. As in, say, ‘But the rally and game ended in a lazy walk-off fly ball to left field.'”

I thought twice after watching Sunday night’s BoSox-Cardinals tilt, which ended, for the first time in World Series history, in a “walk-off pickoff.”

I’ve got to point this out! I told myself, but this morning I googled “walk-off pickoff” to see if I’d be anywhere close to first at the party. “About 5,840 results,” said Google. Boston catcher David Ross told the New York Times, “Their dugout today had to be like, ‘What just happened?’—and yesterday we were like, ‘What just happened?’ You’ve got to be kidding me. Like, a walk-off pickoff and a walk-off obstruction? Just weird.”

Walk-off obstruction! Which had also been the first time ever. Ross wasn’t resorting to cliche; he was savoring it.