(baseball) take time

  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I don't think switching those verbs is a good idea, Shirley Ling. I'd say that he "called time" or "called a time-out". "Taking time" doesn't sound idiomatic in that situation, and people might not understand what you were trying to say.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    If you told me that he "took a timeout", Shirley Ling, I'd understand what you meant. If you told me that "took time", I'd probably think he was goofing off or something.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    In football, each team has a limited number of timeouts they can use in a game. So we can say that a quarterback "took" (used) one of those timeouts. Baseball has no such limits, so we just say the player "called" time. (Technically, the umpire calls time; the player can only request time. But this is universally ignored by people who aren't umpires :) .)
     

    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    To "take time" is a phrase in its own right that means to consume or spend an amount of time on something.

    The game took a lot of time: the game lasted longer than usual.
    Take your time: Use or spend as much time as you need.

    I think that literally one should write, "The catcher called, 'time.'" The catcher (or any other player) requests a suspension of play by saying the word "time" to an umpire. As pob14 points out, it's an umpire who stops play. If he doesn't, then the game continues. A runner on base may advance to the next base, for instance. I think there are other games in which a player may ask officials to suspend play by "calling time," such as tennis. There might even be games in which a player can temporarily interrupt the flow of play by "calling time" himself.

    "Taking" time and "calling" time are not closely related, and certainly are not synonyms.
     
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