In baseball, a hold is a used to measure the effectiveness of middle relievers. In general, a pitcher is awarded a hold whenever he enters the game with a lead of three runs or less and leaves without having relinquished the lead.

The hold is thought of as somewhat of a quasi-stat, not only because it is pretty easy to get one, but because there are two competing definitions. The hold was first proposed in 1986 by John Dewan and Mike O'Donnell, who worked together on The Chicago Baseball Report. Since then the hold has been picked up as a stat by two competing stat tracking companies: STATS, Inc. and SportsTicker, who each have slightly different definitions.

The STATS, Inc. definintion has been gaining momentum of late and is the one I stated above, with the added stipulations that a pitcher must get at least one out, and can also be awarded a hold if he pitches three innings or more without giving up the lead, even if the initial lead was more than three runs.

The SportsTicker definition is the same as the one above, except that the pitcher need not record an out to get a hold, as long as the lead is not relinquished., for example, gets its stats from STATS, Inc. while USA Today gets its stats from SportsTicker, so even major publications will not always match up on who got a hold last night and who didn't.

In Kool Moe Dee's tome, There's a God on the Mic, which is sadly one of the few books that deals with the technical aspects of rap, there is a discussion of KRS-One's conceptual abilities. Given Kool Moe Dee's (and many other hip-hop critics') near reverence for KRS-One's abilities, he mentions that KRS-One is not always very conceptual, because he stays close to being a "quintessential MC...doing the rhymes about how dope he is". In other words, he is usually in the position of being himself, talking about himself, and not constructing characters and skits. Which isn't to say that he can't. The song "Hold", from his eponymous 1995 album, is an example of KRS-One being conceptual across multiple levels, laying out a puzzle that can be taken several ways.

The song is not well known, and is not a favorite even within KRS-One's fanbase, probably because it is too conceptual. The song ends each of its 39 lines with the same word, "hold" or "hole" or "whole". The tempo of the song is slow, and the melodic component is small, even for a rap song. The song verges on being a spoken-word poem, with the song barely raising above a monotone whenever KRS-One reaches the syllable "hold". The interest of the song, other than the audacity, comes from the many different uses and homophones KRS-One comes up with:
Half of me is sane and maintaining a hold
Suddenly I bump into some asshole
He's cursin' me out, but this pistol that I hold
Took control, and in his head I put a hole
Ahhh man, now I'm lookin' around the whole

So KRS-One on one hand uses concepts on the level of wordplay. Above that, the narrative has a concept, derived from the wordplay, about a man who has is trying to hold on to his sanity but finds himself slipping into a hole. The narrative is a story of the criminal life, caused by the fact that this man can't help but slip into the hole.The narrative is about as gritty as could be expected from this period of hip-hop but much less glamorous than most. KRS-One has a moralistic bent, which moves us into the third layer of conceptuality, the moral level of the song. After the conclusion of the song, where the protagonist is not only in prison, but in solitary confinement, KRS-One doesn't make us guess at the moral, but tells us:
The moral to the story is...your addiction to your needs and your wants is what causes problems in your life.
The moral of the story is derived from the wordplay, with KRS-One suggesting that the "hole" of our needs, and the "hold" we put on objects to satisfy it, is the cause of our problems. As it is, the narrative and the moral could be seen as stark and simplistic, but further reflection on the moral presents a fourth layer of conceptuality, the possible esoteric interpretation of the song. KRS-One may be suggesting that human consciousness, and the problems it goes through, are caused by the fact that we have a basic need inside of us, and that we attempt to create realities to make up for this need. This may actually be a pronouncing of a concept of Emptiness and Being. This pronouncement is more curious when we reflect that this is all based on what seemed at first to be a simple case of wordplay.

So, if we do accept that KRS-One is trying to present four layers of conceptuality here, with word play, narrative, moral and esoteric concepts, we understand why he can be conceptually great when he wants to. The only other song that I can think of that is conceptual on these lines is Nas' I gave you power, and songs like these are why KRS-One and Nas are afforded such respect in hip-hop circles.

Hold (?), n. [D. hol hole, hollow. See Hole.] (Naut.)

The whole interior portion of a vessel below the lower deck, in which the cargo is stowed.


© Webster 1913

Hold, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Held (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Holding. Holden (&?;), p. p., is obs. in elegant writing, though still used in legal language.] [OE. haldan, D. houden, OHG. hoten, Icel. halda, Dan. holde, Sw. hålla, Goth. haldan to feed, tend (the cattle); of unknown origin. Gf. Avast, Halt, Hod.]


To cause to remain in a given situation, position, or relation, within certain limits, or the like; to prevent from falling or escaping; to sustain; to restrain; to keep in the grasp; to retain.

The loops held one curtain to another.
Ex. xxxvi. 12.

Thy right hand shall hold me.
Ps. cxxxix. 10.

They all hold swords, being expert in war.
Cant. iii. 8.

In vain he seeks, that having can not hold.

France, thou mayst hold a serpent by the tongue, . . .
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace that hand which thou dost hold.


To retain in one's keeping; to maintain possession of, or authority over; not to give up or relinquish; to keep; to defend.

We mean to hold what anciently we claim
Of deity or empire.


To have; to possess; to be in possession of; to occupy; to derive title to; as, to hold office.

This noble merchant held a noble house.

Of him to hold his seigniory for a yearly tribute.

And now the strand, and now the plain, they held.


To impose restraint upon; to limit in motion or action; to bind legally or morally; to confine; to restrain.

We can not hold mortality's strong hand.

Death! what do'st? O, hold thy blow.

He had not sufficient judgment and self-command to hold his tongue.


To maintain in being or action; to carry on; to prosecute, as a course of conduct or an argument; to continue; to sustain.

Hold not thy peace, and be not still.
Ps. lxxxiii. 1.

Seedtime and harvest, heat and hoary frost,
Shall hold their course.


To prosecute, have, take, or join in, as something which is the result of united action; as to, hold a meeting, a festival, a session, etc.; hence, to direct and bring about officially; to conduct or preside at; as, the general held a council of war; a judge holds a court; a clergyman holds a service.

I would hold more talk with thee.


To receive and retain; to contain as a vessel; as, this pail holds milk; hence, to be able to receive and retain; to have capacity or containing power for.

Broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Jer. ii. 13.

One sees more devils than vast hell can hold.


To accept, as an opinion; to be the adherent of, openly or privately; to persist in, as a purpose; to maintain; to sustain.

Stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught.
2 Thes. ii.15.

But still he held his purpose to depart.


To consider; to regard; to esteem; to account; to think; to judge.

I hold him but a fool.

I shall never hold that man my friend.

The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Ex. xx. 7.


To bear, carry, or manage; as he holds himself erect; he holds his head high.

Let him hold his fingers thus.

To hold a wager, to lay or hazard a wager. Swift. --
To hold forth, to offer; to exhibit; to propose; to put forward. "The propositions which books hold forth and pretend to teach." Locke. --
To held in, to restrain; to curd. --
To hold in hand, to toy with; to keep in expectation; to have in one's power. [Obs.]

O, fie! to receive favors, return falsehoods,
And hold a lady in hand.
Beaw. & Fl.

To hold in play, to keep under control; to dally with. Macaulay. --
To hold off, to keep at a distance. --
To hold on, to hold in being, continuance or position; as, to hold a rider on. --
To hold one's day, to keep one's appointment. [Obs.] Chaucer. --
To hold one's own.
(a) To keep good one's present condition absolutely or relatively; not to fall off, or to lose ground; as, a ship holds her own when she does not lose ground in a race or chase; a man holds his own when he does not lose strength or weight. --
To hold one's peace, to keep silence.- To hold out.
(a) To extend; to offer. "Fortune holds out these to you as rewards." B. Jonson.

(b) To continue to do or to suffer; to endure. "He can not long hold out these pangs." Shak. --
To hold up.
(a) To raise; to lift; as, hold up your head.
(b) To support; to sustain. "He holds himself up in virtue."Sir P. Sidney.

(c) To exhibit; to display; as, he was held up as an example.
(d) To rein in; to check; to halt; as, hold up your horses. --
To hold water.
(a) Literally, to retain water without leaking; hence (Fig.), to be whole, sound, consistent, without gaps or holes; -- commonly used in a negative sense; as, his statements will not hold water. [Collog.]

(b) (Naut.) To hold the oars steady in the water, thus checking the headway of a boat.


© Webster 1913

Hold, v. i.

In general, to keep one's self in a given position or condition; to remain fixed. Hence:


Not to move; to halt; to stop; -- mostly in the imperative.

And damned be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!"


Not to give way; not to part or become separated; to remain unbroken or unsubdued.

Our force by land hath nobly held.


Not to fail or be found wanting; to continue; to last; to endure a test or trial; to abide; to persist.

While our obedience holds.

The rule holds in land as all other commodities.


Not to fall away, desert, or prove recreant; to remain attached; to cleave; -- often with with, to, or for.

He will hold to the one and despise the other.
Matt. vi. 24


To restrain one's self; to refrain.

His dauntless heart would fain have held
From weeping, but his eyes rebelled.


To derive right or title; -- generally with of.

My crown is absolute, and holds of none.

His imagination holds immediately from nature.

Hold on! Hold up! wait; stop; forbear. [Collog] --
To hold forth, to speak in public; to harangue; to preach. L'Estrange. --
To hold in, to restrain one's self; as, he wanted to laugh and could hardly hold in. --
To hold off, to keep at a distance. --
To hold on, to keep fast hold; to continue; to go on. "The trade held on for many years," Swift. --
To hold out, to last; to endure; to continue; to maintain one's self; not to yield or give way. --
To hold over, to remain in office, possession, etc., beyond a certain date. --
To hold to or with, to take sides with, as a person or opinion. --
To hold together, to be joined; not to separate; to remain in union. Dryden. Locke. --
To hold up.
(a) To support one's self; to remain unbent or unbroken; as, to hold up under misfortunes.
(b) To cease raining; to cease to stop; as, it holds up. Hudibras.

(c) To keep up; not to fall behind; not to lose ground. Collier.


© Webster 1913

Hold (?), n.


The act of holding, as in or with the hands or arms; the manner of holding, whether firm or loose; seizure; grasp; clasp; gripe; possession; -- often used with the verbs take and lay.

Ne have I not twelve pence within mine hold.

Thou should'st lay hold upon him.
B. Jonson.

My soul took hold on thee.

Take fast hold of instruction.
Pror. iv. 13.


The authority or ground to take or keep; claim.

The law hath yet another hold on you.


Binding power and influence.

Fear . . . by which God and his laws take the surest hold of.


Something that may be grasped; means of support.

If a man be upon an high place without rails or good hold, he is ready to fall.


A place of confinement; a prison; confinement; custody; guard.

They . . . put them in hold unto the next day.
Acts. iv. 3.

King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke.


A place of security; a fortified place; a fort; a castle; -- often called a stronghold. Chaucer.

New comers in an ancient hold

7. (Mus.)

A character [thus &?;] placed over or under a note or rest, and indicating that it is to be prolonged; -- called also pause, and corona.


© Webster 1913

Hold, v. t. --
To hold up. To stop in order to rob, often with the demand to hold up the hands. [Colloq.]


© Webster 1913

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