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Striking out 完全失败

中国日报网 2018-08-03 11:01


Reader question:

Please explain “struck out” in this passage:

While the food is excellent, that isn’t the only reason you go to a particular restaurant. The atmosphere and service are also significant parts of our experience. If it wasn’t we’d all be eating at fast food eateries exclusively…. While our food was great (compliments to the chef), they struck out in all other areas.

My comments:

It means that while the food is good, the restaurant fails to impress in all other areas.

What other areas?

There’s no menu on the table, for example. The waiters and waitresses are all listless and tardy in response. You have to call several times before anyone comes over to your table. They appear to loathe their customers. Besides, the table is not squeaky clean, either – etc. and so forth.

Anyways, to strike out is to fail – utterly and miserably.

Strikeout (noun) is originally a baseball term. It happens when the pitcher (ball thrower) strikes the batter three times, i.e. with the latter swinging at the ball but missing three times. Automatically the batter is out, or in baseball terminology, struck out, meaning he’s temporarily eliminated from the game – until the next inning (there are nine innings in a match).

For a batter to strike out, of course, is the worst thing he can do to help his team. If he strikes out every time he steps up to the plate, of course, he doesn’t help his team at all. He contributes naught, none and nothing.

Hence and therefore, metaphorically speaking, if a person fails to get what they want in something, Americans are wont to say that they’ve struck out – meaning they have failed completely.

Here are media examples of people striking out in the metaphorical sense:

1. Say it ain’t so, Rob.

Supporters of legendary baseball star “Shoeless” Joe Jackson have struck out in their bid to get Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred to reconsider the lifetime ban that cost the turn-of-the-century diamond great a place in the Hall of Fame. Manfred said his team researched the matter and he found no reason to reverse rulings by his predecessors that Jackson’s gambling should bar him from Cooperstown.

“I agree with that determination and conclude that it would not be appropriate for me to re-open this matter,” Manfred wrote to the officials at the Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, S.C.

Museum curator Arlene Marcley had written Manfred in June and the commissioner replied a month later, but only this week did the museum make his letter public on its Facebook page.

Jackson was the star of the 1919 Chicago White Sox who allegedly threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, thus earning the name “Black Sox.” Jackson, the star of his team and holder of a lifetime .356 batting average – the third-highest of all time – was banned in 1920. He and seven other players were accused of taking $5,000 each to lose the series.

Jackson’s supporters have disputed that he took part in the fixing scheme, and note that he batted .375 with a then-record 12 hits and flawless play in the outfield in the World Series in which he was accused of taking a dive. After Jackson was indicted, legend has it that a youngster confronted him outside court, and pleaded, “Say it ain’t so, Joe.”

All eight players were eventually acquitted at trial, but then-Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned them for life. MLB officials have steadfastly held that Jackson cannot be reinstated, even though he died in 1951. Manfred said Jackson’s contemporaries and sportswriters who covered him never thought he should be allowed back in, and quoted former commissioner Bart Giamatti on the subject.

“The Jackson case is now best given to historical analysis and debate as opposed to a present-day review with an eye to reinstatement,” Giamatti said.

Manfred noted that Jackson received almost no support from the Hall of Fame electorate, receiving four votes on 428 ballots cast in 1936 and 1946 combined.

- It ain’t so: MLB commish nixes ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson Hall of Fame bid, FoxNews.com, September 1, 2015.

2. East Cobbers and some Sandy Springs voters will decide whether to send Republican Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick or progressive Democrat Christine Triebsch to the Georgia Senate in Tuesday’s runoff.

The seat opened when former Sen. Judson Hill, R-east Cobb, resigned to run for the congressional seat formerly held by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, a race Hill lost.

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, came to know Kirkpatrick from her involvement in the Republican Party when she worked on his campaign in the 1990s. It was Kirkpatrick who recommended the doctor who performed Isakson’s back surgery four months ago.

Isakson calls her a good person and hard worker.

“I think she’ll do a great job, and I think if you look at her race in the primary, she really did a heck of a job because they all went after her, they went after her to discredit her as a woman, to discredit her as a Republican, discredit her as a doctor, and they struck out in all three cases. How they stand up against the voters, that’s the best test,” Isakson said.

- EDITORIAL: Legislature needs Kay Kirkpatrick’s management and leadership, MDJOnline.com, May 14, 2017.

3. Eight years ago Jerry Buss had a dream.

LeBron James as a Laker.

It was the summer of 2010 and the Lakers were not going to be players in free agency. They had just won their 16th championship, beating the hated Boston Celtics. They had their team. Besides, they had no salary cap space to add a star.

Buss thought about calling James anyway. Over lunch with his kids, he mentioned the idea, offhandedly.

“It’d be good to know that guy,” his son Joey recalled him saying.

League rules allowed teams to meet with any free agent. Why not meet with James to introduce him to the Lakers’ vision? Why not sow the seeds of a future partnership?

“LeBron was always somebody that he was interested in,” said Buss’ daughter Jeanie, the Lakers co-owner.

The idea took eight years to materialize. The 2010 meeting never happened. Two years later, after James won his first championship, the Buss family patriarch was in the grip of an illness that eventually took his life.

Jerry Buss never saw James turn into a three-time champion, a savior in Cleveland and an entertainment mogul. He also never saw the team he stewarded through 10 championships fall to the depths of the last five years. He didn’t see a player who was like a son to him, Magic Johnson, come back to the franchise in an effort to suspend its free fall.


In 2014, the Lakers made their first earnest attempt at James.

They’d gone 27-55 the previous season with Mike D’Antoni as coach, the championship years shrinking in the rear-view mirror.

To prepare for that summer’s free-agent market, they called on Hollywood. Hoping to attract Carmelo Anthony, they asked Joel Silver, who produced movies such as “Die Hard” and the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, to create a trailer of the Knicks star’s life. It was narrated by actor Tobey Maguire.

Anthony met with the Lakers for 2 1/2 hours in Jeanie Buss’s office. Late the same day, general manager Mitch Kupchak and chief operating officer Tim Harris boarded a red-eye flight to Cleveland to meet with James’ agent, Rich Paul. Kupchak pitched the basketball vision. He asked Harris to come along in case there were business questions.

“I had never met Rich before,” Harris said. “He was curious about how the Lakers business ran.”

Silver made a video for James too, also narrated by Maguire. But the Lakers’ meeting with Paul was simple; the video was never brought up because it was meant for James.

James met personally with two teams — the Heat to say goodbye and the Cavaliers to say he was coming back.

It was a terrible summer for the Lakers.

Anthony stayed in New York. Even Gasol moved on, rejecting a Lakers’ offer.

They struck out again in 2015 and in ’16, awarding bloated contracts to Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng when better free agents chose elsewhere.

They missed the playoffs five years in a row.

- Lakers’ signing of LeBron James began with a Jerry Buss dream, LATimes.com, July 21, 2018.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)


Fly on the wall 墙上的苍蝇?


On a loop? 循环往复


We hear crickets? 什么也没听到


解读符文 Reading the runes?


小圈子 Their in-group?


Go a long way?

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