Google Baseball Shenanigans

Depending on the punctuation, this title could set us in all sorts of directions. Google, Baseball, Shenanigans might be the story of an impromptu stickball game in the Google dining hall. Meh. Google Baseball: Shenanigans sounds more like some hot foot on the Google softball team. A little better. Google! Baseball! Shenanigans! is either a more exciting version of all of the above, or some sort of strange tribute to Tora! Tora! Tora!.

Thankfully perhaps, we’re leaving the punctuation open. But if cornered, we’d pick Google: Baseball Shenanigans, because that most correctly represents the research that went into this piece. Maybe you scoff at the methods, but the results took us on a strange trip through the meanings of the words themselves.

One of the beauties of the word shenanigans, other than just the pure sound of it and its onomatopoeia-like qualities, is that it has two slightly different meanings separated only by the maliciousness of the intent. Shenanigans are either secret and dishonest or silly and high-spirited according to Merriam-Webster, and that’s sort of fun.

To wit. In Plainfield, New Jersey, shenanigans by the Mayor regarding the use of the city’s baseball fields lead to a poorly titled blog post before the trail goes cold. Slightly less nefariously, shenanigans in baseball also led to the picture atop this piece. Both described by the same two words, both in the same Google results list, these two items are separated by a chasm in the spread of human emotion.

On the major league level, the range deepens and widens. There’s anger. There’s vulgarity. There’s taunting. There’s zaniness. There’s stupidity. If the picture on the right is to be believed, there’s less-than-balletic grace. There’s the artistic. There’s the strange. There’s even the nuptial.

All of these things: shenanigans! And yet, since we can’t quite manage to rise above our base emotions, it’s this picture to the left and this video at the bottom that, while not being perfectly baseball, do capture the essence of an entirely different kind of shenanigan. And therefore, they win this game of Google Baseball.

Thanks to South Iowa News for the image of the takeout slide above.

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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Evil shenanigans!