Silhalnor wrote:I don't even know how to intone the words. Is "on-base" a verb? Is it a noun like "home base" in base-ball? What does it mean to "slug"?
It is trickier to parse than "the gostak distims the doshes", but I'll have a go.
Mike Trout's on-base plus slugging has been at career highs.
Something has been at career highs: that thing is "Mike Trout's on-base plus slugging".
Now we have a bit of a dilemma. It could be "(Mike Trout's) (on-base plus slugging)" or it could be "((Mike Trout's) (on-base)) plus (slugging)", where "slugging" is not attributed to Mr Trout specifically. However, this is unlikely given that the whole conversation appears to be about Trout.
Now to the crux: what is this thing "on-base plus slugging"? Clearly the whole phrase acts as a noun. "plus" is probably a coordinator (a conjunction in the old money); "slugging" could be a noun in its own right, so it all fits as long as "on-base" can be a noun. Can it?
One option is that "base" is the head, with "on-" being a modifier. Maybe there are "on-bases" and "off-bases". But (and here I'm introducing some minimal domain-specific knowledge) it doesn't seem likely that a "base" could be at career highs, nor that a base would be attributable to an individual player.
I'm forced to conclude that there's something missing. "on-base plus slugging" appears to be some kind of performance indicator. Whilst "slugging" could potentially be something you can count (maybe the number of times he has slugged), "on-base" must be missing a noun. At a guess I'd expect it to be something like the "on-base average" or "on-base index" or "on-base ratio". And in reality, "slugging" is probably short for "slugging rate" or "slugging quotient". The two metrics are added together to provide an overall performance indicator "on-base index plus slugging quotient".
((Mike Trout's) ((on-base [index]) plus (slugging [quotient])) has been at career highs.
I'd be amused to know how hilariously far out my interpretation is.