Tabs on Writing

The Business of Business Writing by John Tabellione, Principal at

So Long, Farewell…auf Wiedersehen, Good Night (MLB-style)

Date: 06 September 2018
Category: Homophones, Spelling, Sports

Here’s a little “inside baseball” related to…baseball:

Now that we’re in September, it’s an exciting time for Major League Baseball as the teams head toward the 2018 playoff season. The franchises in contention are scrambling to add a reliever here, a power slugger there, etc., to their rosters. First, however, any player under contract with an MLB team whom they covet, has to be placed on what they term as “waivers” because the July 31st normal trade deadline is long past.

When a player is waived, any club may claim him, and the one with the weakest record in that guy’s league gets preference if more than one team tries to claim him. If no team in the player’s league claims him, the claiming team with the weakest record in the other league gets preference.

The player’s current or waiving baseball team then arranges a trade within two business days, or they can cancel the waiver, or do nothing, meaning the new team automatically picks up the player’s existing contract for simply a fee. So, yes, players can still be traded this month to help a club reach the playoffs, but a trade consummated by Aug. 31 was the official deadline for postseason eligibility.

Legally speaking, to waive means to give up, or forsake; to relinquish (something, such as a right) voluntarily.

From a baseball perspective, think of these trade rules and all of the legalese involved, as waving good-bye to a player. Typically, the teams giving up the players are, in essence, saying, “Wait ’til next year.” The fans of these “also-rans” can get their fun doing the stand-up–sit-down wave during some boring, meaningless games over the next few weeks, although they could possibly play a spoiler role and knock other teams out of the running, as well.

P.S. Judging from today’s standings, it looks like many fans in Chicago will again be able to get to cheer their Cubbies from those rooftop seats on Waveland Avenue this playoff season for the fourth year in a row.

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