Date: Thu, 12 Oct 1995 23:34:01 EDT From: Larry Horn Subject: Re: If I was Bill Smith wonders: >David Justice has just made a spectacular catch preventing the >winning run from >coming in. The announcer says, "If Justice doesn't catch that it's >a double and the go-ahead run is in." >Is this general sportscasterese, along with the use of the simple >present for >what is going on right now or just Bravesese? It is indeed general sportscasterese, not limited to the Braves or to baseball. It's used all the time in play-by-play for e.g. football (if he doesn't deflect that pass, it goes for an easy touchdown) or basketball ("If the Glide doesn't give that hard foul, Kidd goes in for an uncontested lay-up"). Historical present counterfactual? (Note that this form can be used in commenting on an instant replay, but not as felicitously by a sportscaster showing the videotape later that night in a highlight show.) Larry