Matthew Manouli |  Sat 26/08/2017 - 09:06 EDT

The MLB Player Nicknames Issue

The MLB Player Nicknames Issue
From August 25-27, MLB players will be allowed to wear jerseys with nicknames of their choosing instead of their regular names. This leads to the question of what names they'll choose, and do enough players even have aliases, and are they clever enough?

This weekend the MLB and MLB Players Association decided on having a “Players’ Weekend” in late August. So this weekend, from the 25th-27th, players won’t be forced to wear their regular uniforms, and can change their cleat colors, wristbands, gloves, etc… Most importantly though, players can change the last name on their jersey to a nickname. This will surely lead to a fun weekend, even though nothing offensive or distracting is allowed. This begs the question though. Do most players really have any worthy nicknames?

A Good Nickname Is Tough To Find

A great nickname needs two out of these three things:

  • It needs to be clever
  • It needs to convey something about the players’ personality (could be ironic as well)
  • It needs to actually mesh with their name.

We get it, the perfect nickname could be hard to find with this criteria, but it’s still possible. That’s why players aren’t that big on great nicknames these days. They still have them, but they lack the catchiness of nicknames from the days of yore, well at least some people think so. But is it true?

If you want some good nicknames, here’s a few. Toronto Blue Jay‘s slugger Jose Bautista could have his moniker of “Joey Bats” on his shirt. It’s clever, goes with his name, and conveys his home run hitting personality. A pretty good nickname. “Gigante” for the Houston Astros‘ Jose Altuve is clever, plays on the irony that he’s a tiny player, and is a Spanish name mirroring his heritage. 

L.A. Angels’ Mike Trout is known as the “Melville Meteor”, having grown up in Millville, New Jersey. It’s also an homage to Mickey Mantle’s nickname as the Commerce Comet, Mantle having grown up in Commerce, OKC. On the other end, as simplicity come to life, there’s Mike Moustakas as “Moose”. It’s not that clever, just taking the first syllable of his last name, but comes a long way because of his veteran status, and is even a bit endearing when you picture the mammal itself.

Some of the best nicknames lean more on the clever side though, like “Scrabble” for Mark Rzepczynski. This kind of name is similar to one of the NBA’s Giannis Antetokounmpo’s aliases as “the Alphabet”. Noah Syndergaard’s “Thor” is simple but one of the best, as is closer Seung-hwan Oh’s “The Final Boss”. We’ll always have a soft spot for Bartolo Colon as “Big Sexy” though. And here’s hoping he doesn’t disappoint! 

Name Shortening Can Still Go A Long Way

There’s a ton of nicknames that either just add an “-y” sound to the end of their names, like the Detroit Tigers‘ Miguel Cabrera as “Miggy”, or “Goldy” for Paul Goldschmidt, and while they aren’t the cleverest, they’ve become so iconic, we’ve grown to accept them.

First and last name melding can work too. Think “CarGo” for Carlos Gonzalez, or our personal favorite “MadBum” for Madison Bumgarner. While older nicknames might seem more revered, the current squad of players and fans have clearly shown they have what it takes to make a good nickname. Especially in this new age of instant info, we predict there will be a ton of crazy aliases out there on the diamond. Here’s hoping for a light hearted and fun weekend.

And if someone wears a “He Hate Me” or “He Hate He” jersey, they should automatically win the game. Maybe Austin Romine will do it after that Yankees and Tigers debacle.

What are some other nicknames you find clever? Do you have any of your own for some of the prominent or even lesser known players? It’s the Players’ Weekend, but there’s still competitive games to be played, so if you want to get in on the action, be sure to head over to Sports Interaction for the best moneyline and future prices.

If you liked the article, be sure to share and comment below!

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