A Batting Title That May Whisper: .317
SEPT. 16, 2014
By BENJAMIN HOFFMAN The New York Times
batting champion ... batting average leader ... batting title ...
emphasis on such old-fashioned stats caused a bit of a civil war among baseball fans ...
the days of prestige for the batting title are waning, and barring another triple crown contender or a player making a run at .400, it is hard to see it making much of a comeback.
If only that were so. In addition to the terms in that article, the "league" leader in batting average (BA) is still also called the league's leading hitter and the act as leading the league in hitting. Former players are especially prone to that but even some who are supposedly enlightened will continue to use old, outdated metaphors. Almost three years ago I wrote this:
Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed? Wednesday, October 19, 2011
merger between the once independent American and National Leagues ...
When the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL) agreed to merge in 1966 the merger was set to take place four years later. In the interim they agreed to play an additional game between to two independent leagues. It became known as the Super Bowl, a name that stuck even after the merger when the game more properly should be called the NFL championship game.
Similarly the baseball AL and NL agreed to play a series of games starting after the 1905 season, usually best of seven, between the champions of their respective leagues. It became known as the World Series. Since the generally unrecognized merger of the AL and NL, the World Series description has persisted for what more properly should be called the MLB finals.
Subsequently, to emphasize the merger I took to referring to them as conferences, not leagues. I gave the league designation to the single corporate entity whose name I modeled on the National Football League (NFL): the Major Baseball League (MBL).
Major Baseball League: a new phrase is coined. Monday, June 11, 2012
Major League Baseball (MLB) should change its name to Major Baseball League (MBL). Maybe I'll do it for them. Ladies and Gentlemen, now introducing the already existing Major Baseball League with its American and National conferences! Get used to it...
In case it is not obvious enough the intent of this name change is to drive home the point yet again that the old American and National Leagues merged into one league known as Major.
That led to my describing the "post season" and playoffs as a tournament and the World Series as the tournament finals as in the National Basketball Association (NBA). I also used the term seeding to refer to the home field/rule advantage accorded teams with the better record, which happens now. Recently I introduced the NCAA term brackets to emphasize that what happens after the regular season is a tournament.
But it's all for naught. None of it has caught on. I guess we'll just have to wait to see who emerges as the league's leading hitter.