In the New York Times’ (August 5) article titled, “How A-Rod doesn’t add up,” Doug Glanville, ex-outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers tells: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/how-a-rod-doesnt-add-up/?hp

“Performance-enhancing drugs thrive in a baseball environment obsessed with the cantilever between pitcher and hitter, opportunity and failure, the home run and the glove man, the quantitative and the qualitative. With all of this balance, numbers often tip the scale, and when it’s in a player’s interest to use numbers to gain value, he will do so, especially if his contract depends on it.”

I was drawn to the usage of ‘cantilever’ in the phrase, “obsessed with the cantilever between pitcher and hitter, opportunity and failure ...”

I understand ‘cantilever’ is a projecting beam or structure supported at only one end like a porch supported by steel cantilevers, and it is used figuratively in the above message, but my poor imagination doesn’t go any further.

What does “cantilever between A and B" in opposing position mean? Does it have something to do with conflicting balance, or competing tactics? Could you paraphrase “cantilever” in a plain word?

  • I think he is considering the balance beam in a pair of scales.
    – mplungjan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 6:51

1 Answer 1


I think he is considering/confused by the balance beam in a pair of scales like below.

  • 2
    Yeah, I'm thinking they meant fulcrum. Aug 6, 2013 at 7:57
  • 1
    Drat THAT was the word I was looking for :) - it is the point where the balance beam is turning about.
    – mplungjan
    Aug 6, 2013 at 8:34
  • Is it something like a tipping point? Aug 6, 2013 at 23:24
  • The fulcrum, yes. But I think the author really was thinking about the two ends of the balancing beam, one being a, the other b and something upsetting the balance
    – mplungjan
    Aug 7, 2013 at 4:11
  • I asked him to join the discussion :)
    – mplungjan
    Aug 7, 2013 at 4:30

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