A Baseball Grammar Lesson

This was a pet grammatical peeve of mine when I worked as a collegiate Sports Information Director, and I especially hate to hear the professionals say it wrong:

“RBI” is an abbreviation for “Run Batted In.”

The plural of “Run Batted In” is “Runs Batted In;” it is not “Run Batted Ins.” The latter is not only incorrect, it also sounds idiotic.

Therefore, the proper plural of “RBI” is “RBI,” not “RBIs.”

Somebody really needs to tell that to the broadcasters covering Washington Nationals games on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. I’m frankly surprised they get it wrong, especially since their local newspaper uses the correct form. At least it’s spring training; they still have time to get it right.

I am well aware that some dictionaries list both “RBI” and “RBIs” as acceptable plural forms, but those are the ones with editors who have caved in the face of a pervasive error.

Why do I watch Washington Nationals games on TV rather than my beloved Philadelphia Phillies? It is because Comcast is full of petulant wankers. Even though we live in hard-core Philadelphia sports country, because we have satellite TV we do not get Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. They do allow us to have Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, though, which covers D.C. and Baltimore sports, as well as MASN, which covers the same area. Never mind that we live much closer to Philadelphia than either of those other places.

Enough crotchety kvetching for now. . .


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