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This is an all English podcast, episode 1475 step up to the plate and learn baseball idioms in English.


Welcome to the All Ears English podcast downloaded more than 150 million times. Are you feeling stuck with your English? We'll show you how to become fearless and fluent by focusing on connection, not perfection, with your American hosts. Lindsay McMahon, the English adventurer, and Michelle Kaplan, the New York Radio Girl coming to you from Colorado and New York City U. S a and to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to all ears. English dot com forward slash subscribe.


American English is packed with baseball idioms, but they aren't used. When we talk about baseball today, learn these four essential English idioms to have fun conversations in English.


Hey, Michelle, how's it going today? Hey, Lindsey, I'm good, I'm good. How are you? Oh, my gosh, I think Thanksgiving is actually coming up this week, so I'm doing good. I might be in California this week, so that'll be fun. Hopefully. Nice weather out there. Oh, yeah. Awesome. Oh, well, that'll be nice for sure.


Yes. Thanksgiving is soon. Oh my gosh. Thanksgiving. I know.


Do you like Thanksgiving? The holiday of Thanksgiving. I do like Thanksgiving, I'm not like huge on the specific Thanksgiving food, but I do like it and yeah, who doesn't like Thanksgiving, who doesn't like it, who doesn't like it.


And one thing that I like about Thanksgiving is that there's a lot of people at the table talking together all the time.


Right. Michelle, I love that for sure.


Yeah. A lot of our students I think a lot of our students want to be able to participate in situations like that.


What do you think? Oh, yeah, for sure. And I know just the way they can practice.


What's that?


Well, we have something very exciting coming up where all four of us are going to be a part of it. And we have a great Web class coming up.


A very, very, very soon we are going to tell you all about it and how to learn how to keep up with these Thanksgiving conversations or any big group conversation.


Yeah, it's when the conversations get fast, guys. A lot of you have told us that you struggle when I mean, you can understand one to one. You can probably understand me and Michelle, maybe 85 percent, 90 percent. But what happens if there's another speaker and a former speaker and all of a sudden we're talking on top of each other and we're talking fast, we're interrupting each other. Can you understand that? That's the question. We're going to give you three strategies to understand that and participate in those situations.


OK, very cool. So where should where should they go if they want to sign up for this, go to all Iraqis, English, dot com slash coffee, that's all.


English dot com coffee. Yes.


Awesome. And guys are web classes are getting popular. So people are getting turned away if they don't come on time or early. So make sure you sign up, come early, come five minutes early and stay on the web class so that you can reserve your seat, your spot in that class. OK, very cool.


Yeah, I'm excited for this. Lindsay, this is going to be fun. It's going to be great.


I love it when we all get to work together as a me too. Me too. Yeah. So we talked about sports today, Michelle.


We are you know, we've talked about sports idioms before. I'll tell you the episode. No, soon, but we had a listener who wants more and how can I blame this listener writes, Sports is huge in the English language and we talk about it all the time. So it's not enough to just do one episode or two episodes on it. We have to really get into this. So I definitely want to answer this listener's question. This is Juan Pablo from Columbia.


Lindsey, could you read the question for us?


OK, it's a pretty long question. Let's go. Here we go. Hi, girls. I'm Juan Pablo from Colombia. But you can call me is it one piece? One piece like everyone calls me. I've been listening to your podcast for two months, and it's impressive to see how my listening skills have improved since then. So I can really say it's paying off. I listen to some sports idioms in your episodes, which I find very useful and spicy.


Oh, spicy and interesting adjective. Interesting adjective, because my professional career is about sports and I practice many sports throughout my life. So I'd like you girls to throw me a few more ones. If it's not too much trouble, get it. Throw me a few.


One good one. Good one. Thanks in advance. I love all of you warm regards. Oh that's awesome. Michelle, I wonder what Juan's job is. Maybe he's some kind of a sports commentator. Yeah, maybe.


Oh that is so cool. Yeah, I love this question. I love this part. The personality of our listener. You can tell he's very fun and I love you.


So yeah, I know once in a while our listeners will write in and they'll put strategic puns in their questions. I think it's so funny and it's so cool when they can do that. Yeah.


Yeah, I love that. I love that. So yeah. Thank you for the question. I'm glad that you asked. We do episodes where we focus on a topic, so sometimes we'll do sports idioms or just, you know, an idiom about anything random. I think we've done clothes or colors, things like that. And I always love these because I just think it's a great way to learn and it's a great way to remember things.


So definitely, guys, if you hear us, do one of these episodes, feel free to say, can we have more right or of an episode? Can you do more? Can you do a follow up? It's hard to share all of the idioms of a category in one episode. So I know that you want more. We want to do what would help you. Right. So for you to say, oh, could you do more of this?


That's really helpful for us in our planning. So definitely, you know, don't be shy.


Ask us. It's all about you guys when we are always thinking about you and we write these episodes. So make it your show right into us. Right. Send your questions to Lindsey. It all is English dot com and let us know what you want to learn.


Michelle, have we talked about sports before? We have. Right. As we said, we've done a couple of them.


Yeah, right. Right, right, right, right. Well, on Episode 12, 07, we did why these sports idioms are not out of left field. So that's definitely one to listen to.


And so today we are going to stick with one sport which. We kind of have done this like a little bit in our past together, which is bizarre, right? And we're going to do a baseball theme for today. It's you know, it's possible that some of these aren't only from baseball, but these are kind of known as like the baseball ones. So these are a little bit a little bit different. We've done some before, but I tried to do unique and cool and cool ones today.


Yeah. You know, when I think about baseball, when I think about what is the most American sport, for me, it's between baseball and football. Right. But I feel like maybe it's baseball in my mind because it's just so typical American to go to go to the ball field like Fenway, like we did with our students when they came to Boston. Remember that? I was awesome.


You went back to Maryland that night when I'm at Fenway. Good memory. I'm good, Mossimo.


I mean, everyone was their students and it was awesome. So it's really cool to learn a bit about baseball and the wording because it's everywhere in the English language.


It's everywhere. Yeah. The Web class is coming up next week.


It's time to push your listening skills to a more advanced level to be able to understand fast conversations with multiple speakers, not just to speakers register. Now, this is going to be a popular Web class. Guys got all ears, English dot com forward slash coffee. That's all ears. English, dot com forward slash CAFTA.


For sure, for sure. All right, so should we get into it, Lindsay, OK, what's the first term that our listeners need to know?


Well, the first one is strikes. So this is, you know, used in a couple of different ways. But we're going to talk about it in a specific way where you give someone strikes. So in baseball, how many strikes does a player get until they are out, Lindsay?


Well, as far as I know, it's three. I think everyone knows that even if they don't play baseball.


Exactly right. There's the song and everything. So it's three strikes. So this is kind of, I think, of a parent using this with a child like sometimes. Oh, yeah, kid with a parent will give a child three strikes. And like, if they if they're misbehaving and on the third one, you know, they get some sort of punishment. They don't get their dessert or whatever, whatever the punishment is. So, yeah, your parents say something like you already have two strikes today, so be careful or you won't get to go to the party Sunday.


Yeah, that's OK. So this is exactly what I mean. Right. This is why this is so important to talk about baseball. We're not really talking about baseball. Right. We're talking about the English language and so many other context. The other context, I think, of this is actually legislation especially like to be a slightly different side of society. Right. Like three strike laws around drug possession. I know in the US we have certain laws where people go to jail after three strikes for certain things.


You know what I'm talking about?


Maybe speeding, even like writing, but you probably get arrested.


So so I think in the legal world, this is also used in Congress and the legislation just to say the terms of a law. Yeah, right. Right, right. Exactly.


Yeah. So strikes, it's basically like basically like a mistake like or. Yeah. Or doing something wrong. Maybe not a mistake. Maybe just doing something wrong.


Exactly. Exactly. And this next one I love it makes me think of the movie a league of their own phrases out of one's league.


So what does this mean. What is what does this mean?


Well, it's kind of like saying something is too far of a reach, right? So it's like you can't get something. It's too hard. Like it's not it's not meant for you. It's to it's to.


Yeah, that's basically what I mean. So, like, I think of it in a couple of different ways. But one way is I feel like when people talk about looking for a romantic partner, Lindsay, like, oh, she's gorgeous, but she may be out of my league.


Yeah. And I think I hear this more in romantic comedies, right. When they're talking about, you know, the typical rom com is like the guy wants the girl, but she's out of his league and the whole movie is like, yeah, right. That kind of thing. But not within like maybe maybe from a different social group or I don't know, it could be related also to like income, that kind of thing.


Right. Something, you know, the stratification of society, that kind of thing too. Yeah.


For sure. Or I mean or it could just be like I mean as to attractiveness like that's I think people use it in that way as well. Like so how attractive is somebody like maybe like you know. Yeah. You might see in a romantic comedy like kind of like the one who's supposed to be the nerd or something like that and he likes the cheerleader or something. I mean it's so silly and cliche, but yeah, that's another way you might hear it or you might hear it with like with searching for a job.


So you could say something like, that's my dream job, my dream job. But I don't have the resume. I feel like it's out of my league. Yeah.


And then if we talk about the movie, which I love that movie, I can't not mention it. Right. Only to their own famous movie about what happened in the U.S. when all the men went to war, World War Two, they actually started a women's baseball league. And this is true, real history, American history. And and in that sense, it means group like out of your league. It's literally a women's league. And metaphorically, it's another level, like it's a league of one's own, a group of one's own, a level of one's own.


Right. Michelle to meaning's. Right, right.


Right, right. Exactly. I'm glad you pointed that out. Yeah. Lendee nice little movie to recommend this for sure.


And then the next one is step up to the plate. So this is to do something or be responsible for something when it needs to be completed. Right. So it's like I never wanted to do sales, but my company needs it. So it's time I step up to the plate. Yeah.


So this this might mean that you're volunteering to do it or just means that you're willing to do it, right, Michel. It could be either.


Right. It's kind of like you have to. Right. It could be volunteering for sure. Or like even if like let's say you don't really want to or that's not really in your line of work and you're like, well, I guess I got to step up to the plate. It might be OK. Well, I have to take the responsibility. And my boss told me, you know, it's time to change my work and this is what I'm doing now.


So I got to step up to the plate. Yeah, you got it. All right. And then the next one the last one, guys, is go to bat for now. Does this mean, like, defend or does it mean just to assist and support was. I mean, Michelle, yeah, I think assist and support, yeah, I could it could be a defend as well. I think like you could say, oh, I will always go to bat for my family if there's a bomb or something like that.


So, like, yeah, it depends on the context. Right. So it might be like, oh, I'll always go to bat for my family when they're going through hard times. I'll always be there to help them or I'll always step up to the plate if they need something. Right. Yeah, but if you say you could always also be defend, I guess, in that way. Lindsay, I'm glad you brought that up because you could say, like, yeah, I'm going to I'm going to go.


I know that my friend is having a hard time, but I'm going to go to bat for her because I think that people are being too hard on her. Right?


Everyone's attacking her, accusing her of something. Yeah, I think it could mean defen too. I think I think it means but I don't really use it that much.


But these phrases I want to note that these are really commonly used. They are used by a lot of people in American English. It's so common. Yeah, right.


You know, the point is, when we try it, when we teach you something in a specific category, we're not going to teach you just like goofy stuff, you know, where we want to teach you things that you can use. So even if it's like, oh, yeah, this is a theme episode like this is real English. And like Lindsay said. Right, you're not when somebody says one of these things, they're not thinking, yeah, I'm thinking about baseball now.


Like they're it's so embedded in our conversations that it's not about baseball anymore.


Like it's not about, yeah, baseball might be the sport that has the most of these to just because it is so old. I mean, there's so much history involved with baseball.


When was the last time you went to a baseball game? So you missed the one in twenty seventeen in Boston.


But have you been to one lately. Have I been to one lately. Well yeah, certainly not now, but not now. I don't think I've been in years unfortunately and I really enjoy going.


So I look forward to the day when we can all go back to games and things like that. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.


For sure. Good stuff. I went to a baseball game last fall in L.A. trying to remember the name of the team Rangers. Oh, jeeze.


No, but it was fun. There was a lot of energy there and it was cool. It was really. I love baseball games too, Michelle. So should we do a role play?


Yeah, let's give it a try. So here we are, teammates, Lindsey, on a class project. OK, so can you finish your part by Thursday?


The teacher is mad. We've been late. She says we already have two strikes.


Yes, I'll make sure it gets done. I know. I know. I need to finally step up to the plate.


It's OK. If you have trouble, I'll go to bat for you. I know you've had a lot of trouble with technology.


Thanks. Do you think Harvard University is out of my league, by the way?


I know we're starting to apply now. You can do it. Just get your work done on time.


All right. Nice. That is good stuff. Good stuff. All right. So here we said the teacher says we already have two strikes. Meaning if you have that third mistake or if you're late. Right, something bad's going to happen, right, Michelle?


Exactly. Maybe you're going to fail the class. Maybe you won't get any points for that assignment, whatever it is. Yeah. And then I said, yeah, I need to make sure it gets done. I need to finally step up to the plate. I mean, it's basically this one is about taking responsibility, doing the thing that I need to do.




And I say it's OK if you have trouble, I'll go to bat for you. Meaning I will support you, I'll defend you, I'll assist you whatever you need. I'll help you with it. Yeah, exactly.


And then I kind of changed gears, which is this is a Michelle special in the wrong place.


I said, Do you think Harvard University is out of my league? So it's basically like, is that is it attainable or is it just like I can't even reach it?


Right. Right.


It's a Michelle special because I think a few episodes ago maybe who knows, six months ago you said something of the role play that was so weird. It was so random. Do you remember you couldn't stop laughing? Yes, I remember. Because when I sometimes I like, you know, try and get something extra in and then I just like change direction and then it makes no sense. And then I remember we just started laughing. So this kind of reminds me to me, brought me back to that one.


So good. Good.


So yeah guys, I like to change things up quickly. Change it up, change it up. So guys, the take away today, you know, just keep in mind sports, especially baseball, is so popular in our language and it's not about the game. Right. So if you're not into sports, you're not opting out of this episode.


Right. If you're interested in human connection, then you need to pay attention and get these phrases down and start using them. OK, because we don't always talk in literal terms. Right. We use fun idioms like these. So you want to use them to guys for a shower?


Exactly. Yeah, I love that. Yeah. You don't need to be a sports fan to use baseball idioms. That's that's for sure. So, yeah. I'm glad you brought that up, Lindsey. So anyway, guys, this has been a lot of fun and I'm glad that we talked about this. And remember, we have our world class coming up. So again, go to all your English. Com slash coffee where you will see. All four of us on this, and that is going to be fun.


It's gonna be great, guys. It's free and it's alive and it doesn't happen very often. So make sure you don't miss it. There will also not be a recording. So that's another reason why you should make sure you sign up, come early and hang out with us all in English dot com coffee. We'll see you there. OK, Michele, thanks for hanging out.


Good one today. Thanks. Bye, Lindsey. Bye.


Thanks for listening to all ears English, if you are taking ILD this year, get your estimated band score with our two minute quiz. Go to all ears English dotcom slash my score. And if you believe in connection, not perfection, then hit. Subscribe now to make sure you don't miss anything. See you next time.