bush league

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Related to bush-league: Busch league

bush league

slang Subpar or inept; lame. The phrase comes from minor league baseball, in which some teams played on unkempt fields bordered by bushes, or in rural, "bush" towns. Primarily heard in US. Their operation is pretty bush league—no professionalism at all. The way you just let that forward go around you and score was bush league, dude—show some effort and play harder!
See also: bush, league

bush league

Anything amateurish or otherwise below professional caliber. Baseball teams have been divided into two broad categories. Major league teams, also known as the big leagues, have the most professional players who play in state-of-the-art stadiums. Then there are minor league teams, composed of players on their way up or down the baseball ladder and ballparks that range in quality from almost-major league to close-to-sandlot. The latter fields, especially those in rural areas, weren't always enclosed by fences; instead they had shrubbery around their perimeters. Hence the phrase “bush league,” where the level of play was far from major league ability. The expression quickly spread to any endeavor that was less than expertly done.
See also: bush, league
References in periodicals archive ?
Like some bush-league Craig Lucas, Bock ("The Audience") tells his fairy tale in a surreal idiom that shows wit and imagination.
His controversial 1995 book Why I Am Not a Muslim makes Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses look like bush-league blasphemy.
I know that one potential Tornadoes rally was stopped by a bush-league steal-strikeout combination that was so awkward that it was embarrassing, while another was ended by a double play that started with a pop fly to right field.
Is this Reggie Bush contract snafu a bush-league move, or simply his misguided handlers (namely, Mike Ornstein) throwing their lack of weight around again?
Petersburg nobody, Khlestakov, we now have in Sheen's eternally grinning Gammon a bush-league South London real estate agent who can't believe his luck when an entire Eastern European elite is suddenly indulging his every whim.
Paul Newman's grizzled captain of a bush-league hockey team set the standard for the aging athlete facing a life away from the game, the predecessor of Kevin Costner's Crash Davis in "Bull Durham," Nick Nolte's Phillip Elliott from "North Dallas Forty" and even Ferrell's Jackie Moon.
But DaVanon's second homer and Troy Glaus' solo homer in the fifth, like DaVanon's an opposite-field shot, were the reason Anderson was calling this a bush-league joint.
So much for the notion that cities are just bush-league bus stops without hulking battalions of millionaires in cleats.
Ross, a noted Hollywood film director, crafted a production that might best be termed bush-league Zeffirelli - in other words, a generally traditional mise-en-scene to which is added lots of distracting detail, like automobiles, brass bands, chestnut sellers, etc.
That's strictly small-time, bush-league, backwater politics, brother.
500 team like the Dodgers to even dream of a World Series is bush-league.
When the focus is on supersmart Buddy foiling the villains or running for a touchdown, the movie delivers bush-league thrills that will appeal best to the 10-and-under crowd.