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baseball style guide

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BertoltBrecht, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. BertoltBrecht

    BertoltBrecht Member

    I'm having trouble with baseball, style-wise...
    AP doesn't seem to be consistent, here are some things I have decided on... please offer any others or dispute these. I understand style is up to each paper, but I would like to make ours more uniform.

    • whether one or seven, always RBI, because the plural is runs batted in, not run batted ins.

    • fractions 2/3, 1/3 for innings pitched. Joe pitched 3 1/3 innnings in the loss.

    • dashes for hitting numbers. Johnson was 3-for-4 with two RBI.

    Like I said these are up for debate, I just want to set a consistent style at my paper.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. melock

    melock Active Member

    I agree with your styles, although I always thought you could drop the for in 3-for-4 after first reference. Just a thought, but it seems you're on the right track with the consistency part. I wish there were more like you in charge that felt that way.
  3. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I'm an old school guy, I love RBIs.

    I grew up reading and saying RBIs so saying "he had 10 RBI" sounds awkward.

    Other than that, looks good.
  4. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Yep, consistency is key.

    RBI is correct, IMO, although as long as you do it the same it's fine. I'm old-school, too. It's taken me quite a while to get used to "RBI."

    I don't think anyone disputes 1/3 and 2/3 for innings pitched (hopefully, your word processor converts those to real fractions, though. If it doesn't, then 6.1 or 6.2 IP is acceptable.)

    And I always like the hyphens in 3-for-4.
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    All of those styles are correct.
    Your Word program should converted the 1/3 and 2/3...or there are codes yoou can use on the numbers keypad to make the fractions
  6. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    We use RBIs because that's what most people say. That's what the players say if you quote them. We use 3 for 4 (without hyphens) unless it is a modifier, like 3-for-4 performance. We use fractions in copy, but the box scores come over with 5.1, 6.2.
  7. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Although 6.2 innings pitched is acceptable, it really means six and two tenths. I always use the fractions.

    I'm with Buck, I like 3-for-4.
  8. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Technically you're correct, of course.

    But if it's a choice between 6 2/3 (unconverted fraction) and 6.2, then I don't have a problem with the latter.

    Obviously, if your word processor can make it read like 62/3, then that's more acceptable.
  9. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    I think there have been black eyes and broken noses as a result of RBI vs. RBIs discussion.

    I like RBIs. RBI, in my opinion, is almost a noun in itself. Same as TD, INT, etc. The "s" isn't pluralizing Run Batted In, it's pluralizing RBI.

    This may be another thread entirely, but does anyone know why AP doesn't use records for MLB or NBA games? I know it must have something to do with the sheer number of games, but why is this information not included in the game story?
  10. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I couldn't agree more Buck!
  11. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    Funny you bring that up. I argued the exact point with my ME a couple papers ago. I said RBI is actually (well, sort of) viewed as a noun. So RBIs was the way I wanted to go.

    However, he found copies of major Canadian dailies that said three RBI. But then I brought in Sports Illustrated which used three RBIs.

    I also found conflicting styles among Canadian papers and US publications.

    So I think it's personal preference.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    The difference is:

    TD is not an acronym. INT is not an acronym. Those are abbreviations.

    RBI is an acronym, not an abbreviation. Therefore, there can be no such thing as "RBIs" because there is no such singular entity as an RBI -- there are runs batted in, which can be shortened commonly to RBI.

    RBI is automatically plural, so it's redundant to add an extra S. Technically, anyway.

    Of course, I grew up using RBIs. So I know how hard a habit it is to break. :)
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