Let's get this out of the way: I like Rany Jazayerli. He's a longtime Royals fan. He got Rob Neyer to exchange and publish emails about the team in which Neyer seems to have zero faith and hope for (maybe some love). He makes money removing warts from ugly people. He is one of the Founders of Baseball Prospectus. I get it. He's important. Blah blah blah. Whatever. But exactly who does he think he is, starting a blog, and after just a few months deciding to have the "official" nicknaming contest of Royals internet fandom?
I'm not questioning his loyalty or his important place in on-line Royals fandom. I'm certainly no one to judge such matters. But I do think it is presumptuous for him suddenly decide, after having been cut loose by Rob Neyer, to decide that HE gets to host the nicknaming.
It's too late now. I don't want to get RR involved in a war with a cat who probably has the substances and delivery systems to give us all acne so bad none of us will be able to leave our mothers' basements -- even for a Star Trek convention.
What we can do is to establish some nicknames of our own. However, given the overwhelming enthusiasm for Jazayerli's usurpation, there's no point directly competing with him at this point. Like Michael Bluth in his high school student body presidential election, let's not -- we shouldn't -- do that to the school. I propose that the readers of this blog decide to nickname those players neglected by Dr. Epidermis: the grinders. And here I don't mean well-known bastions of grit like Ross Gload, but those players whom foolish scouts and sabermetricians consider "borderline," but whom we all know are the heart of the team. So, without further ado, let's go over a few players and some suggestions to be gathered up for later polling.
Mike Aviles. Obviously the most crucial issue at this time. We were arguing about what level of greatness he would attain long before his callup, and thus we get dibs on the most recent KC sensation that some fans might want to engage in some... questionable interactions. Sure, he might turn out to be the next Bo Hart, but I think we all know better -- it's only a matter of time before this offensive juggernaut takes over the the airwaves at the always-ready-to-jump-on-a-story-from-the-flyovers Wordwide Leader. Possibilities:
- My initial thought was "Off the Table," but, as was pointed out to me by NYRoyal, this is too abstract (although I think NYRoyal is also afraid that it might be too true!).
- NYRoyal seems to be pimping for "El Salvador," which is nice, and, again seems true. I accidentally modified this into "El Salvatore," which is actually Italian, and everyone knows that Italians make up the historically grittiest baseball ethnic group (Dimaggio, Rizzuto, Fasano...). "El Salvatore" does have some questionable connotations. In general, there could be any number of "saviors" running around in the system or the draft pool. Besides, NYRoyal already came up with the Royals Confidence Index, GRIT (although this will eventually be superseded by ERSTAD) and its offshoots, and he never lets us have fun overreacting (Moore is dooming teh franchise!!!111). But it's up to the people.
- I believe that buddyball was the first to suggest "The Missing Link." Great evolution reference, and also recalls one of my favorite WCCW wrestlers from the early 1980s. Not bad, but, again, anyone could be the Missing Link -- Shealy seems to swing like someone lower down the evolutionary tree.
- My personal favorite is my own idea, naturally: Avilanche. It sounds vaguely wrestling related, but not directly. It might also be taken to reflect a slightly pudgy built (Ronnie Belliard-pudgy, not Cal Pickering-esque massiveness). Plus, it is name-derived (in your face Rany !!!!1111one!). It also has the advantage of actually sounding like a nickname, might refer to an "avilanche" of hits.
Shane Costa. All I can think of it our fearless host's own wonderful "Costa Now! " One of the great AAA Grinders of our time. He even got name-checked by Bill "Sports Guy" Simmons a couple of years back. Shane is a man of wisdom, as evidenced by his myspace page : "not much to say about myself... im a pretty laid back dude..i play a game for a living, so i like to work hard. Im a big believer in if u work hard for what u want<< u just never know.. i value my family and friends, and have learned that what goes around comes around...so if u want to know anything else....find out for urself.." Another reason that Aviles might not be the best choice for "El Salvadore/tore," check out this picture (suitable for devotional use):
Jeff Fulchino. So many possibilities. Easy name-derived fun: Mother-Fulcher. Fuchlie! Fulchiroonie. My favorite: Jeff "I'll Bet You Didn't Even Know I Was On The Roster" Fulchino. I think "Big Head Jeff" came up at one point. Here he is chillin' with an Isotopes' fan (I believe):
Ramón Santo Ramírez. Ok, I forgot this in the original post, but always mean to have him in here. NHZ originally started the "this guy needs a nickname" train (we can all blame Rany for Nunez getting hurt since the injury came not long after putting him in the list of guys needing nicknames). NHZ's original idea, that he's still sticking with, is Super Captain Laser Hero. Other ideas include marbotty's inexplicably hilarious "Car RamRod" (and variations), Eppenweb's (and others') simple but effective "Ram Ram," and my own "Mon Ram," (meh, I like it, but it won't catch on). How 'bout "Mony?" Super obnoxious, but original and different. We could also go for something about how hesgoodbuthecantclosebecauseheisntaprovencloser or something, since we all know that 7 is different from 9 .
Justin Huber. Oh, the humanity! What hath Dayton wrought? St. Justin may be a Padre for now (or not, I haven't checked the transaction wire lately). But he will always be loyal in our hearts. He is probably the best choice for some sort of "Savior" name, since we all hope he will come again. Suggestions are welcome here. And on all of these and more, for that matter.
So, that's it. Let's take our task seriously, and sift through some of this stuff before voting and definitively showing Dr. ZitQA his place.
Update, Friday, June 20, 2008 -- It Begins: I've posted the Aviles poll. I’ll try to put up a new poll ever 5 days or so to give a good window for everyone to vote. I hope we can keep this post around as a “gathering place” for suggestions, as there aren’t nearly enough yet, even for the grinders. I also think that we should at least start gathering suggestions right here for the whole roster - the longer Rany waits, the more of the roster we will “claim.” I’m tempted to make Jose Guillen the next poll -- a shot across the bow, as it were (as if “taking” Aviles wasn’t enough). Please offer suggestions, whether it’s nickname nominations for those not voted on yet, or how to better organize this thing.
Update, Thursday, June 26, 2008. In the first poll, MIke Aviles has been nicknamed "Avilanche." I'll let NHZ, NYRoyal, and the rest think of appropriate enforcements... Tpoll thread and results can be viewed here (I pretty sure I managed to close the poll). I'm working on the next poll now, keep the ideas coming (although we may have to switch to another post/thread soon in order to keep it "up top").
Update, Sunday, June 29, 2008. The Jose Guillen Poll is up. Get to it.