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Consider the ‘red ass’

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There are a handful of colorful expletives that are unique to baseball or, at the very least, appear overwhelmingly in a baseball context and hardly anyplace else.

One of those is “horse s**t.” Most of the world uses the bovine version of that notion, but baseball almost exclusively uses the equine. I don’t know why.

Last year we learned about “ass in the jackpot,” which is a phrase no one involved in the conversation at the time seemed to find funny or novel — it was as if that’s something people say all the time — but it made all of us laugh. Again: it’s baseball lingo that we outsiders just aren’t privy to.

Maybe the most famous one, however, is “red ass.” It’s a term that, if you’re around ballplayers or baseball writers who talk to ballplayers you hear fairly often. Today Marc Carig of The Athletic does a deep dive into “red ass” to try to explain to the non-initiated what it truly means. It’s a harder task than you might think, as it can describe a single instance of rage or anger or, more generally, the temperament of a person over time. “Jones has the red ass” vs. “Smith is a red ass” communicate related but distinct concepts, after all. Sometimes it’s complimentary. Sometimes it’s disparaging. Nuance matters, man.

Carig goes over the term’s history and interviews some of baseball’s more famous recent red asses. And talks about guys who famously had the red ass. Again: different things. But also, totally worth a click and read today.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”