Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nicknames.

The blog is going to be a little slow over the next week or two, partly because I'll be out of town for a few days, but mostly because I'm devoting my writing time to another project these days. Don't fret - I'm still writing about the Royals. I'm just writing about them for our special Baseball Prospectus project that's slated to come out next spring. I don't want to give away too many details just yet, but suffice it to say that instead of writing about Greinke and Gordon, I'm writing about Saberhagen and Brett...and UL Washington and Pat Sheridan too. Writing about good Royals teams - this is a new experience for me. I'll try to adjust.

In the meantime, I wanted to launch an idea I've had since I started the blog three months ago. Call it the Nickname Project. While the experience of being a baseball fan is, in so many ways, the best it's ever been, one of the small things we've lost over the years are the evocative nicknames for players of generations past. Gone are the days of King Kong Keller and The Barber and The Mad Hungarian, to say nothing of Death to Flying Things or the nicknames that stuck to their player so strongly that most fans didn't even know what their real name was, like Cy Young or Dizzy Dean or, of course, Babe Ruth.

Today, few players have nicknames that uniquely identify them, and of those who do, most of them were either created by Hawk Harrelson (i.e. they're really dumb) or they are simply a diminutive of their real name. If I ever get a Hall of Fame ballot, I'm tempted not to vote for Alex Rodriguez in his first year of eligibility simply because "A-Rod" unleashed an avalanche of "first letter-first syllable" nicknames on the sport. One of Justin Upton's teammates recently referred to him as "J-Up". Upton is the most exciting young player to hit the sport in years - is that the best you can do? Please.

The dearth of good nicknames is, I think, a casualty of the fact that baseball reporting has become so splintered since the advent of cable TV, regional sports networks, and of course the internet. Many of the nicknames of years past were penned by sportswriters, who had such a monopoly on reporting about the game that someone like Red Smith could single-handedly anoint any player he felt worthy of a nickname. No one has such power today.

Baseball-reference.com lists Babe Ruth with two nicknames, in addition to "Babe", and there were probably a dozen other names that were used in Babe's era that fans understood referred to him. Ted Williams has four nicknames: The Kid, Teddy Ballgame, The Thumper, and The Splendid Splinter. Barry Bonds, who has towered over the game like a colossus for the past two decades, has no nickname.

I can't help Barry Bonds, but I can do my part to help our Kansas City Royals. I did so for the first time a few years ago, when I walked into the visitor's clubhouse at U.S. Cellular after the Royals had lost another one-run game. The reporters quickly gravitated to Andy Sisco, who in the midst of a promising rookie season had lost the game in the eighth on a couple of cheap hits.

I knew Sisco was 6'10", the tallest pitcher in team history, but no number can prepare you for the sight of this enormous man-child, with the build of a defensive lineman (a 6'10" defensive lineman), standing a full head taller than any of the reporters in the room. He had this timid, deer-in-the-headlights look in his eyes even as he answered questions as politely as possible, and it called to mind Lefty Gomez's famous line about the hulking Jimmie Foxx, "He wasn't scouted. He was trapped." (Foxx, whose nickname was "Beast", is listed at 6' even and 195 pounds. Mark Teahen is 6'3", 210. They sure don't make 'em like they used to. They make 'em a lot bigger.)

And suddenly it came to me. "Sisco? This guy should be called Sisquatch."

Now, as nicknames go Sisquatch didn't exactly catch on like wildfire, probably because Sisco himself has let his career go in reverse pretty much from that exact moment on. But a number of people - okay, a number of my fellow BP authors - started using the name, which was a small moral victory for me.

But I can come up with all the nicknames in the world and it won't matter if I'm the only one using them. The Epic (Gil Meche) and The Baseball Jonah (Zack Greinke) have yet to set the blogosphere aflame, though I remain optimistic. But today I am here to ask you, the gentle RotR reader, to suggest nicknames for your favorite (and even not-so-favorite) Royals. Here are the rules:

1) Be nice. We're looking for nicknames that can appear in your family newspaper - more precisely, nicknames that will appear in the Star at some point. So no fair calling Greinke "ProZack." You know who you are.

2) Try to avoid puns on a player's name, unless they're really, really good. Nicknames should tell you something about the player, not just rehash his name. Sisquatch works (well, I think it works) because it evokes Sisco's physical dimensions; it just happens to resemble his name.

A few months ago, reader Breck suggested that we call our third baseman "Splash" Gordon, which I like, because it mocks the typical "Flash" Gordon name and says something unique about Gordon. Plus, it's a name that only works in Kansas City and a few other parks that have water beyond the outfield fence. But otherwise, try to avoid using their real name. If anyone suggests calling Butler "B-But" again I will have you banned from the internet, so help me God.

3) Give feedback. The point here is to come up with nicknames that we all agree on, so we'll all use them, in the hopes that eventually the names will spread into the vernacular of the casual Royals fan. So feel free to comment on other people's suggestions. I'm hoping to engage my fellow Royals bloggers out there to take part as well.

If we can pin a nickname on every player on the roster, wonderful. But if we can just come up with five good, solid, catch nicknames, that's fine too. Quality over quantity. Fire away.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Gil Meche: Gilgameche is both too obvious and name-derived, which is why I call him The Epic. Plus, it refers to his contract, the biggest one the Royals have ever given to an outside free agent. Do you like? Not like?

Zack Greinke: The Baseball Jonah. Read here for details. Do you like? Not like?

Brian Bannister: How about Rodin?

Joakim Soria: Bob Dutton called him Captain Zero today, which isn't bad, except his ERA will
eventually be a positive number.

Luke Hochevar: Cool Hand Luke is all I've got. I've never seen the movie, though I remember an episode of "Cheers" when Dr. Frasier Crane referred to it as the "sweatiest movie of all-time." That sounds pretty manly. I think.

Leo Nunez: "The Blade" is taken, but something that refers to his slightness of build ought to work.

Joel Peralta: Victorinox? He's the swiss army knife of the Royals' staff - he can mop up, he can be used as a righty specialist, he can even close in a pinch.

Billy Butler: Last summer I wrote a piece comparing Royals players to Harry Potter characters, and no comparison was more obvious than calling Butler "Hagrid." Are we cool with this, or would the joke be lost on the 0.3% of the population that hasn't read the books?

Joey Gathright: Dash. "The Incredibles" is, for me, the best of the Pixar movies.

And then there are nicknames we can pin on groups of players. I referred to the collection of Soria, Nunez, and Ramirez as "The Hispanic Panic," although that might be construed as offensive. Better ideas, anyone? The 1927 Yankees lineup was Murderer's Row; the 2008 Royals lineup is...Shoplifter's Row? Jaywalker's Row? Double-Parker's Row?

Alright, that's just off the top of my head - if I think of more, I'll add them in the comments section. Just like everyone else.

So send in your suggestions, and hopefully I'll come up with a way for everyone to vote on their favorites at some point.

162 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ive seen Greinke referred to in other blogs as "Lawnmower Man" (although that is sorta mean, isn't it?)

Leo Nunez is "The Batboy" (at least for a couple more seasons anyway)

Others have called Gordon "Smirky" due to his inability to pose for a photograph in a manner similar to other humans.

Anonymous said...

Esteban German = "The Kaiser"

Anonymous said...

Nice column today. You're right that good baseball nicknames have really faded away.

For Soria, how about "El Matador"? There's even a Hispanic song by the same name that would be cool to play when he enters the game in a save situation.

Anonymous said...

I know you said don't use their names, but how can you not like:

Gobble = "The Gobstopper"?

Jack Campbell said...

From my experience in Royals blogs, Gathright and Soria already have nicknames. Soria is "Mexituff", which I didn't like at first, but now like quite a bit (?! - according to Posanski). Gathright's is more widely known: "Gator" which I think is from a movie character but I can't quite pin it down. Could also be because we got him from Tampa (gator country). I've heard some call Butler "Big Donkey", but didn't Travis Hafner already claim at least part of that name? "Splash" is perfect for Gordon. "Captain Amazing" is appropriate for Buck (that one was pushed by Jeff Flanigan if I remember right). How about "Stats Bannister" after his offseason blog buzz?

Maker said...

First -- If you have not seen Cool Hand Luke fix that. Its why, with all of Trey's reference to communication, that I would recommend The Warden for him.

I liked Mac the Ninth when MacDougal had it going for the Royals.

I would recommend JC for Gordon. Its because each time he swings at the first pitch and pops up or dives at strike three I loudly proclaim J***S C****T!

Its too early for Soria -- shoot we don't even know if he's a starter yet which would affect the nickname, but for now I just call him Sover as it Its Over.

DeJesus is The Saint

Bannister is Doc

Grienke is Smoke.

Tomko is Mirrors

I like Dash for Gathright.

Maker said...

I would recommend Baroo for Butler. They almost HAVE to play the scene from Caddy Shack where the Judge holds the putter and says Billy, Billy, Billy,.... when Butler comes up to bat.

Curtis said...

I kind of like the Smoke and Mirrors. But I think Banny is the Mirror's to Greinke's Smoke.

Plus, that has a chance to last for several years.

You have met with Zack's agent, right Dayton?

Anonymous said...

Doc is perfect for Bannister, that should be the end of the discussion for him right there

the Ascetic Sensualist said...

A lot of old-timey players were nicknamed "Doc" because they actually were medical students in the off-season. Bannister doesn't fit this qualification, so he might be better off as "Prof". Or "Schoolboy"!

Anonymous said...

I like Splash, that is great.

These pretty much break all of your rules, sorry in advance.

Callaspo - A.C. Tater
Butler - Billy "Bag o' Donuts"
Mark Teahen - The Tillerman or "Dynamite" because he's Teahen-T
Teahen & Gload could be the Dynamite Duo - Teahen-T & Power Gload
Luke "You's a Ho"chevar

Anonymous said...

Rany, I hope you don't take offense because I think you're great at what you do, but I think you may be too intelligent to come up nicknames. I've thought Sisquatch was genius when I first heard you use it, but Gilgameche and Rodin are a little over the heads of the average person. That's the beauty of a great nickname; you don't have to think about it, you just 'get it'. That's why 'Pronk' I don't think has caught on as much. It's unique, and it means something if you know what it means (Project+Donkey), but it doesn't mean much to a person who only hears that one word. That said, here's my list.

Wheels=Gathright
Splash=Gordon
Mr Incredible=Buck
The Fat Kid=Butler (courtesy Soren Petro)
The Old Man=Grud
Leather=Pena
Stick=Callaspo
DJ=DeJesus
"You mean slg should exceed obp?"=Teahen (mean)
Jaws=Gload (have you seen his jawline?)
The Splinter=Nunez (sorry, Ted)
Gobstopper=Gobble (I LOVE that one)
Wacko (or Wacko Zacko)=Grienke (my friend and I use this, but it IS mean)
Jack=Soria

Anonymous said...

Over at Royals Review, they have a thread trying to come up with names for the starting rotation. But in the course of that, they came up with a great name for the Zack-Brian combo: Greinke and the Brain.

I like that more than Smoke and Mirrors, even if it is a little mean to Greinke, I do not think he'd mind. That's also why I am a fan of "The Lawnmower Man."

devil_fingers said...

Gordon = The Smirk. Last year on Royals Review, I suggested "The Smirk." I don't know if that preceded the "Smirky" trend or not, but I like it better because it avoids the "ie/y" cliche, and makes him soumd more monstrous and singular. Yeah, I know that the smirk/The Smirk (both the expression in photos and young Alex) drove people nuts. But as he develops (and his contact and walk rates are improving) his seemingly uncaring arrogance will "magically" morph into cool confidence that inspires friends and rattles/irritates enemies. Can you imagine what sort of outrage this will cause to St. Louis fans? Yes, The Smirk will seem more dangerous than Tony LaRussa after being "interviewed" by Buzz Bissinger at the local watering hole.

Soria = Mexican Tough . Inspired by a comment by a supposedly highly-respected baseball man.

Greinke = Boo Radley. Over the line?

Jose Guillen = Tick Tock. Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock, BOOM. Hopefully true of his bat, as well.

Tony Pena, jr. = Jalapena. Started by Royals Review (or a reader of that blog) last year, and I like it. Hopefully TPJ won't be starting or around long enough for it to be necessary, though.

Billy Butler. This is a tough one. Arguably the player most deserving of a cool nickname given the anticipatory excitment he generates, his personality, and his defensive "prowess" and, um, idiosyncratic baserunning choices. Given his eventual role for the Royals, needs something on the level of "Pronk" (for my money, the best non-name-derved nickname in the majors. Too bad Hafner already seems to be done). It can be pretty silly or campy, too, as that seems to fit Butler's profile.

I like the effort, but "Hagrid" is WAY too nerdy a reference, unless we're just talking blogosphere nicknames. Moreover, he was probably the most annoyingly cheesy of all the characters in the series. Why couldn't HE have died? (although the Ron/Teahen parallel in that essay was perfect in all ways).

I like "Butts," "But-But," or "Butters" as far as classic fits for his overall style, but they're probably too name-derived. "B-Squared" still makes me chuckle when I think about it -- it's so dumb that it's perfect.

But when it comes down to it, isn't "Billy" enough? Don't all Royals fans dream of him just being "Billy" the the rest of the league? Let's think about the player whom he seems to resemble in much of his style. When someone asks if you saw Manny's reaction to that strikeout last night, you don't think of the manager for the Nationals. And I know I and others have already started using the phrase "Billy being Billy" (B-Cubed?). So, if B-Squared doesn't make it (a grave injustice, he'll just have to be Billy.

Bannister = Mr. Joe Posnanski. 'Nuff said.

Diggity Dawg said...

I think I may have been the guy who used "Prozack" originally, & for the record, I use it with nothing but affection. Seriously.

Here's a couple more :

Leo "The Dirty Nunez"

Brian Brainister

Billy Batler

Jumpin' Joey Gathright

Matty said...

Like Rany, I don't like the first letter of the first name-first sound of the last name trend. I do, however, like a play off of that, which is why I've taken to calling Alex Gordon "Rhythm". As in AlGo-rithm. Rhythm. Probably kind of stupid and doesn't describe him, but I like it anyway.

kstatejed said...

Leo Nunez = Sliver

KCDC said...

Dash is perfect, although I'm a huge Incredibles fan as well.

Splash just fits. As soon as he starts hitting home runs with some sort of regularity, the nickname is all but inevitable.

What about Joakim "the Dream"?

and I really like "the hispanic panic." I just hope the unit sticks around and remains effective long enough to justify the nickname.

Butler has a personality befitting of a good nickname. I like "fat kid," but I can't see that showing up in the Star.

KCDC said...

Oh, and Leo "Bat Boy" Nunez is fantastic

Anonymous said...

I must object to this entire post. The entire point behind nicknames, and the reason that they really great ones ARE great and therefore stick, is that they are given through spontaneous bouts of creativity, usually related to a humorous, impressive, or embarassing trait of the nicknamee. They can't just be officially approved in some massive online (or live) brainstorming session. And you certainly can't come up with legitimate nicknames for an entire roster of a team all at once, submit them for approval, and have some (or all) formally adopted all at once.

This reminds me of the time a friend from work sat down at lunch with us one day and declared that he wanted to be nicknamed "Catfish." You just can't do that. No one gives himself a nickname, and it's never done a part of some formal committee-type process. I refused to call him Catfish, and instead opted for "Popcorn" or just "Corn," because he was rendered infamous around the office for neglecting a bag of popcorn in the microwave for so long that it left a burnt popcorn stench on the entire floor for 24 hours and ruined the microwave.

I have to say that true nicknames can only be given by those who are close with and/or around the players very often. Therefore, only teammates, fellow players, club staff, or media members. It's a nice effort, but this just doesn't feel right to me.

Anonymous said...

Billy Gutler.

Anonymous said...

I think someone confused his/her life with a Seinfeld episode.

big donkeys said...

We've been calling Butler the Big Honky. Greinke is just Donald. Teahen is Moneyball. And Gathright just got done admitting to Flanagan that people back home in Mississippi called him Honey Bun. That's as good as you can get.

Balm Squad said...

The Gload Warrior is just too easy.

Approve of Dash, big time.

Bannister needs something crafty, like the Illusionist.

Gordon's a midwest kid, so he needs something that would capture the local spirit. The Nebraska Natural?

El Matador works for Soria.

Ramirez has to be Razor Ramon.

Billy Ray Butler needs no nickname.

I cannot laughing about The Lawnmower Man.

t-bone said...

DeJesus = Tortuga

Shelby said...

Billy "The Beav" Butler

Just because he looks a LOT like one Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver, and that he's young, like Jerry Mathers was.

Anonymous said...

Everyone keeps talking about Butler being Fat Kid, but I don't think mainstream publications will print that.

How about Harley for Billy Butler instead? Harley makes a Fat Boy motorcycle.

Anonymous said...

Mark Teahen = "Topspin;" it's alliterative with his last name, as well as accurately describes the way the ball comes off his bat 95% of the time.

Anonymous said...

May be borderline irreverent...

Soria - The Savior

Anonymous said...

How about Brain Bannister?

I too love "The lawn mower man", but what if it was shortened to
"Mulching Mower"? As in he chews through lineups...

Anonymous said...

My friends and I call Gordon: A-God

There's a bit of a double meaning there (1) a take-off on A-Rod, obviously (2) it sounds better than A-Gord and (3) he's already been propped up as our savior.

Anonymous said...

I like Planet Zack for ZG

Jayman said...

Just a few that popped to mind...

Teahan - Slapshot

Gordon - Commissioner (from Batman)

Butler - "Bat Man" (keeping with the Royal tradition of Batman nicknames)

"Big Bang"??(hopefully he'll start hitting up to that)

Of course, if he keeps making baserunning mistakes, "Bonehead" may come to mind.

Pena - Slingshot

Nunez - Babyface

Soria - El Terminor

Yabuta - The Human Torch (so far)

Anonymous said...

Pena Jr- "Gopher" because he goes for every pitch thrown to him and every ball hit anywhere near him. He also always has a huge bulge in his cheeck, although tham might be more beaver related.

Anonymous said...

Double B for Butler. It is simple.

i have a little league team and give a new kid a nickname after each game we play well.

We have:

Double B
Lucky
Clutch
Nails (good one for someone tough like Soria)
Dynomite
Nacho Boy
The Future
Turn (for turning the DP)
Rainmaker
Double Ought
Smokey

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with the comment that said nicknames are earned, not assigned. Plus, I'm reading Joe Po's "The Soul of Baseball," and the nicknames in there put those suggested here to shame. However, my outrage goes only so far, and not nearly far enough to prevent me from suggesting my own. So with apologies to Buck...

Billy Butler: "Stay Puff" (obvious reasons); "Forrest" (his haircut reminds me of Gump's fade) or just "Gump"; "Glazed and Confused" (not so much a nickname, but a hint at the way he runs the bases and, ah…eats glazed things); "Tits" (I know, I know...but it *is* funny)

Alex Gordon: "Nose"; "The Mayor"; "Splash" I think is too...effeminate. Wasn't that the name of that mermaid movie? I don’t have any good ones for him.

Wish I had more time to devote to this!

Anonymous said...

Splash is pretty good.

"Stats" Bannister has a nice ring to it with the alliteration.

Anonymous said...

Yabuta "Believe It"

Big Luke said...

What a great topic. This is the type of stuff that happily keeps me away from doing real work!

Gordon- King Husker, Triple Option(Nebraska football reference), Big Smooth,

Butler- Batters Box, Rolling Thunder (good hitter, not so smooth a fielder),

Teahen- The Stretcher(for his ability to run bases so well), Plastic man(again for his abilty to stretch out on the bases & play different spots)

Grienke- The Maestro

DDJ- Disco Dave (for his way with the ladies)

Soria- El Comerciante "the dealer"

Buck- Captian Backstop


Totally off topic for the Royals but there are still some players out there with nicknames different from A-Rod or J-Roll.

Manny Ramirez- The baby bull
Carlos lee- el caballo
David Ortiz- big papi
Hideki Matsui- Godzilla
Adam Dunn- Big Donkey
Travis Hafner- Pronk

Big Luke said...

Bannister- Mr. Wizard, Sultan of Stats, Captian Sabermetrics, Mr Peabody, The Professor. (all realted to his "cerebral approach to pitching)

Anonymous said...

First, the names need to be short and sweet, so I can yell them at the game. Also, they need to be appropriate so I can yell them at the game in front of children.

I really like "Jack" for Soria because i'm pretty sure that's what the english version of his name is and I have watched enough "24" to know that when Jack is involved good things happen. I actually like calling Leo Nunez "Dirty". You know...Dirty Nunez....Nevermind.
And the other one I'm going with for sure and I hope people join me is calling Hochevar "Hooch."

"Let's go Hooch!" Simple

Anonymous said...

oh, and Doc for Banny is GREAT!

Anonymous said...

I like Jalepena for TPJ. Borderline silly, but alas.

Will said...

Recently, I have been of the opinion that Gordon looks like Jim from The Office. I don't know if this is true enough for other people that something could be done with it. But there it is.

Heath said...

*Drunk Harry Carey Voice*

Mark Gudzuzzilannika

ChaimMKeller said...

Wow. More than 40 responses, and no one has yet posted this one, which I saw on the RoyalsReview message board when Yabuta was signed:

"Shake" Yabuta.

Ever since opening day, I've thought of Leo Nunez as "the Lion", both due to his name, and because he overpowered the Tigers. And what do you know, he got last night's win over them as well. He's the bigger cat.

Anonymous said...

Leo Nunez - The Batboy
Joakim Soria - Jack
Zack Greinke - Maniac Zack
Brian Bannister - the banisher
luke hochevar - hoch
billy butler - bill the bat
ramon ramirez - ram ram
gil meche - ol' 55
esteban german - the kaiser
mark grudz - gritz / gritzalanek
tony pena junior - the hacker
gordon - smirk
jimmy gobble - gobstopper
joel peralta - JO-EL
brett tomko - tommygun
john buck - stormin mormon
alberto callapso - AC
ross gload - the bomb
david dejesus - the jesus
mark teahen - tea bag
joey gathright - gator, bubba, joey g

Anonymous said...

Soria is: "so long"; what else can apply to a guy that ends em all.

Anonymous said...

Ross Gload: G-Load

jd258 said...

Here's one for everyone on the team, some are stolen from above, and others make no sense

Brian Bannister - "Doc"
Luke Hochevar - "The Hurricane"
John Bale - "The Sherriff"
Ron Mahay - "Mayday"
Gil Meche - "Gilgameche"
Jimmy Gobble - "Gobstopper"
Leo Nunez - "El Presidente"
Joakim "The Dream" Soria
Yashihito Yabuta - "Yabuta Son"
Brett Tomko - "Tommy Gun"
John Buck - "Popeye"
Miguel Olivo - "The Doorman"
Alberto Callaspo - "Plastic Man"
Esteban German - "Kaiser"
Ross Gload - "the Mountain Man"
Alex "Splash" Gordon
Tony "Little" Pena
Mark Grudzielanek - "Grudz" will do
David Dejesus - "The Lamb of God"
Mark Teahen - "The Fireman"
Joey Gathright - "Gator"
Jose Guillen - "The Godfather"
Billy Butler - "The Bartender"

Will said...

Teahen- The Enigma

Pablo said...

think that the two nicknames mentioned that have already thought out the Crown Vision accompaniment are brilliant.

Soria "El Matador". You've got to know this song to appreciate how kick a$$ it would be to hear it as Soria runs in. Here it is on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPNX9BL5v1w

Plus Matador can mean bullfighter or killer -Both appropriate sentiments for what batters are going to face/go through.

And the other beautiful nickname I guess isn't a nickname at all, just the clip from Caddyshack with Billy Butler comes up to bat. "billy billy billy billy" I guess we could call Butler "Billy Baroo"!

But the shallow minded tools that run the game entertainment wouldn't allow for something flavorful to actually occur. They've given us the uber unoriginal "welcome to the jungle" to accompany Soria's entrance.

Maybe we need to send our submissions to Chris Berman (who has prevented me from ever calling Bert Be home Blyleven anything other than that) and have him coin them when next does some Royals highlights sometime in 2012.

Anonymous said...

I like "Brainister", "Planet Zack", and "Bubba" for Butler.

Anonymous said...

Teahen calls Butler "Bill the Thrill"

Doesn't seem to have caught on anywhere else yet - but if his teammates use it...

Jared said...

Soria - El Terminar

Terminar means to finish and reminds me of the Terminator also. I think its perfect for him since Soria is the closer and rarely gives up a run (of course he hasn't yet this year).

Anonymous said...

Billy "The Bat out of Hell" Butler

Anonymous said...

Soria - The Emancipator. He's rockin that Abe Lincoln beard.

TheBobHamelin said...

THEBobHamelin -

ok, those who know me, know i post on mlb forums as bobhamelin and Royals Corner as THEbobhamelin..i take issue with you Rany, in your article here with this:

"And then there are nicknames we can pin on groups of players. I referred to the collection of Soria, Nunez, and Ramirez as "The Hispanic Panic," although that might be construed as offensive. Better ideas, anyone?"

I just want to point out that it was indeed *I* that coined that phrase to refer to them, and am not very appreciative of a very well known and well respected blogger laying claim to something of my creation.

It was done in fun, it was done to liven up Royals Corner with some excitement and I like the nickname for them..its not in any way offensive either...

but I read here how "I referred to" etc..in regards to them, when clearly..

first time:
http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=281&f=2054#s=281&f=2054&t=2330351&p=17

nickname thread i started:

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=281&f=2054#s=281&f=2054&t=2336277

people wonder if 1. you are on Royals Corner and now, if I am you:

http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=281&f=2054#s=281&f=2054&t=2362231

Kind of messed up if you ask me. No credit given, nothing.

From April 15th blog:

"On top of that, the top six men in your bullpen have allowed 4 runs in 29 innings 1 run in 26 innings. They’re lights out. Joakim Soria, Leo Nunez, and Ramon Ramirez – the Hispanic Panic (if you’re the other team) – have combined for 14.1 scoreless innings, with 8 hits, 2 walks, and 19 Ks. All six guys are fully capable of protecting a one-run lead in the ninth or keeping a game tied in extra innings if the need arises."

Wow, I am just..you know..at a loss for words here.

N. J. Thomas said...

Come on! Gathright? That guy has got to be called High Jump.

"And on base is High Jump Gathright. AND HE'S GOING FOR IT! Catcher makes the throw... Well folks, bump goes High Jump."

THEBobHamelin said...

oh and Rany..

no staking claim to the "Rally Cow" either..

my idea too.

Anonymous said...

I've been calling Billy Butler "RoboBop". This is mostly due to him being a hitting machine and also due to him being about as fast as Robocop...ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk (the sound of Billy running).

Anonymous said...

who cares who came up with the idea, but I agree that Hispanic Panic is the best nickname out there. However, I think we should drop Nunez and RamRam and only use it for Soria. Who know where the other two are in a couple of years, but the Soria has star staying power.

Anonymous said...

Soria - "Jack" or "Joakim the Dream"
Greinke - "The Baseball Jonah," or just "Jonah." You hit the nail on the head here.
Gobble - either "Turk" or "Gobstopper"
Leo Nunez - "The Batboy"
Bannister - "The Professor"

Gordon - "Splash" or "Halpert." Anyone else notice how much he looks like Jim Halpert from The Office? Also, Halpert is the Godsend to The Office much like Gordon is the Godsend to the Royals.

Teahen - He's "Kid Dynamite" Teahen-T.
Gathright - "Dash"
Ramirez - "Ram Ram"
Callaspo - "The Stick"
Pena - "Jalapena" or "The Glove"
Buck - "Big John"
Bulter - "Billy the Kid," or just "the Kid."

Brian O. said...

I've heard Mark Teahen call Billy "Bill the Thrill". I think maybe John Buck and David Dejesus have called him that too. That's the only nickname I can see of this list that's going to stick.

Anonymous said...

Pena doesn't deserve a nickname unless it is derisive.

How about "The Stopper" or "Sir Easy Out"? Because when he comes up to bat, the inning is sure to end?

I can't help it, but everytime Jimmy Gobble comes into the game I see Timmy from South Park in my head going "Jimmy!!! Gobbles!!!" Although Gobstopper is genius.

DeJesus should be "The Jesus", because nobody f's with The Jesus!

Emil "I told you so" Brown? Too soon?

Magic Juan said...

Bannister = BRIANSTEIN or PLATO or simply BRIAN THE BRAIN

Billy Butler = FULL METAL JACKET (for his resemblance to Leonard Lawrence from that movie) or GOMER PYLE

Jimmy Gobble = THANKSGIVING DINNER

Ron Mahay WE’RE THE MONKEES (and people say we monkey around) MONKEY

John Bale = ROCKY

Luke Hochevar - EARS

Yashihito Yabuta BET YOUR LIFE

Gil Meche – CINCO CINCO

Jose Guillen = AVERAGE JOE

Leo HIGH Nunez

FOUR SEAM Joakim Soria or Joakim Soria THINKIN’ YOU’LL BE GETTIN' ON BASE?

Brett DON’T BOTHER ‘CAUSE I’LL BE RETIRING SOON Tomko -

John Buck – CROUCHING DEER

Miguel Olivo – HIDDEN OLIVE

Alberto Callaspo – THE FLAILIN’ VENUZUELAN (unfortunately, it probably doesn’t fit his style)

Esteban German – STEVIE G

Ross Gload - ROSSTAFARIAN

Alex Gordon – THE ROYAL FLUSH (play on yankee clipper)

Tony Pena – CURLY or THE STUPENDOUS STITCH (play on splendid splinter)

Mark Grudzielanek – THE MODEL (For his sweeeeet calendar pic)

David Dejesus – DOUBLE D

Mark Teahen - TNT

Joey Gathright – THE MISSISSIPPI KID

Anonymous said...

Gordon really needs to earn "Splash" by actually hitting home runs. You can't just anoint him "Splash" because it rhymes with another word that is frequently paired with "Gordon" and there are fountains in the outfield. A friend of mine who's really into comics keeps calling him the Commissioner (which jayman also suggested). It plays off his name a bit (then again, so does Splash), but it doesn't necessarily require that he hit a bunch of home runs for the name to make any sense. I'll be cool with Splash if he actually starts consistently dropping baseballs into the fountains, but until then I'll stick with the Commissioner.

Some other blog, I don't remember which one, took to calling Greinke the Spaceman a few years ago, since his interaction with the media was always so bizarre and he just seemed not all there (this was before it was later revealed that he actually didn't give a damn). He's a little more serious now and doesn't seem quite as spacy as he used to, so it may no longer be totally appropriate for him, but I still like the ring of it.

I do agree to a certain extent that it doesn't really work to just sit around and come up with a bunch of nicknames, but I don't necessarily think that nicknames are the sole domain of other players, managers, sportswriters, etc. I think it's perfectly fair for fans to give players nicknames (though it's typically much harder for those names to catch on), but I think the nicknames should arise more naturally, not through some focus group setup -- kind of goes hand in hand with my argument that Gordon also has to earn "Splash," it can't just be given to him.

Anonymous said...

The only one I've used/heard on my own in the past is "Moneyball" for Teahen.

I highly approve of this.

"Way to walk, Moneyball!"

I don't know about Butler...he seems like someone who just wouldn't ever have a nickname.

I also like "Splash" Gordon, especially if he can knock a few bombs out into the water.

When Soria enters the game, they play "Welcome to the Jungle"...I don't know, maybe "Slash"? Think about keeping score on the scorecard, and when the inning's over, you draw a slash through the corner of the last batter to make an out. Soria comes out and it's over, so you can just mark the slash right there.

Ramirez will soon need him a nickname. I remember an old series of kids novels about a trio of baseball playing friends and one of them I think was named Ramon Ramirez, and they gave him the nickname "Magic".

Anonymous said...

Soria=Badges

Will said...

I think we need to give someone the name Dayton's Folly. It seems like that was a fairly common formula back in the day.

Nominees for Dayton's Folly:
1) TPJ
2) Gload
3) Davies
4) Tomko
5) Guillen

Magic Juan said...

oh, and another one...how about "JOAKIM?, I'M NOT GONNA JOAKIM!" Soria....hoowaaa!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I haven't read through all of the names, but here are some of the names my brothers and I* use for some of the players.

Meche - Meche-ette (i.e. Machette - the knife.)
Bannister - Ban-Nasty
Greinke - Greink-a-link. (not too snappy, but it gets the job done.)
Nunez - Leonel (we call him by his real name, but it's kind of a nickname because nobody ever calls him that.)
Gobble - Yimmy Yobble or the Allmighty Bullfrog.
Ramon Ramirez - RamRam
Soria - Joakim the Dream (which I should credit to RoyalsCorner.)
Peralta - "I'm chort!"
Buck - Meat
Pena - Francisco
Teahen - Iced Tea or Teabags
Butler - Bill(y) the Thrill(y) (Mark Teahen made it up. I use it.)

Those are really all the names I can think of right now.

* I feel like I have to mention that i'm a girl, thus some of these names may sound girly. Sorry.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm a couple years too late, but I was really pushing hard for Ambiorix "Weapon X" Burgos back in the day.

I have been heartily endorsing "The Epic" for months now.

Gathright = Slappy Joe, in reference to his slap hits

Yasuhiko "Shake" Yabuta

Hochevar = Hooch

Chico's Lind said...

I refer to Billy as simply "Big"
It's simple, succinct, and includes a multiplicity of meanings:

...As in "Billy is Large in Physical Stature"
...As in "We Hope Billy Comes Up Big in the Clutch
...As in "Billy Has a Big Butler"

I could also see this morphing into "Mr. Big", which would certainly tickle my fancy for sentimental 80's hair band power ballads...

Anonymous said...

I know some of the players call teahan 'T-Bags'... which might be slightly inappropriate, but I like it.

Anonymous said...

Would Billy the Kid be way too simple?

Jared said...

Hochevar - Dumbo...he has big ol' ears

Joe said...

May not be appropriate for the kids, but...

Ross "Blow your Gload"

Anonymous said...

My wife calls Billy Butler "Billy Tubbs". She knows nothing of Oklahoma basketball, so it's obviously due to his physique. Esteban German is Steve Dutchman. And Sumner Sloane mentioned Cool Hand Luke on Cheers, not Frasier.

Anonymous said...

Hochever looks like the missing link character Chris Kattan used to play on Saturday Night Live.

MouthC said...

Billy Butler has to be The Goat. Billy the goat, runs like a goat on the base path, scape goat for the Royals offense problems and future problems if this young crop of players doesn't pan out. Plus it is a great inside joke for anyone that has seen the movie Waiting

Carolina Beach Bill said...

I'm a fan of Greinke and the Brain. And I have to admit, when Gload came into the game tonight, all I could think of and laugh at was "G-Load". It may be too perfect of a nickname.

Anonymous said...

"Grein-K"

I call Banny "The Dork"

"Billy Bombs". Hopefully he can live up to it.

I've seen "JalaPena" for tj on the intertubes. Pretty funny. I think it was coined when he hit all the triples early on.

DeJesus = "WWDJD?"

"Teabag"

trufella4 said...

We call Banny: The Professor, which leads to great puns like "Office Hours today from 7-10" or "Step into the professor's office"

Also Butler is either Lumiere or Codsworth.

Anonymous said...

First a quiz: name one player on the current roster that Trey Hillman has not called a name ending with the sound of 'e'. :-) The topper came a few weeks back when I heard a radio interview and Hillman called Guillen 'Hosey'. True. Banny, Gruddy, Gordy. OK, enough of that. I think a nickname should be for 1)unique players (Bill Spaceman Lee) or 2) really good players (The Big Unit). So in my world only Greinke, Soria and maybe Gordon and Butler would get one. Sorry Hosey.

loyal2theroyals said...

As the originator of the Gobbstopper nickname, I highly endorse this nickname for Jimmy Gobble!

Michael A. Molde said...

Earlier this spring, I wrote something on my blog about the trio of relievers -- Ramon Ramirez, Leo Nunez, and Joakim Soria -- and suggested that they should collectively be referred to as the Three Amigos.

It makes sense, due to the Latin roots of all three players, and they have been lights out in the eighth and ninth innings this season.

That's all I have for now. I'll brainstorm a bit more, and try to come up with something that might stick, but I think the Three Amigos, despite not being too original, is a decent suggestion, and I'd love to see someone holding up a Three Amigos sign at the K in the late innings of a game this summer.

Go Royals!

Anonymous said...

i like big donkey for Butler because when he hits the crap out of a ball you can yell "You got donkey punched" at the pitcher.

Michael A. Molde said...

Okay, here's one I like...

Hops Gathright

Because that guy definitely has hops, as evidenced by his old car-hopping days on Youtube, and the hops he displayed during spring training when he hopped over the Dodgers' Kuroda.

It sounds good, too...

Anonymous said...

I love the Royals but unfortunately I was thinking something like "Swishers Row" or "Duffers Row" or "The Prop Wash-ers" or "The Santa Ana Winds" or, well you get the picture.

On the same line of thinking, how about "The Tornado" for Pena's uncontrollable swing? Or would it be more of a "Dust Devil"?

Honestly Rany, I thought I would get into the nickname thing until you admitted to never seeing Cool Hand Luke. What was that you say? NEVER SEEN COOL HAND LUKE!? I can't quite come to grips. Ahh, geez. OK, I'm speechless.

Kevin

Anonymous said...

You can have nicknames for exceptionally good players and also nicknames for role-players, if the nickname fits the role. I don't remember who it was last year that kept calling Esteban "Little Papi," but that name was perfect at the time.

And, sorry, but mean names have their place, too. Runelvys will always be "Dos Chins" to me. And "Juan Gone" may not have started out mean, but I think Royals fans all know what that name means now (and it isn't a compliment).

"Splash" will be great for AG if he starts living up to it. Until then, we might just hold off on christening him with any other tag.

Also, I was around when bobhamelin first refered to the "hispanic panic." Sorry, Rany, but I think he beat you on that one.

Finally, on the Royals' MLB board, several of us have called Nunez "Marvin," for over a year now. It's short for "Starvin' Marvin," and I bet I don't have to explain that to anyone here.

KCemigre said...

Hey, look, I can create an account and quit being anonymous. :) That last anonymous post ("Little Papi," "Dos Chins," etc.) was me.

OK, I may be the only person in town who doesn't get it, but I haven't caught many games on TV or Radio this year, and I want to know where, how, and why the "Ichigload" thing started. Seems kind of dumb, to me, but I would like to know the deal.

Professor Chaos said...

I really like "Doc", but isn't it problematic that when it comes to pitchers "Doc" is pretty much already associated with Dwight Gooden? "The Professor" is also pretty good. In addition to Trufella's office hour jokes, this nickname allows for stuff like "The Professor has a difficult curve."

KCemigre said...

Sorry to be a serial commenter here, but something else just occurred to me concerning mean nicknames: Didn't the nickname "Dos Chins" (and maybe even "Fat Elvis") actually get published in the Star a few times last year?

Anonymous said...

Soria, geez, I love that guy.

How about Treasure of the Sierra Madre? Too long but it fits.

Bart said...

because the obvious association and his size - Buffalo Billy Butler.


The Professor is the only name for Bannister.


Gullien - Summertime Jose. something along those lines at least.


Ramon Ramirez - The Gravedigger - the sinker's always in the dirt.


Baseball Jonah and The Epic are perfect.


TPJ - The Bat Rack.


Alex Gordon = Gordon Wood.

Ryan said...

I've taken to calling Ross Gload "Magnum" on Royalboard. This is because at the time, this slugging 1B had a .357 SLG. However, as sad as that was his SLG has dipped under .300

Ryan said...

kcemigre, "Ichigload" came from Gload's CWS teammates that took to calling him that because every once in a while he would swing, make contact and start running to 1st all in one motion like Ichiro Suzuki does.

Isaac said...

I like Gobstopper for Gobble.

For Soria I recommend "The Filth"

I have been calling his 68MPH curve "The Filth" for a while now. When he comes into the game I just say here comes the filth. I figure that could just as easily by applied to him. It could be taken the wrong way but by anyone who knows baseball I doubt it.

Dan Holden said...

Joey Gathright should be called "Roo" as in the baby kangaroo (joey) in Winnie the Pooh.

Anonymous said...

speaking of borrowing ideas, did the A-Rod name hate come from this post: http://www.royalsreview.com/2007/11/13/17725/400

Anonymous said...

wow...funny thing is i woke up this morning thinking i would suggest a nickname for soria (filthy mcnasty)....but now i think that a combination of Jack and Captain Zero, Captain Jack is much more fitting...

David said...

Joakim Soria - Juego Perfecto (means perfect game)
Alex Gordon - The Commish, Splash
Billy Butler - Wheels
Jose Guillen - Cannon

jkyarnell said...

I'm with some of you on the opinion that not everyone can/should have a nickname - there needs to be a reason. Either they're a great player, or they've done something to distinguish themselves. It also should be short and fun - like "Grimace" for good ol Ken Harvey. (Don't know where I got it from, but it seemed to fit his size, bumbling play and fun antics. And what my face did when I watched.)

Last night I joined in on calling Soria "Jack" but I think I like "Captain Jack" even better. "Big" for Billy sounds pretty good to me. Gordon needs a good one, but I have yet to see one that sticks - "Splash" could be nice if it eventually played out.

One of my friends who is a big Teahen fan simply calls him "Mr. T." I use that one.

I love the idea behind Grienke and the Brain, but it's not like they're a SS/2B double play combo or anything. They're never even on the field together, which would leave you calling Grienke ... "Grienke."

I also really like "Gobstopper", but I don't know that the implication really fits him. So far he's definitely a lefty-only guy... if he starts putting down righties as well then I'd be all for that one. I'll definitely be using "Hooch" next time out.

Sometimes even an average nickname will stick if one person is willing to say it over and over until it's lodged in your brain. Lefebvre now has me calling Pena "TJ", even though I originally didn't like that one.

Rany, as far as I'm concerned, Cool Hand Luke should be required viewing for every man. I've met far too many young guys that've never seen it. I like how someone else said it - get that fixed.

Jimmy Jack said...

Dan Holden...you hit it perfectly! Roo Gathright! I love it.
Splash Gordon -- Brilliant.
Doc Bannister -- Perfect.
I've started calling Trey Hillman "Lothar" from the Mike Meyers "Lothar Of the Hill People" skit on SNL...kind of a stretch, but I like it...

Anonymous said...

I think adding an "e" to the end of every name is a trait unique to Royals managers. Muser and Bell did the same thing.

Brett said...

At first I didn't like Joakim the Dream - it just feels like stealing from Hakeem Olajuwon. But I'm beginning to like it more and more. "The Dream," as well as rhyming with his name, works because when he comes in to close out a game, you know it's over, you can shut the lights off and go to bed.

I like The Epic. I like Baseball Jonah. I like Splash Gordon if he lives up to it by hitting 25+ HR a year.

Dash is good for Joey Gathright, but he's probably best known for jumping over the car, and then jumping over Kuroda in spring training. So I think it's gotta be something to do with jumping. Hops isn't bad... I feel like there must be something etter, but I don't know what it is.

Brett said...

And The Professor is perfect for Bannister.

Anonymous said...

Here's a blast from the not so far off past:

Runelvys Hernandez AKA "Manbearpig"

You may remember this from Southpark episodes.

Anonymous said...

What about Joakim "No" Skoria

az&kc fan said...

Billy Butler IS The B2 Bomber.

Ive been using this one for awhile, and it's time to make it part of the public domain.

Anonymous said...

i always yell g load for gload

Scott Shanks said...

Tony "Toothpick" Pena.
Speaks to both his build and his bat.

Anonymous said...

Leo Nunez should be called "Razor Nunez". That covers his thin build, it kind of alludes to him having nasty stuff, plus it sounds cool.

I concur on the Gobstopper for Gobble and Doc for Bannister.

I'd call Billy Butler "Thump." I don't know why, he just looks like a Thump. Thump Butler.

John said...

I agree that not everybody deserves a nickname; boring players didn't get one back in the old days, either. Not all nicknames have to be works of genius, either, and a lot of old nicknames were used for various players.

I remember Bill James once distinguished between types of nicknames: those used by teammates, those used by fans, and those used by the media.

If the other players use "Bill the Thrill" and "T-Bag," I say we fans go with it. Seems that Soria is officially "Jack," though I like "El Matador" and "Captain Zeroes" (since his box score line contains several of them). I've heard Hillman use "AC" for Callaspo. And Butler also ought to be "Fats"--lots of guys in the old days were called Fats. Maybe calling him that will convince him to get in shape.

"Doc" or "The Professor" is perfect for Bannister. Grudz is obviously "Grudz." Gordon should be "Smirky" until he earns "Splash." I like "The Stormin' Mormon" for Buck. And "Spaceman" is good for Greinke, or how about "Dizzy"? Neither is too cruel, I don't think. "Prozack" is hilarious, but the media won't like it. "Hooch" will work for Hochevar. "Batboy" for Nuñez is funny. And every team should have a guy named "Lefty," which will work for Mahay and Gobble both.

If Gathright's homeboys call him "Honey Bun," we absolutely have to call him that, too.

How cool would it be to have Doc, Lefty, Fats, and Dizzy on our team?

Somebody at Royals Review suggested "The Mighty Righties" for the starting rotation, which is pretty good.

"Joakim" is a version of "Joaquin," which translates to English as "Joachim." As in Von Ribbentrop.

Will said...

What about Olivo?

We should be able to come up with something completely nonsensical. Something like Big O or Olive Oil is too obvious.

How 'bout, "The Branch"?

royalsfanatic said...

Gathright...Runway
Zack "The Attack" Greinke....although I like smoke and mirrors with Banny
Splash Gordon

royalsfanatic said...

How about
Miguel "Thank God Im not Eli Marrero" Olivo

Magic Juan said...

Another one for Soria (serious, this time):

El Mago (The magician or wizard)

Anonymous said...

Everyone I know calls Billy Butler, Billy Badass. It has a nice ring, but might offend someone if chanted at the game.

Dan said...

For Soria, I was thinking "The Wolf." It's from the Pulp Fiction reference of Winston Wolfe -- he's professional, gets in and out quickly, takes care of business, and leaves no mess behind. "You're sending the Wolf? That's all you had to say."

Anonymous said...

Soria = The Unibrow

It is absolutely glorious in FSN's HD broadcasts.

N. J. Thomas said...

First off, Joakim jokes are awesome. "Joakim? I don't even KNOW heem!"

Second, I agree that nicknames have to go with either great players or match the quirk of a player, which is why I don't like Dash for Gathright. Simply put, while Gathright is speedy, that speed doesn't really separate him from the pack of other speedy players in the land.

His bizarre jumping skills do that. I'm telling you, High Jump Gathright. It's a winner, plus the number of syllables in the nickname match the last name, making for a GREAT radio sound.

Third, I agree that Splash is not great for Gordon. Maybe when he really has splashed the ball a bunch of times in a season. Until then, The Commissioner sounds nice.

N. J. Thomas said...

Honey Bun is a good Gathright alternative though. It makes no sense, but is awesome.

Magic Juan said...

Dan, I think you've hit on something with the wolf, but for some reason, It seems like Soria needs a spanish nickname like el Lobo (the wolf)

el Presidente would have been perfect due to his Abe Lincoln beard, but unfortunately, its been used.

others:
EL TORO (the bull)
EL MAGO (the magician)
EL PARED (the wall)
EL EXTREMO (the end)

Jon said...

Joey Gathwright should be called: Smokey for two reasons: the trail of smoke that he leaves behind when running, and for his love of smoking the ganja!

Anonymous said...

Billy Ray - The Fat Assassin
John Buck - Fabio or the Best Hair in Baseball

Jon said...

Billy Butler should be called: Bob 'the Hammer' Hamelin on roids!

Jay in Houston said...

Billy Butler - The Server or X-Mas (because he's slower than Christmas) or Tubs or Moobs (man-boobs).

Alex Gordon - Spaulding

Mark Teahen - Crumpets (Teahen Crumpets)

Joakim Soria - The Apology. or Jester (Just Joakim with ya.)

I like The Dirty Nunez for Leo. Hilarious, but a more appropriate option:

Leo Nunez - Nunca Nunez

Jimmy Gobble - Gobstopper is great, but I've always called him The Gobbler.

Greinke - The Good Son.

TPJ - Slugger.

Jose Guillen - Verdict.

Bannister - Straight A's

Gil Meche - The Janitor (always cleaning up the Meche)

Scott said...

Given his celebrated jumping ability and the Royals' belief that he will develop into a good leadoff hitter despite despite a history that suggests otherwise, Gathright should be "The Leap of Faith."

troyt said...

Why don't we just do what every other major league front-office guy, manager, player does? Add a "y" to a shortened version of a player's last name. So far this season I've heard Jose-y, Bann-y, Joey (OK, not a nickname- sorry), Hoche-y, Gord-o (or Gord-y), Grudd-y, and Dave-y-o (for DDJ).

For a nickname not ending in "y" here's my suggestions:

Billy Butler - "Bill the Thrill". I can't take credit for this, as Mark Teahan coined this on 810 WHB's "The Program".

Brian Bannister - "Stats".

TPJ - "Yunior" (sorry) or just TP, 'cause that's how he hits...

Anonymous said...

TRIVIA QUESTION NOT RELATED TO ROYALS (sorry).

With all the fellow babseball heads on this blog...and many who seem to be very knowledgable about the game...question for you...

I'm a Royals fan at heart, but now living on the west coast and I have to get my Royals fix when they come to Oakland.

While at an Oakland/Royals game one time, they offered up a trivia question about a player from years ago, who "was not only a fighter pilot in a war, but had also been attacked by a lion."

But I can't remember the answer?!?! I've Googled until I'm ripping my hair out. Any ideas...?

Thanks to any & all.

Julie said...

Bob Davis just called Gathright, "The Roadrunner" - I kind of like it.

Teahen needs a nickname for his personality in the clubhouse - love his interviews.

Don't forget Randa's nickname - "The Joker" - that was money!

Anonymous said...

Joakim Soria - Snag
Zack Greinke - Chipoltle
Brian Bannister - Blog
Gil Meche - Denver
Mark Grudzilanek – Stubble
Tony Pena- Worthy
David Dejesus - Teeth
Joey Gathright – Ping Pong

Not going to explain these. If you have to explain it isn't a good nickname IMHO.

Syd said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I like nicknames have a little to do with the player's real name.

For example:

If Gil Meche becomes dominant, we can call him The Mechete (as in the big "machete" knife).

If he becomes a bum we can call him Gil-again (as in both "the island" and in "Oh no, not Gil again")

Anonymous said...

Grudzielanek - The Alphabet

Julie said...

What about grouping a pack together as "G-Force" - Gordon, Gathright, Guillen, Greinke, Gload (if you must)??

The Consummate for Soria?

LOVE Mechete!!

Anonymous said...

Leo "Skinny" Nunez

Why make it hard? Haven't been too many Skinnys in baseball lately...

Syd said...

A few of my own:

Butler = Superbad (as in the movie)

Soria = El Fin (as in "the end")

Gordon = Gordon Bleu
(as in that weird chicken dish they serve at weddings + royal blue)


Other people's I liked:

Bannister = The Brain
Dirty Nunez
Hochevar = Hooch

Anonymous said...

How about Wipeout for TPJ? Wipes out runners with his fielding, pretty much describes him at the plate, and of course TP / wipe...

Anonymous said...

Soria's nickname shouldn't be too closer-specific since he may be a starter as soon as next year. I like El Matador for him.

I prefer Mechette over the Epic.

We must stop Ichigload, please. What an insult to Ichiro to be associated with the only first baseman who hits like a middle infielder! Nickname him Jaws or Benchmeat and stamp out Ichigload for good.

I think Zack Greinke should be named after a shape-shifting character from comics or sci-fi which happened to be a badass. Not Mystique, obviously, but a male character like that.

Billy Butler = Batman. It's really all he's got so far.

Alberto "Cool" Callaspo.

I love the idea of Toothpick Tony Pena Jr.

This team needs a Buzz. Maybe it's most appropriate for someone in the minors who will make the team next year.

kcghost said...

Greinke = Zero-G

ksuim4u said...

Someone mentioned "Leather" for Pena... I like that one quite a bit. My contribution is adding Joakim "The Sorcerer" Soria to the mix. I know it plays off his name a bit, but I kept thinking about magicians, wizards, etc. when I thought of him. If you're gonna use a magician type name, you may as well go with the one that plays off his name, right?

ksuim4u said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ksuim4u said...

Someone else mentioned "Buffalo Billy Butler," but how about simply "Tatonka"?

KCSuzy said...

For Ramirez, Soria, and Nunez, I had a thought - the Latin Assassins. They seem to kill all the batters they face, and it sounds good to me.

James said...

I think Butler should be called Thriller. I heard him walk to the plate today to that song, and I think I like it, just because I can't imagine him and that song together at all.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the idea to go with The Wolf for Soria (based on Pulp Fiction) .. how about one step further.

Los Lobos for the bullpen of Soria/Ramirez/Nunez.


Hooch should be adopted NOW for Hochevar...also because I'll never learn to pronounce his name correctly.

Anonymous said...

Another group nickname would be the G Unit-
Greinke
Gobble
Grud
German
Gload
Gathright
Gordon
Guillen

Joakim the Dream is PERFECT, i would love to hear that out of levebre.

Gordon- The Kid.
Butler- Billy Ray Butler sounds sweet.
Gobble- Gobstopper is great
Greinke- Zack Attack
Luke "game-saver" Hochevar

Loopy said...

Ballplayers used to get nicknames because there used to be personalities in baseball. The nicknames came naturally and didn't have to be forced. There aren't that many personalities in baseball anymore, at least that the fans get to see. With the buffer zones created by agents, posses, and hangers on, nobody gets to really know players anymore.

Anonymous said...

Splash Gordon has great potential if he gets around to launching some.

I also like The Epic for Meche and The Matador for Soria.

Butler reminds me of "Biff" from Back to the Future.

Anonymous said...

Butler reminds me of "lumpy" from "leave it to Beaver". Tony Pena reminds me of a cow when he is at bat, becuase he just stands there swinging his tail (bat) and chewing his "cud"

Anonymous said...

Brian Bannister = MENSA
(self-explanatory)

Joey Gathright = Can't Hit Right
(because he looks like the character 'Can't Get Right' that signs a baseball contract in the Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy movie "Life". And because he can't hit right.)

Esteban German = The Esteban
(doesn't anyone watch SNL?)

Yasuhiko Yabuta = Yasuhiko Yabetta Throw Strikes
(too long, but I like it)

Jokim Soria = So Real
(my friend from Boston doesn't follow K.C. and asked me if Soria was for real. I said "Oh, he's so real." It stuck. It kinda sounds like his name, but it may be more of a nickname between me and my friend. Thoughts?

Billy Butler = Billy The Kid
(I know it's a copy from the Wild West outlaw, but it works for me as long as he's young)

Dayton Moore = The Prince
(This is an intellectual nickname that you will either love or hate. It's a reference to the classic book by Niccolo Machiavelli. Like the prince, Dayton is a young man in power. Like the prince, Dayton manipulates people with more power than himself, other GMs, in an effort to acquire more power for himself.)

Anonymous said...

I don't think you will be successful in nicknaming the entire team. If you got 3 names to stick, that would be a success.

The best ones I have read so far are "Smoke and Mirrors" for Grienke and Bannister.

I REALLY like Moneyball for Teahen because of the book reference.

Dash Gathright has appeal, also.

Billy Butler reminds me of "Balloo" (sp?) from the Jungle Book movie.

For Soria, I am promoting HAL - Hispanic Abe Lincoln. With that beard, he looks like Lincoln. He's a straight shooter (thrower). Lincoln split logs - Soria splits bats. It works on so many levels.

Hillman08 said...

I think one of Soria's most identifiable traits, other than his lights out stuff, is that he is from Monclova, Mexico. It is this reason, and my love of alliteration, that I came up with these.
-The Mexican Merlin
-The Monclova Maverick
and the one I think best descrbes him
-The Monclova Marvel
Other than that, I also like "Automático" for the almost mechanical way he closes games.

Anonymous said...

For the line-up -- the Beagle Boys. Because they're always trying to steal things and getting caught.

I like the Feds for Grudz, Gordon, Guillen, Gathright, and maybe even Greinke. You know, G-men, Feds.

For Joey Gathright, something like Gazelle feels right to me -- gets the leaping/running aspect. Maybe Kangaroo, for a pun on his first name.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for me, Jimmy Gobble, always has and always will be: Yimmy Yobble!

Isaac said...

Tony, from now on your Delta Tau Chi name will be Cy. He hits like a pitcher.

Jose, from now on your Delta Tau Chi name will be "Flop Flip". Everyone thought he was a flop to start and now he looks like he's turned it around.

Joakim, from now on your Delta Tau Chi name will be The Filth. I still like that one.

Chris said...

Gotta vote for the one simple (I think) oversight for a Bill the Thrill nickname...

That sweet swing looks like a knife slicing through:

BUTTER.

Done. Simple. Consonant. Resonant.

Anonymous said...

Now that the Royals have taken the very wise step to secure his services for up to 6 more seasons will you reconsider my original suggestion: "so long" Soria?

Anonymous said...

Interesting about calling Soria the Wolf based on Pulp Fiction. I've been calling him the Wolf every time he comes into the game... but not b/c that movie, more b/c TeenWolf. He looks like a wolf. Spread the word. We are having T-shirts made to wear to the games - Soria- the Wolf

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you, I was crying when I read the "Crouching Deer, Hidden Olive" for Buck and Olivo. People at work are looking at me funny.

I always remember Runelvys as "El Taco Grande" though "Dos Chins" does suit him very well.