Here are two semantic sloppies about which I would like to complain.
1. Batter v. hitter: it seems to me that when a player steps to the plate to face the pitcher, he's a "batter," using an at-bat to try to bat the ball with his bat for a "hit." I think he is never a "hitter" on that at-bat until he reaches base safely without benefit of an error. And in that case, when he returns to the plate next time, he's still a batter.
Dictionary.com is in accord:
bat·ter -noun. A player who swings a bat or whose turn it is to bat, as in baseball or cricket.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
However, those flip-flopping equivocators also say:
1. One who hits or strikes something.
2. In baseball A batter.
2. Beanball (not to be confused with Beaneball) v. hit batsman: my understanding is that only a ball thrown at, or which actually hits the batter's head (a/k/a his bean) is a beanball. If he's struck by a pitch anywhere else, it's a hit-batsman. Similarly, a pitcher who has beaned a batter can only have hit him on the head, and nowhere else. Otherwise, he has hit or "plunked" the batter.
Dictionary.com seems to agree with me unequivocally here:
beanball noun. A baseball deliberately thrown at the batter's head
WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.
Note the proper use of the term "batter," as well.
This second sloppy (not to be conf...never mind) was significant on Extra Innings last evening, when our boy Robert and a caller were taking Mychyl Yrbyn to task for suggesting that the Giants' Cain would have been within his rights (??) to "bean" Travis Buck after Buck had the temerity to score the previous evening's 15th run. Now, that notion is absurd to me regardless of nuance, but I think it's far worse to advocate "beaning" someone at 95+mph, vs. "plunking" him.