I cannot help but write this article.  I thought that the implication of this idiom is pretty interesting.

 

To swing for the fences  means:

 

(1) to try with maximum effort to hit the ball as far as possible

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/45/messages/1110.html

 

(2) To act in a way that might generate a very good result, but which also has a large chance of failing.

 

To take high risk for high return.

 

Normally it is not used in a positive sense, mainly to caution against being overly rash.  However, you can see this phrase used in politics to urge for drastic changes or ambitious plans.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swing_for_the_fence

 

 

For example:

 

(1) Don't swing for the fences unless it's an easy ball, be content with running part way.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swing_for_the_fence

 

(2a) 05-28-08 | Howard Hughes Funds High-Risk, High-Return Research

This week, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute stepped in with $600 million in grant funding to 56 biomedical researchers pursuing high-risk, high-return work. The federal government should also fund researchers who “swing for the fences.”

 

(2b) I'm not going to swing for the fence tomorrow, but I'm hoping my speech will be warmly received. 

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swing_for_the_fence

 

(2c) The S&P's average performance in fourth years of bull markets is a 14 percent gain.   This doesn't mean that now is the time for investors to swing for the fences. But it does mean they should probably remain in the game.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/051013/13finance.htm

 

(2d) Do you consistently get on base or do you swing for the fences? The answer will tell you a lot about whether entrepreneurship is right for you.  Understanding your attitude towards risk and reward is essential for a happy life as an entrepreneur.

http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/becominganentrepreneur/a/swinging4fences.htm

 

(2e) Carlyle is also different because of its conservative investment philosophy; rather than swing for the fences with every investment, we strive for consistency, hitting singles, doubles, and triples with far fewer strike-outs. 

http://www.carlyle.com/Company/item1678.html

 

(2f) Covered call trading is not a speculative "swing for the fences" strategy. It's about making a great income, and it’s a stock option trading strategy that works.

http://www.callwriter.com/newsletter/covered-call-trading-tips1.htm

 

 

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