Baseball has a reputation for being a stodgy, old school sport, unable to connect with the youths of today. In an effort to change that and appease you millennials, baseball has decided to loosen up and let its hair down, at least for one weekend. Major League Baseball will have a “Players Weekend” (not to be confused with “Player’s Ball”), which will allow players to express themselves.
Major League Baseball will relax its uniform rules for a weekend later this season, allowing players to put nicknames on the back of their jerseys, wear fluorescent-colored shoes and personalize a patch paying tribute to someone instrumental in their development, according to a memo obtained by Yahoo Sports.
The event, called Players Weekend, is planned for Aug. 25-27 and was negotiated between the league and MLB Players Association.
Nicknames on player uniforms have been done before, most notably by the short-lived XFL, which spawned the notorious “He Hate Me.” But this will be baseball’s first foray into the experiment. Players will have to stay away from obscene and controversial nicknames, but that still leaves them plenty of freedom to be creative. What nicknames should Royals players wear?
Suggestions: Alex has been with the Royals for a decade without a real nickname. Perhaps we could play off his freakish diet and workout habits and call him “The Freak”. However, that usually refers to “freakishly good talent”, not “freaky that this guy is still hitting under .200.” Perhaps his nickname can be a tip of the cap to Alex’s Nebraska roots are in order while acknowledging his defense, which is still top notch.
What it should be: “The Cornhusker Cannon”
What it will be: “Gordo”
Suggestions: We’ve never really acknowledged Mike’s Greek heritage, but “Greek Freak” is already taken, and “Greek God” doesn’t quite seem to fit his physique. Maybe we could acknowledge his home run chase this year.
What it should be: “Balboni’s Worst Nightmare”
What it will be: “Moose”
Suggestions: Lorenzo seems like the perfect candidate for a throwback nickname. If it wasn’t already taken, “Old Aches and Pains” would be perfect for the way Lorenzo always walks like he’s slightly hurt (and he’s been on the disabled list a lot). “Death to Flying Things” is already taken as well, but perfectly captures his defensive prowess.
What it should be: “The Painkiller” (h/t Rany Jazyerli)
What it will be: “LoCain”
Suggestions: I feel like Hosmer should have a better nickname than “Hos”, which still reads like the plural form of a woman of the night. With his clutch post-season play, maybe we can call him “Mr. Always October”? Or simply acknowledge his good looks with “Captain Handsome?” With his groundball rate, perhaps “Death to Ground Things”?
What it should be: “The Wizard of Hoz”
What it will be: “Hos”
Suggestions: Perez is a big fan of local Venezuelan restaurant Empanada Madness, so why not call him “The Big Empanada”? Royals Twitter has anointed Perez as “Sheriff Sal” for the way he catches bad guys trying to steal, and it is hard to top that.
What it should be: “Sheriff Sal”
What it will be: “Salvy”
Suggestions: As the younger brother of former Royals infielder Emilio Bonifacio, perhaps a reference to his family ties is in order, but “Lil’ Boner” may be non-family friendly.
What it should be: “Hip Hop Jorge”
What it will be: “Boney”
Whit Merrifield: “Two-Hit Whit”
Alcides Escobar: “Esky”
Brandon Moss: “Mossy”
Cheslor Cuthbert: “Chessy”
Travis Wood: “Woody”
Nate Karns: “Karny”
Jason Hammel: “Luke Hochevar”