Celebrating the 2nd Birthday of The DiaTribe, it’s time for the annual birthday gift – the bestowal of nicknames.
Grady Sizemore – SuperSizemore
Though this one (originated by yours truly nearly 2 years ago) has entered the greater lexicon with a “SuperSizemore” bobblehead this summer, we’ll go one more. How about SupaDupaSizemore? You’re right, the simpler blend of Morgan Spurlock and the Man of Steel is just right.
David Dellucci/Jason Michaels – Dellichaels
Since neither player will play a full-time role, neither gets a full-time nickname. Before you need to break out a pronunciation guide with a phonetical spelling, it sounds like “Delightful”. To borrow a line from TBS’s My Boys, “say it…it’s fun.”
Travis Hafner – Le Pronque
The nickname Pronk jumped the shark when Jon Miller and Joe Morgan had a lengthy conversation during an ESPN telecast on the origin of the nickname before finally deciding that it was the donkey’s name in Shrek. The slight variation is to play off of the way that the folks in Quebec call themselves Les Quebecois and live under the credo, “Vive le Quebec”. Consider me a member of Les Pronquois, who can be found in the mezzanine shouting “Vive le Pronque”.
Victor Martinez – The Stick
If Stan was the Man and the male stripper from Tom Hanks’ Bachelor Party was Nick the…well, then the Tribe catcher can be Vic the Stick. His offensive has certainly merited such an honor.
Casey Blake – J.O.A.T.
If Muhammad Ali and LL Cool J can refer to themselves as G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), the versatile Blake can be referred to as J.O.A.T. (Jack of All Trades).
Trot Nixon – The Dirt Dog
This one is set in stone, as Nixon was able to get the notoriously brutal Sawx fans to not only embrace him, but also start a fan blog called the Boston Dirt Dogs; so, we’ll go with the status quo and keep up the nickname.
Jhonny Peralta – Honey
How many people, when Peralta first came up, were convinced the Peralta’s first name had a silent “J”, not a silent “H” (hand meekly rising). After his disastrous 2006, let’s get back to that simpler time – when Peralta was a promising young SS, capable of putting up comparable numbers to the likes of Miguel Tejada, as he did in 2005.
Andy Marte – The Dominican Dandy
Not in the sense of, “Hey Silvio, look at Jerry here, prancing around in his coat with his purse. Yup, he’s a real dandy. He’s a real fancy boy!” Not like that at all…unless he can’t hit the ball, then it will be just like that.
Josh Barfield – Jesse’s Boy
Since I heard Rick Springfield is playing kids’ birthday parties in Altoona, I think that it’s possible to even have the one-hit-wonder record a version of his hit to honor the ex-MLB player’s son.
Ryan Garko – Garko-my-God-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that?
As annoying as that it is type every time he is discussed, the nickname (invented by serial commenter Cy Slapnicka) is pretty good. Thank goodness he made the team so this one made the cut.
Kelly Shoppach – ShopVac
Only a catcher can have a nickname of an industrial vacuum. He’ll stop anything that comes his way, whether it be wet or dry.
Mike Rouse – Mighty Rouse
Not that it even matters since the less we see of Rouse, the better the season will be going. Since Mighty Mouse was created as a mouse version of Superman, let’s just consider Rouse as a tiny version of our own SuperSizemore.
C.C. Sabathia – Crooked Cap
For the B-I-G-P-O-P-P-A, this one is pretty obvious.
Jake Westbrook – USS Jake
As in, a submarine named after Jake. Westbrook throws a mean sinker…get it? Maybe they can play the old, “Dive, Dive, Dive” or a clip from Red October or Crimson Tide when Westbrook needs a DP grounder to get out of an inning.
Jeremy Sowers – Whiskey Sowers
Since he barely looks old enough to drink, Jeremy needs a nickname that toughens up his persona a little bit. The oft used “Sweet and Sowers” certainly doesn’t do that. Giving him a nickname straight out of Deadwood might help.
Paul Byrd – The Pheasant
A nice looking little Byrd who may, after it’s all said and done, end up…cooked.
Cliff Lee – Five and Flee
If Cliff can see the 6th or, dare I say, the 7th inning of some games this year he can shed this moniker. Kasey Blake earned his “C” back with a solid 2006, so it’s not without precendent.
Fausto Carmona – Carmona with a Lime
Miles Away From Ordinary.
Joe Borowski – The Big Borowski
White Russians, bowling leagues, Donnie out of his element, Nihilist with ferrets, rug urination and (hopefully) saves.
Rafael Betancourt – Rocky
Every time Wedge refers to Betancourt in a press conference, he says “Raffy”. What it sounds like every time is that he’s saying “Rocky”. The first time I heard it, it took me about 5 minutes to figure out who he was talking about. Worse yet, or maybe better – Hammy’s picked it up.
Roberto Hernandez – Uncle Bobby
He’s the guy on this pitching staff the youngsters can approach with a question they don’t want to take to the authority figures. Just like an uncle close in age, he can impart wisdom that parents (Wedgie and Willis) cannot.
Fernando Cabrera – El Toro
“The Bull” needs to stop whiffing at the red cape when given the chase and start whiffing some batters.
Jason Davis – Jason Dangerously
Watching JD blow up year after year, is 2007 another Year of Living Dangerously? Or can JD harness his blazing fastball to translate to lasting success. If he can’t, the Taxidermist may find himself out of his natural habitat.
Tom Mastny – Nasty Boy
While The Indonesian is more obvious (Mastny was born in Borneo), I like Nasty Boy Tom Mastny. Not in the Rob Dibble, Randy Myers, Norm Charlton sense – more in the Nasty Boy Knobbs sense or even the Janet Jackson sense of the term. How about a little screen shot to accompany his trot to the mound. “The name’s Tom…Mr. Mastny if you’re nasty”.
For those just below the ML level, they only receive nicknames – no explanations.
Adam Miller – Atom Miller
Ben Francisco – The Frisco Kid
Franklin Gutierrez – Frank the Tank
$1 to serial commenter rodells
Not to get all sappy on you, but I’m thrilled that my thoughts and comments are enjoyed by an audience that shares the same love of the Indians as I do. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.
There may be some changes afoot to the look of the site to freshen it up and make it look like it wasn’t put together by some hack who can’t figure out how to make changes on his own (two thumbs pointed squarely at “this guy”); so hopefully we’ll continue to evolve and improve as we begin this 2007 season, one filled with such hope and promise.
The 2007 season is nearly upon us, and although the season preview is still forthcoming – let’s get it on!