Name Game


It’s been a rough week.

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in an area of Missouri where it’s pretty difficult to actually get to watch the Royals on the tube so I’m often forced to watch the gamecasts from the website. The Royals website has significantly improved this experience this season, but it’s still not quite the same as getting to watch games. Sadly enough, the week we’ve had has been hard enough to watch on the gamecast, let alone in real time. After we got swept by the Orioles, I determined that it would just be too painful for me to write anything about the current state of the team this week. So I decided to go a different direction.

About a week ago, a friend of mine went to Alabama and attended the hall of fame induction ceremony for Alabama athletics. She proceeded to text me and name a few of the athletes who were in attendance. One of the names stuck out to me.

Frank Thomas

“Big Hurt”

When she mentioned his name, I smiled to myself. “I’ve always kind of liked Frank Thomas,” I thought. Then I started considering why I’d “always kind of liked Frank Thomas.” When I gave it some serious thought, I realized that my modest infatuation really had nothing to do with the guy’s stats at all (besides the fact that when he got ahold of a pitch, well….he really got ahold of it). It also had nothing to do with me having any knowledge of the guy’s character. For all I knew, the guy could have been/be a tool.* When I really thought about it I realized that I had based my whole idea of Frank Thomas on his name.

*Frank, I doubt you will ever read this, but I’m sure you aren’t a tool at all. Feel free to comment and tell me so.

“Big Hurt”

Good grief, that’s a good nickname. I mean, it even graced the cover of a video game back in the day. This got me to thinking of the great responsibility we have as fans in giving the players we love good nicknames. A good pseudonym can create allegiance or a connection between player and fan, even if said fan is merely casual in his or her fanhood. An example of that is what I just told you about myself. I couldn’t tell you what Frank Thomas’ career numbers were. Shoot, I don’t even know how many career home runs they guy has, but I liked his nickname…so I always kind of liked him. Maybe you think that’s shallow, but even if it is, I still think it’s a good idea to make connections between the young Royals we have on our team and the fan base that so desparately wants to watch them grow and bring baseball success back to KC.

All in all, I think that we need some creative ideas for nicknames for our players. Unfortunately my creativity in this department is a little lacking. I’ll share some of the rules and thoughts I’ve come up with.

Here are a few nicknames I’ve heard or read that have been used recently for our players :

“Gordo” – Alex Gordon          “The Mexicutioner” – Joakim Soria (understandably discontinued)

“Melky” – Melky Cabrera (Sorry Melky, but I’ve never heard this as an actual name in real life, so I put it here)

“Jack” – Joakim Soria            “Frenchy” – Jeff Francoeur        “Timmy”- Tim Collins (weak)

These are just a few examples. There are many more as I’m sure you all know. What I’m thinking is that we’ve got to come up with some good names for some of the rookies who are already with the big league team or who are well on their way. Here are a few we can work on.

1. Eric Hosmer – I’ve heard him called “Hos” frequently and that’s not bad. However, I say we go ahead and throw an “s” on the end of that “Hos” and make it “Hoss.” Mainly because he is one. Also it reminds me of the character with the same namesake from T.V.’s “Bonanza.” That “Hoss” was a huge guy. So is ours.

2. Mike Moustakas – uhhhh “Moose.” Pretty self-explanatory. Basically any time a sports fan gets the chance to chant an “ooooo” sound in a player’s name, well….he or she is generally stuck with that moniker. Think “Snooooop” Minnis for the Chiefs. Actually don’t. That may be too obscure a reference for some people and for the people who do remember him….well….they’d probably just rather forget.

3. Danny Duffy, Mike Montgomery, Billy Butler, etc. – Alliteration in first and last names is always helpful when constructing a nickname. You can just throw in an adjective that starts with the same letter. Examples- “Dastardly Danny,” “Meticulous Montgomery,” and “Billy the Basher.”

Wow….I really am bad at this.

A final important thing to remember is not necessarily a nickname neccessity, but it’s something that all Royals fans should remember. IN NO WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM should you ever be lazy, take the first few letter in a player’s last, and just throw “-tastic” at the end of it.

Examples – “Did you see that!? Man, that was DUFFTASTIC!”

“Wow! Eric was HOSTASTIC today!”

Please, please, please. Don’t do that. It’s not even cool the first time it’s used. I got annoyed just typing it.

Hmm…who knew Frank Thomas’ nickname could inspire a blog post? I’m not saying that I have any great ideas of nicknames for our guys. In fact, I’m saying that I don’t. Not any that aren’t ridiculous anyways. For crying out loud, the best I can come up with when Billy Butler comes to the plate is, “C’mon Billiam!” That’s why I’m asking for your opinions. If you hear, read, or think of any solid nicknames, I’d appreciate you letting me know via comment. I don’t have as much time as I’d like to peruse online and see what other writers are calling our guys, so if you see a particularly catchy name being used, throw it my way and we both can decide if it’s worthy of legendary status.

What’s Travis Hafner‘s nickname again?….Isn’t it “Pronk” or “Bronk” or something? I think they named a candy bar after him in Cleveland. Let’s not go down that road with any of our guys.

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