Recently, the author announced in these pages that — by way of preparation for a temporary move to Paris, France — that he would produce here a “brief, daily French exercise concerning base-and-ball.” To say that the results have been of the daily variety would either be (a) incorrect or (b) to problematize considerably the idea of “dailiness.”
Regardless, what’s happened is that the author, filled with an emotion cocktail of shame (as a result of his failure to commit to the project) and dread (apropos his mediocre language skills) has endeavored to revisit the daily French exercise here, this afternoon, ahead of his Sunday departure.
The passage featured here is taken from the 1991 edition of Expos Magazine cited previously by the author at the beginning of August — and is excerpted from a longer portion of that publication entitled «Croyez-le ou non», “Believe It or Not.”
Below, the author has produced a (likely flawed) translation of the relevant passage. Below that, there’s commentary regarding certain words or phrases of note (and which are marked by an asterisk) either because (a) those words and phrases are particularly difficult, but the author has grasped their meaning or (b) they are particularly difficult and the author has abandoned all attempts to make sense of them.
Le 10 août 1944, le droitier des Braves de Boston, Charles «Red» Barrett, se débarrassait* avec une facilité déconcertante des frappeurs adverses. Neuf manches plus tard, il avait blanchi les Reds de Cincinnati au compte de 2-0, n’effectuant* que 58 lancers, une marque de baseball majeur qui tient toujours. De fait, durant le même saison, Barrett a complété cinq rencontres qui ont nécessité moins de 75 minutes.
On August 10, 1944, Boston Braves right-hander Charles “Red” Barrett rid himself of opposing batters with a disconcerting ease. Nine innings later, he’d blanked the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 2-0, recording only 58 pitches (total), a major-league record which remains still. In fact, during that same season, Barrett completed five games which necessitated fewer than 75 minutes.
• The construction se débarrassait is the third-person imperfect form of the reflexive verb se débarrasser, meaning “to get rid of” or “to clear out.”
• The word effectuant is the present participle form of the verb effectuer, “to perform or make or complete.”
• The number 75 in French is soixante-quinze, which rendered literally is actually “sixty-fifteen.”
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