There are two sports-related acronyms that generally apply to just the game of baseball: LOOGY and ROOGY. Well, if this morning's USA versus Russia Olympic hockey game is any indication, a slight variation of these terms might be transferred over to international hockey.
LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy) is a typical modern role for a left-handed relief pitcher, whos come in to face just one left-handed batter or two. The canonical example of a LOOGY was Jesse Orosco: for the last 13 years of his career, Orosco never averaged more than 1 inning pitched per appearance in any season, and in the last 5 years of his career he averaged less than 1/2 IP per appearance.
The term was coined by the staff of the on-line magazine Baseball Prospectus in the early 2000s, when the number of such pitchers proliferated. Tony LaRussa is known as a manager who is excessively fond of this type of pitcher, always keeping at least two and sometimes three in his team's bullpen, and making more in-inning pitching changes than any other manager.
The Cardinals have their LOOGY, Randy Choate, and they have invited a possible ROOGY, Pat Neshek, to Spring Training. Well, Team USA must be on board with this concept by showing America that they selected a SOOGY (shootout only guy) with one of their last roster selections.
From USA Today:
T.J. Oshie's magic in shootouts was a frequent topic of conversation when general manager David Poile and his selection committee chose the U.S. Olympic team roster. "You know at some point we are going to end up in a shootout, and we are going to want T.J. Oshie," Poile said more than once.
Essentially, Poile picked Oshie with one of Team USA's final roster spots to be the team SOOGY. Did it help that he has experience and comfort with David Backes and Kevin Shattenkirk? Of course. Did it help that he is one of the best forwards in the NHL on the penalty kill? You bet. Did it help that he had a tremendous first-half of the season for the Blues? Duh. But when the team's general manager iterates that he likes a player because of his shootout ability, it's not unreasonable to give him such a classification (SOOGY).
Blues fans obviously know Oshie is much more than a SOOGY. He is a high-energy playmaker with 14 goals and 32 assists in 57 games this season. However, the majority of America knew very little of Oshie before today, and I wouldn't be surprised if "who is tj oshie" was one of the most-searched terms on Google today. Sure enough, he is the #1 search term today with over 500,000+ hits. All America really knows about him is the fact that he took six of Team USA's nine shootout attempts against Russia, made four, and very easily could have scored on all six of them.
I have a feeling Americans will keep a closer eye on Oshie as the tournament progresses, especially after this morning's shootout performance as well as this tweet:
Congrats to T.J. Oshie and the U.S. men's hockey team on a huge win! Never stop believing in miracles. #GoTeamUSA -bo— The White House (@WhiteHouse) February 15, 2014
Is this a baseball blog? Of course it is, but this morning's game was too exciting to keep me from writing about it.
USA takes on Slovenia in their last pool play game tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM CST. Make sure to check out St. Louis Game Time for more updates regarding the Blues in the Olympics.
Also, if you missed his shootout performance or just want to watch it again, you can find it right here.