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A Culinary Baseball Quiz

Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I knew a chef (back when I worked at the CIA) who used to be a professional umpire. For several years he umped in the majors during spring training, then worked the rest of the season in double-A ball in the south. One afternoon, while I was waiting for a particularly large document to come out of the printer, this former ump and I were discussing some interesting aspects of the game.

For instance: if a fly ball bounces off one player and is caught before it hits the ground, the batter is out. However, if the same fly ball bounces off an umpire and is caught before it hits the ground, the batter is not out. The reason for this discrepancy is that an umpire is considered to be part of the field, while the players are not.

In order to test my baseball knowledge, the chef asked me a question that he frequently asked his students.

"Imagine a long ball hit towards left field. It's going... going... going... and all the while, the runner is loping around the bases, watching to see if it clears the fence. Just before it reaches the fence, it loses steam and drops inside. However, before it hits the ground, a pig runs onto the field, grabs the ball in the air, swallows it, and runs off the field. What's the call?”

The answer seemed obvious, even for such an unusual occurrence. I wondered, silently, if this sort of thing happened often in southern double-A baseball games.

"Grounds rule double," was my smug reply.

The umpire-turned-chef-turned-teacher shook his sadly, and answered, "In the pork home run."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

technically it's "inside the pork homerun" /// H-Man

July 11, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Gary said...

Just quoting what I heard -- or remember hearing, which may well be different animals altogether.

(it's not likely to be corrected, since I've learned that questioning umpires and chefs never leads to good things).

July 11, 2011 at 10:17 AM  

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