We need a new name for the walk-off win.
Last night clearly demonstrated this need. Giancarlo Stanton steps up to the plate to chants of "MVP." There are two on and two out in Miami in bottom of the 10th. He promptly smokes a base hit to right field and RACES to first base. Jeff Baker SPRINTS around third base and GALLOPS across home plate, scoring the game's winning run. Their teammates RUSH out from the dugout and mob the two men.
Did anyone WALK anywhere .. like OFF the field?
Well, yes. The opposing pitcher, Neftali Feliz, did, his head hanging in dejection.
You may know the back-story to one of the most misrepresented phrases in modern baseball. From Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe in June of 2005:
"And who started the whole thing?
Dennis Eckersley, of course.
'I hate to take credit, but I guess it was me,' said the Hall of Fame pitcher who works as a studio commentator for NESN. 'It's not a good thing for a pitcher. You don't want to be known for giving it up. I'd hate to be the one talking about walk-offs like I was the master of 'em.' "
Here's the issue. We talk about walk-offs when it comes to the hitter and the winning team. It would be much more appropriate to reference the pitcher. "He threw a walk-off pitch!"
It's time to fix this concern. I'm a fan of crowdsourcing, so I took to Twitter.
Here's a response that beautifully captures what really happens:
Rolls eloquently off the tongue, huh?
What are we to do? Perhaps we still credit the Hall of Fame reliever and reference his Gibby moment. "Stanton Eck'ed him!"
Ughh, I guess "walk-off" will have to do.