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Nutshell: A Baseball Terminology Pet Peeve

Cut means one thing. Run means another thing. This should be Baseball Terminology 101.


Cutting and running should be simple baseball terminology

Sometimes, little things annoy me more than they should. The omission of the Oxford comma (I'm as pro-Oxford comma as it gets). When people leave a few seconds on the microwave timer after taking their food out. Goal line fades on third or fourth down.


They shouldn't bother me that much and there's usually a perfectly good reason for these occurences (except for the microwave timer thing; either let the clock strike zero or press cancel after you take your food out, you sicko). But they do. We all have our things.


One of them that really gets me is related to my favorite sport and America's Pasttime. A little bit of baseball terminology that, shockingly, is often said incorrectly at the highest level by those who are paid to cover this sport. It's such an easy thing to get right, yet it eludes even the most seasoned of baseball minds.


The correct way to describe pitch direction is:


A pitch that breaks glove-side, or across the pitcher's body, cuts.

A pitch that breaks arm-side, or away from the pitcher's body, runs.


"Cut" means this way, "run" means that way. It's simple!


Maddux vs. Mariano


This video is an example of Greg Maddux's legendary two-seam fastball. Notice how it breaks in the direction of his arm, or arm-side. To the right. Away from his body. This is called running.


This video is an example of Mariano Rivera's legendary...wait for it...CUTTER. It breaks in the direction of his glove, or glove-side. To the left. Across his body. This is called cutting. There's a pitch named after it!


Cut vs. run. Simple baseball terminology

Jomboy Media has become the biggest voice in independent baseball coverage, and even they get it wrong! Here's a recent video of Jomboy himself describing Lance Lynn's pitches as "cutting" left or right. His pitches only cut one way, Jomboy. If it's the other way, they run.


I have this issue all the time on my men's league team. A guy will finish facing a pitcher, after which I'll approach him for a little scouting report before I hit. He'll say something like, "his ball runs a little", or "his fastball cuts." I'm like cool, I know what that means. I come to find out, in the middle of my at bat, that "cut" meant "run," or vice versa. Whenever I remember, I make sure to clarify after they say cut or run. There's a 50/50 chance they're saying the wrong thing.


Together, We Can Do This


I really don't think it's too much to ask here. If anything, the proper way makes life easier, as you no longer have to add any directional clarification. There's no cutting or running left or right. Cutting means glove-side, running means arm-side. People may think I'm being petty, but nay, I'm doing this for my community. I'm a humanitarian. A giver. A light in the darkness.


Stop saying the wrong thing, baseball people.



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