Thursday, March 31, 2011

19th Century Nicknames for 21st Century Orioles

I ran across this link on FanGraphs.com. The 19th-Century Baltimore Orioles Nickname Generator. And it was funny. For a minute or two. But it started repeating itself in short order. With all the "real" nicknames available from that colorful era, this was the best they could do?

So I decided to give my own nicknames to the current Baltimore Oriole roster. I used actual nicknames that were given to players who played for Baltimore teams prior to 1900 and tried to assign them as best I could. Here's what I came up with.

C "Medicine Matt" Wieters - I have no idea what this means but it's pretty bad ass. And Wieters could use a little of that in his game. "Rounding third and heading for home? Matt is waiting at the plate with your medicine..."

1B "Scoops" Lee - As a first baseman known for his good defense, Scoops seemed like a good name for a guy who can pick 'em out of the dirt. And Lee seems to be a likable guy and who wouldn't like a guy named "Scoops"?

2B "Dandy Brian" Roberts - A name given freely to players with boyish good looks, this seemed pretty appropriate for the diminutive but dreamy Roberts. And it rhymes with "dandelion"

SS "Dimples" Hardy - No, really. Google image him. He has them.

3B "Blondie" Reynolds - He had to trim his locks a bit but it still works for the fair-haired Reynolds.

RF "Rip" Markakis - I had a hard time with Nick but Rip seemed appropriate for a guy who laces line drives all over the park. And it sounds good with his last name.

CF "Phenomenal" Jones - I have a feeling he'd like this name a lot. He's the most outgoing and flashy of the current crew. And it works well for a center fielder.

LF "Bloody Luke" Scott - Do I really have to elaborate?

DH "Papa" Guerrero - "Pa" was a common name given to elder players in the 1800's. "Papa" gives it a Spanish translation for the veteran slugger.

C "Boileryard" Fox - Doesn't Jake look like a dock worker or a pipefitter, something of that ilk? It fits.

IF "Stubby" Izturis - A name for players who are vertically challenged. Izzy's not that short really but it made me chuckle.

OF "Smiling Felix" Pie - Have you ever watched a game where this guy doesn't flash his dynamite smile? It was made for him.

IF "Sleepy Robert" Andino - Because sometimes he goes to sleep on the basepaths. Or in the field.

SP "Doc" Guthrie - These are starting to sound like names for dwarves now. "Doc" was often given to college guys who played the unrefined game of base. Guthrie is a veteran twirler who went to Stanford. And he's kind of cerebral on the mound. Close enough.

SP "Big Brian" or "Moose" Matusz - Brian needs a name with some intimidation factor. He is 6'4" so "Big" seemed good enough. I love "Moose" but, obviously, it conjures up memories of Mike Mussina. Couldn't decide so I listed both.

SP "Kid" Tillman - He made his MLB debut at 21 so it definitely applies. And doesn't it kind of make him sound sort of lovable and an outlaw at the same time? "Another perfect inning for Kid Tillman!"

SP "The Apollo of the Box" (Jake Arrieta) - This one requires a bit of explanation. Tony Mullane was a 19th century hurler who was ambidextrous. But he also was known for having the classic good looks of a Greek god. If fact, Mullane was so handsome that teams would ensure that he pitched on Ladies' Day promotions just to drum up more business. According to an informal poll on Twitter, the ladies love Jake Arrieta's "movie star" looks. And they both have/had moustaches. Done.

SP "Vinegar Brad" Bergesen - Some of the pitching staff needs a bit of edge, a hint of danger, some intimidation factor injected into their image. Again, I have no idea what it means but I might think twice about digging in against "Vinegar Brad".

RP "Lefty" Gonzalez - It's so simple and obvious but while I have had my doubts about Mike Gonzalez, Lefty Gonzalez sounds like a guy I HAVE to have on my team.

RP "Dirty Jim" Johnson - Again, the intimidation factor is high with this one. "Uh oh, Showalter's going to  the mound and he's calling "Dirty Jim" in from the bullpen!" It worked for The Nasty Boys.

RP "Chippy" Accardo - He might throw one in at your hands. Sounds like he's itching for a fight.

RP "Tricky Jason" Berken - You could shorten this to "Tricky J" for a more modern flair. Sounds like a crafty junkballer.

RP "Buttercup" Rupe - Because somebody was getting that one.

RP "Osaka" Uehara - Lots of nicknames were assigned based on the players' place of birth. Jersey. Texas. Or my favorite, Egyptian Healey. Koji was born in Osaka and now he sounds like a villian from Kill Bill.

RP "Jumbo" Gregg - Gregg is 6'6" and 240 lbs. The name "Jumbo" was given to players of far slighter build back in the olden days.

Think any will stick?

3 comments:

Heathir said...

You used my quote about Arrieta's movie star looks! Awesome! You've got some good ones. "Dirty Jim" just sounds intimidating. That would should stick for sure.

I also wanted to tell you that I always enjoy your blog posts. The Orioles Internet community includes a lot of really great blogs, but you always seem to find a different and creative way of covering the team. Love it!

Heath said...

I did! Left you name out of it in case you were worried about the whole "women only watch baseball for the cute guys" thing.

Thanks for the positive reinforcement! Trying to get credentials for the O's-Braves sereies. If you are still coming, drop me a line when the date gets closer.

Heathir said...

Haha, no a problem! But you do get that a lot when you're a girl whose a sports fan. I can't lie and say I don't notice (and even appreciate) the good looking guys. But I'd take a 25 man roster with faces only their mothers could love who play fundamental baseball and WIN than a bunch of lookers who lose. The game comes first, but it's hard to avoid the female sports fan stereotype when Victoria Secret's sell MLB apparel that makes it sound like girls are more interested in hooking up with players than following their team.

Everyone looks a go for Atlanta. We've got out tickets a few weeks ago. Should be an exciting weekend!