HOLLYWOOD, CA – Brrrrnng, brrrrrrnng…who’s calling? Me, phoning in this piece? Yes! Because the votes are in on the annual Phone-In All Star Name Game and we’ve got perhaps our strongest field yet! First up, we’ve got the…
Write In Winner: Yasiel Puig. Few names are as fun to say as “Pweeg,” and they lend themselves to instant catchphrases like “Bay of Puigs,” “MVPuig,” and “That’ll do, Puig.”
Catcher: There’s a Posey and a Flowers; and if you say “steak” with a lisp (go ahead!), you could be the Cubs’ Welington Castillo; but the winner goes way back to classic English Lit for San Diego’s Yasmani Grandal, a real monster still waiting for his Beowulf.
First Base: The Bucs’ Gaby Sanchez moonlights as a western coot; and while the alliteration of the Braves’ Freddie Freeman is nice, it’s just a little too Amish sounding: better to go with Brandon Belt, without whom the Giants’ pants would fall down, which would make the ass-kickings they’ve been getting recently sting even worse.
Second Base: The perennial spot for the Cubs’ Darwin Barney, there are some newcomers like the Mets’ pinch hitting extraordinaire Jordany Valdespin, which sounds like the most vomit-inducing street carnival ride; and Texas’ Jurickson Profar, whose name is the answer to the question “How far you gonna go playing baseball?”
Shortstop: Special props to Toronto’s favorite Japanese import Munenori Kawasaki, but you can go a long time before finding a gem of a name like the D-Backs’ Didi Gregorius, who joins the famous Didis in history like Conn, Bridgewater, and Ramone.
Third Base: It’s a category that includes Trevor Plouffe, but even though he’s on the DL there’s no way the fans weren’t going to vote in the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko.
Outfield: There are some unfortunate names here (see Gyorko above), and ranking right up at the top is the Cubs’ recent call-up Brian Bogusevic, and leaving him off the list would’ve been totally bogusevic. The Miami Marlins may be a bad team, but if you like the way some Latin names just roll dramatically off the tongue, they’ve got a lyrical sounding trio patrolling the outfield in Juan Pierre, Giancarlo Stanton, and Marcell Ozuna….while Minnesota has a more American brand of hillbilly names like Clete Thomas, Aaron Hicks, and Oswaldo Arcia. I guess that last falls into the Latino Hillbilly category…
I don’t have any Yankees on this list yet, but they’ve got a good one here in sparkplug stopgap Zoilo Almonte… Lyle Overbay, you say? Sure it’s kind of WASPy sounding, or like a bus stop lawyer, but the reason I’m compelled to mention him is because damn if he doesn’t look a little like Ed Begley Jr. And that makes my new nickname for him, which does make the list…
Fake Sandy Alderson, tomorrow.