Bringing Back Baseball Nicknames
by Alex Schuhart on July 25, 2010

It has been said that modern baseball players don’t have the clever, endearing nicknames they used to. Now, all you need to do is take the first letter from their first name and attach it to the initial three letters of their last name (a la A-Rod) and there you go, you got a nickname.

Today, I’m going to try to remedy that a little. Just for the heck of it, I have decided to try to attach nicknames to some of the players on the 25-man roster of my favorite team, the New York Mets, and provide explanations for why I give them that moniker.

Jason “the Crushing Canadian” Bay – this one is simple. He is Canadian and he hits for power (well, maybe not this year). Nicknames with alliteration sound cool, too (I previously dubbed John Bowker of the San Francisco Giants [of all people] “the Crushing Californian”).

“Smilin’” Jeff Francoeur – because he very frequently seems to have a big smile on his face. At least he did earlier in the season, when he was having a bit more success. Still, the nickname stands.

Oliver “Losing Pitcher” Perez—I admit, I stole this one. Hugh Mulcahy, who pitched in the 1930s and 1940s, was the original “Losing Pitcher.” However, the nickname works for Mr. Perez as well—winning has not been hit forte recently for three years.  He’s 0-4 this year.

“Tricky” R.A. Dickey—the guy has developed a solid knuckleball that has made him, for lack of a better word, tricky. Prior to joining the Mets, his career ERA was 5.43. This year, his ERA is below 3.00. Rhyming also makes good nicknames.

“Unknown” Elmer Dessens—he will work in just about any pitching capacity the Mets put him in, and yet he always flies under the radar. I was considering “Everyday,” but I’ve already stolen one nickname and didn’t want to steal another (you might recall “Everyday” Eddie Guardado).

Henry “Old Guy” Blanco—he’s 38 years old. And a catcher.

Francisco “Pray-Rod” Rodriguez—because every time he comes into save a game, you have to pray he won’t blow it. If you don’t know, it’s a play on his nickname “K-Rod.”

“Dial-up” Rod Barajas—with two career stolen bases, he’s just about as slow as dial-up Internet service.

“Smooth” Angel Pagan—it seems like no matter what Angel Pagan does, he always does it smoothly.

Hisanori “Six-Shooter” Takahashi—he seems to be able to get six outs as a reliever just fine. Outside of that, he sometimes struggles.

John “Nose” Niese—it looks like he broke his nose a few times when he was younger. In addition, there’s some alliteration in there.

Johan “the Luckless Wonder” Santana—he is still a very good pitcher, he really is. It’s just that the Mets never seem to give him any run support. Hence, he is luckless.

Bobby “Ghost” Parnell—his fastball is so quick, all you see is a quick glimpse of it—like a ghost.

“Holy” Josh Thole—really, the only reason I chose this is because it rhymes (his last name is pronounced tole-ee).

Go ahead, list some nicknames of your own for other players. I’d love to read the monikers you have come up with.



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