Three years ago, I wrote about bloggers/journalists misusing the term “quarter pole” when discussing the first quarter of the baseball season. I mentioned that the “quarter pole” specifies the point on a racetrack one-quarter mile from the finish line, not the starting gate.
Here we are in 2015, and the misuse continues. Some examples:
“The New York Yankees hit the quarter pole of their season on Wednesday night, …”
“As they close in on the quarter pole of the 2015 Major League Baseball season, the Red Sox remain a work in progress.”
“Castellanos epitomizes the nervousness in this town as a still-young season just passed the quarter pole with the Tigers struggling to keep pace with division-leading Kansas City.”
Just this evening, during FOX’s “Baseball Night in America” pregame show, the studio host used the term twice within the first two minutes.
Listen gang. I’m not a “semantics Nazi.” My followers don’t think so.
However, when I see sportswriters incorrectly co-opting terms from other sports, I have to call it.
So, in order to hopefully help stop this from happening (again), I am providing the approximate “quarter pole” of each baseball season, based on the original schedule as listed on Retrosheet. Basically, take the total number of games to be played in each year, multiply by .75, and that is the game number that represents the “quarter pole.” Most years, it will involve a team playing in game 120-123 (out of 162), some time between August 15 and August 21. This season, the “quarter pole” should be reached on August 22nd. (The “quarter pole” game might be slightly different than the one listed, based on the ordering of the Retrosheet list. However, the basic theme remains intact)