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1. in baseball, the fourth hitter in a lineup, generally the hitter with the highest batting average, whose job it is to essentially "clean up" after the less skillful players that have gone before him.

2. in anything other than baseball, a strategy similar to the above, but with the key distinction that one lets others have a crack at bat first with the knowledge that they will fail, so that one appears far more awesome than his predecessors
1. Ryan Howard is the clean-up batter for the Phillies, but it doesn't matter because no one ever gets on base before him.

2. Jim sees an attractive girl in a bar, wants to talk to her, but then remembers the clean-up batter strategy and lets two drunk bros and one old creeper talk to her first. If Jim doesn't get the girl after that, we call that a Ryan Howard.
by howwasthisnotdefinedalready August 29, 2013
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