There's that amazing joke about mankind by Jack Handey.
Maybe in order to understand mankind, we have to look at the word itself. Basically, it's made up of two separate words — "mank" and "ind." What do these words mean? It's a mystery, and that's why so is mankind.
Somebody just asked me about Jeff Manship in my chat, and I started wondering why I always assumed it was pronounced like Man Ship. Isn't it just as easy to consider it Mans Hip? Jeff Mans Hip? What do these words mean? Well, visually, they mean different things. To the Google.
They mean adventure, they mean excitement, they mean danger. More than anything they mean humankind's desire to force nature to submit to us. Jeff Man Ship would throw fastballs in the mid-90s, up and in just to get his kicks. He'd have a hammer curve, but he'd resist throwing it because he used to be a pitcher; now he just wants to be a thrower. Man Ship.
Mans Hip can mean so many things. It can mean the hip, on a man. But rarely do we talk about or notice the hip, on a man (as opposed to the hips, on a woman) unless something is wrong, disjointed somehow.
Alternately, Mans Hip can bring up the ways in which men make themselves up to be cool and stylish. Most men may not literally wear makeup, but the tendency to wear masks in public is the same, and it is universal. A man who chooses to present himself as "hip" is choosing a mask that reflects his intellectual curiosity, his expansive interests, and his desire to be different.
In either usage, Man's Hip reflects vulnerability, and it reflects the need to do what we can despite limitations. Jeff Mans Hip would want to have a plan, and he would want to be clever. If he throws a fastball, he would subvert the typical fastball paradigm by throwing it slowly, and perhaps not even effectively.
Given what we know about Jeff Manship, pitcher, Minnesota Twin, it is obvious which of these categories Jeff Manship would fit into. So henceforth, he shall me known as Jeff Man's Hip.
Thank you for reading
This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.Subscribe now