Sunday, May 28, 2023

Baseball in French, Lesson 6: Le Sabotage

Welcome to Baseball in French, Lesson 6. Previous lessons can be found here.
Today's term is le sabotage.
You won't be surprised that in English, it translates to "sabotage". What's the baseball translation?

Blown save.

Here's Tim Wallach of the Expos, sizing up a pitcher on his 1984 O-Pee-Chee card. 

I feel like playing in the shadow of all those other fantastic Expos of the era like Raines, Carter, Dawson, and Reardon places Wallach in the "underrated/underappreciated" category. The guy amassed over 2,000 hits in his career, was a 3x Gold Glover and 2x Silver Slugger at third base, and was an all-star five times from 1984 through 1990. He had a monster year in 1987, setting career highs in hits (177), doubles (42, led majors), RBI (123), runs scored (89), slugging percentage (.514), and stolen bases (9). I'd bet he sabotaged the save attempts of a few opposing relief pitchers along the way.

And I like the French terminology here. The word "sabotage" adds some intrigue and suspense and drama into the story.
Now here's Tim Wallach to the plate. Expos down to the Reds by one run in the bottom of the ninth. Two outs, Hubie Brooks on second. The pitch... base hit into right field! Brooks is going to round third and head for home... here's the throw... not in time! And Wallach has sabotaged the Reds!
As a hitter, would you walk up to the plate in a similar situation with a little bit of extra mojo if you knew you had the chance to sabotage the game for the other team? 
I think I would.
Leave your thoughts below, and thanks for reading!


  1. I'm thinking that when the visiting team brings in their closer, the stadium should play a certain 1994 classic by a certain rap trio you've made a custom of! B^)

    1. Oh man, Brett. That's a great idea. I can picture that happening in a minor league ballpark. Maybe the Brooklyn Cyclones?

  2. Now I have Beastie Boys running in my head...

  3. That's a good one. It certainly seems like your team's reliever has sabotaged the team when he blows a save.

    1. Yes, that's the other way to look at it, right? The reliever sabotages the game for his own team -- not the hitter on the opposing team. Think about the questions from reporters after the game: "So, why did you sabotage the game for your team?"

  4. Wallach probably did inflict some sabotages in his day, as an Expos fan back then he was among my favorites.