Baseball, at its core, is a game dependent on accuracy. A fielder aims to throw the ball on the mark, a baserunner seeks every angle possible to motor around the bags and a manager can be zen-like in the quest to tab a hot bat off the bench or remove
Baseball, at its core, is a game dependent on accuracy. A fielder aims to throw the ball on the mark, a baserunner seeks every angle possible to motor around the bags and a manager can be zen-like in the quest to tab a hot bat off the bench or remove a pitcher at the optimal moment.
But what will happen when the team itself embraces inaccuracy? Meet the Pensacola Blue Wahoo's, nee Wahoos, for a one-night experience sure to make teachers and practitioners of grammar books nationwide cringe in antipathy.
When reached for comment, it appeared that the Double-A Marlins affiliate -- which will host the grammatically on-the-up-and-up Tennessee Smokies -- was already in the swing of things for Tuesday night's "Apostrophe S Night: A Grammatically Incorrect Night at the Ballpark."
“I think their's an appetite out there for creative promotions that reward attention to detail and a sense of humor,” wrote Eric Bremer, the Blue Wahoo's broadcaster and media relations manager. “Your taking a risk when you do something like this but, hopefully we explain it adequately so the fans who notice can enjoy the joke. And if you don't notice, then it won't effect you at all.”
This free-for-all of confusion stems from a fairly innocuous bit of confusion: the Blue Wahoos’ team name is a nod to the local fish, the Blue Wahoo, not a combination of the color and the exclamation. But still, the Internet has persisted – whether intentionally or not – in perpetuating the idea that there should be an apostrophe between the "o" and "s" of the team’s nickname.
If you’re a proponent of our ever-evolving, always-entertaining Minors promo space, you might be thinking to yourself, “Yes, but what about grammatical accuracy? That would be a hoot!” Well, do we have news for you! (And it’s not that using the word “hoot” in 2023 is a surefire way to date yourself.)
The Winston-Salem Dash recently concluded a brief stint as the Hyphens, a somewhat admission of guilt that the grammatical piece bisecting between the city name was, in fact, not a dash but a hyphen. On the heels of the White Sox High-A affiliate's derring-do, enter stage right the Blue Wahoo’s, the counter-balance that keeps grammar enthusiasts on their toes.
“Winston-Salem may have literally beat us to the punch with their promotion, but I think our in-game activation can go even farther than their's,” Bremer wrote, continuing his dedication to the upcoming bit. “Irregardless, I think our ideas can coexist, as they really compliment each other.”
What will this veritable mélange of intentional errors look like? You’ll need to visit Admiral Fetterman Field on Tuesday night to find out for sure. But a brief peek behind the curtain is a precursor of things to come.
“We're going to have lots of mispellings up on the video board,” Bremer wrote. “And we'll have some incorrect grammar in the public address script, with things like run-on sentences, and other mistakes too. Perhaps some passive voice will be used. Having a little fun, a dangling modifier or two may even be included.”
Pensacola scheduled its night of all-around incorrectness before the team reeled off two eight-game win streaks sandwiched between a loss. If the Blue Wahoo’s -- winners of 16 of their last 17 -- fall short Tuesday, there’s an easy scapegoat; but what if they win? Well, Pensacola might have just reeled in its biggest catch yet, a surefire reason to embrace Blue and yell, “Wahoo!”
Jesse Borek is a reporter/coordinator of prospect content at MLB Pipeline and MiLB. Follow him on Twitter @JesseABorek.