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Tommy Hunter threw a “horsesh*t pitch”

Apr 19, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Orioles’ pitcher Tommy Hunter didn’t have a great outing last night.  But unlike some guys, he was not content to either hide from the media or to hide behind cliches about “not making my pitches.”

Nope, he had a pretty specific opinion of one of the pitches he left out over the plate for A.J. Pierzynski:

“Well, the one today was just a horsesh*t pitch in a horsesh*t spot. It was just horsesh*t. I don’t know how else to say it. It was a ball right down the middle of the plate that any big league hitter would be able to do that. I’m not taking anything away from Pierzynski. He put a good swing on it. Good for him. Tip your cap. But it was horsesh*t  on my part.”

Some things in baseball change a lot. But then some things don’t. Guys have been calling stuff “horse sh**” in the game forever, even though you don’t often hear that term spoken by civilians.  I’m kind of glad they still do, because it’s a great term.

But it’s a vexing one for me as a writer. Every fiber of my being wants to make it two words rather than a compound, but when I consulted Twitter on the matter the majority sentiment was that it should be one word (two if referring to actual equine feces as opposed to using it in the adjective form).  The strongest dissenter was Old Hoss Radbourn, who has good reasons for making it two words, but he does the same thing to “base ball” and that’s troubling for me.

Oh well.  I’ll let you guys decide. Henceforth, is it “horsesh*t” or “horse sh*t?”  I will let the majority of the readership rule. Because, after all, I write this horsesh*t for you guys.

  1. ajcardsfan - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Horsesh*t when referring to anything other than actual horse poop. E.g. that call the Ump made was horsesh*t, I hope he steps in horse sh*t later.

    • someguyinva - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      Apropos of nothing, a few years ago when Don Sutton was the color guy for Nats’ TV broadcasts, he claimed that umpires would tolerate references to, as he put it, bovine excrement, but references to equine excrement would lead to ejection from the game.

      And let’s not talk about the word that Crash Davis used…

  2. hasbeen5 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    One word, I think it conveys more emphasis.

  3. Ducky Medwick - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    There’s something very unsettling about the pause between horse and sh*t rather than horsesh*t if you are using it as an adjective. Makes you ponder Tommy Hunter chucking this foul mass, little bits falling off on it’s way to home… just too real for me. However, the image is not so terrible if you imagine Pierzynski on the receiving end.

    • ptfu - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      Well, every major league ball does get rubbed down with special mud. Maybe the ball Hunter threw got some “extra special” mud…

  4. shaggylocks - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Both are wrong. You don’t spell the word with an asterisk.

  5. davidpeck - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    definitely one word unless you’re referring to equine waste. It’s just like bullsh*t.

  6. phukyouk - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    if you change horsesh*t what’s next? MotherFu*ker?
    “man that mother fu*ker really pissed me off!”
    “well as i said… he fu*ked my mother”
    Waaaay to confusing.

  7. drunkenhooliganism - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    It’s the same as bullsh*t. One word.

  8. Tim OShenko - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM

    One word. As many others before have explained, it’s the same as bullsh*t or motherf*cker.

  9. stex52 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    One word. Distinguish the adjective from the noun.

  10. thetruth1313 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Why not just say “motherf*cking horsesh*t” or “motherf*cking bullsh*t”?

  11. phukyouk - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Just want to point out that Baseball is back in full swing and here at HBT we still have full on discussions about Horsesh*t, Bullsh*t and motherfu*kers*.

    *not talking about the Sox specifically

  12. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    There is significant precedent in either direction. While ‘bullsh!t” is the most similar, and frequently spelled as one word, other profane combinations remain as two words, even though the individual words do not hold significance (i.e., @ss hole, d!ck head, sh!t bag, etc).

    Perhaps hyphenation is the way to go, like son-of-a-b!tch, though that is not aesthetically pleasing with horse-sh!t.

    Maybe, just maybe, this particular phrase is better left spoken, and spoken by men who know their horsesh!t from their Shinola.

    • Alex K - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      @sshole is two words? I’ve never seen it written that way.

      I vote for one word as an adjective, two as a noun.

  13. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Awwwww… Horse pucky.

  14. Jonny 5 - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    I use the term horseshit at least once a week. And it’s sister term bullshit at least 3x per week. Have no fear Craig, these terms are still alive and well over here in NJ.

  15. southpaw2k - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    This quote kinda reminds me of a post-game interview with Curt Schilling late in a season when he was in Boston. The Red Sox were in the pennant chase and Schilling took the mound, but, in his own words, he “pitched horsesh*t.” He said his teammates counted on him coming through that night to keep them in the race, but he didn’t come through. The loss was squarely on his shoulders, etc etc etc. But he used the term “horsesh*t” about 5 times in describing his performance that night.

    That said, is there a reason why we asterisk the I in “horsesh*t”? Why not type it as “horses*it”? Or “horse*hit”?

    • phukyouk - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:36 AM

      because horse*hit and horses*it looks like legit words… whereas horsesh*t makes you stop and think

  16. stlouis1baseball - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Gotta’ love the Midwestern sensibilities of Tommy Hunter. Very honest…direct and to the point.
    Not that it matters…but I agree with most everyone else…when used as an adjective it is one word.
    No different than bullshit.

  17. JB (the original) - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    You c*cksuckers will argue over just about anything, won’t you?

    • jimbo1949 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      Now that just made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of a guy who would say “double c esser” in the office cause they frowned on him screaming chickensh*t-c*cksucker when something sh*t the bed.

  18. Gamera the Brave - Apr 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Very few things make me laugh out loud more that a well-placed use of a swear word.
    Discussing where to put the asterisk make me laugh so loud my co-workers are wondering what the h*ll I’m doing.

  19. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    I’d say horsesh*t more, but I have no idea how to pronounce the asterisk.

  20. The Baseball Idiot - Apr 19, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Where can I buy the t-shirt?

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