I learned a new word during a discussion recently.
I would think that the word, among Cardinal fans, would suggest that opposing players were developing a fear of the non-closer, Jason Motte. Who could blame them? The once-catcher-turned-pitcher has a live fastball and a reckless abandon towards the mound. Motte seemed to find his footing throughout 2011 and became a solid addition to the back of the bullpen for the eventual World Champs. A player that manager Tony LaRussa refused to call his closer, Motte was the guy on the mound to end ball games, close or otherwise.
A quick look at Jason Motte’s 2011 statistics:
A look at Motte during the 2011 post-season
The conversation that led me to the discovery of my new favorite word did not, however, center around the bearded man at the back of the Cardinal ball games. The new term came up, as it were, during a discussion about the strange 2011 season of the Cardinal left fielder. Matt Holliday, during a Monday night game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 22, had a moth fly into his ear deeply enough that he had to come out of the game and the trainer had to extract the nuisance from his ear.
Many people are afraid of bugs, spiders, and any other form of insect. I could not blame Matt Holliday if he suddenly had a very unnatural fear of moths for the remainder of his life.
The fear of moths? You guessed it: Mottephobia.
Bill Ivie is the editor here at I-70 Baseball as well as the Assignment Editor for BaseballDigest.com.
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