PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – I’m on friggin’ vacation and there’s been a lot going on, almost none of it good. You know the storylines, so I won’t bother rehashing them. All I know is, I have no intention of dying south of the Mason/Dixon line. THAT. IS. OUT. I think 75% of the reason that anyone goes on vacation in the first place is to make themselves feel better about where they live. New York is a loud, crowded, violent worn-out waterbed of a city with a mass transit system that my brother refers to as “the electric sewer” and a mayor as adept at governing as the Mets are at keeping players healthy. But it’s home, and I’ll defend it to the end. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, there’s some things going on in sports as well. Let’s just pick one and be done with it, shall we?
From August 25 through 27, Major League Baseball will host something called “Players Weekend,” where they will allow players on every team to wear unconventional jerseys featuring nicknames. This is a typically stupid and transparent attempt by MLB to sell more merchandise. But, since they’re gonna do this thing, we might as well help them do it right. Here are some nickname suggestions, MLB.
Aaron Judge = Mr. July. I know he’s had a remarkable rookie year and his numbers would be amazing if the season ended today but, c’mon, you have to admit that the guy peaked at the Home Run Derby.
Charlie Blackmon = The Unabomber. I really like this one for the Rockies’ all-star center fielder. He lives in the mountains, looks like he hasn’t shaved in a decade, and has a deceptive amount of pop.
Jose Altuve = El Gigante. This follows that time-tested mafia tradition of giving guys nicknames that don’t suit them at all. For instance, for this site Short Matt would be known as “Matty Moneybags,” Junoir Blaber would be “Honky Lips” (bonus points to anyone who knows what movie this was used in), and I’d clearly be The Genius.
Matt Harvey = Count Hypeula. Until Harvey actually does something of consequence on a baseball field other than getting injured, this should be his nickname. You don’t get to call yourself The Dark Knight and think you’re going to make hundreds of millions of dollars with a career record of 33-31 and back-to-back four win seasons.
Manny Machado = The Human Piñata. Well, that’s what the Red Sox treated him like. You don’t throw that many beanballs at a guy not expecting a crapload of candy to fall out of his cranium.
Mike Trout = Flounder or Sea Bass or (insert your fish of choice here). I’m not a big fan of fish, but trout, especially, is way down on my list. I think they should just go ahead and call him Mahi Mahi, maybe. That sounds a lot more palatable.
Giancarlo Stanton = Giancarlo Stanton. This guy doesn’t need no stinkin’ nickname. He’s Giancarlo Stanton, fer f**ksakes! Listen to than name GEE-AN-CAR-LOW STAN-TON! He sounds like a 1970s Blacksploitation film demigod. Can you dig it?
Bryce Harper = Payday. The usual formula is naming candy bars after ballplayers, but in Harper’s case we should make an exception. Scott Boras’ latest cash-cow client is just waiting around to cash in on a huge deal. He may be worth some of it but, like the candy bar, what he’ll end up making is just pure NUTS.
That’s it for this week. Please feel free to add your own nickname ideas, and come back tomorrow for Buddy “Buenos” Diaz.