A few days ago, a friend of mine referred to Josh Hamilton as “JHam”. At first, I had no idea who he was talking about, but I am a smart guy, so I used context clues to figure it out. Once I realized he was indeed referring to Hamilton, I got angry. This trend of mashing together a player’s first initial (or first part of his first name) and the first syllable of his last name (e.g. A-Rod, CarGo, HanRam) has gotten way out of hand. In this age of tweets and text messages, I understand the need for brevity. Long gone are the days of florid nicknames like “The Splendid Splinter”. That’s fine. But can’t we come up with short and sweet monikers that reflect at least a little bit of creativity? I love referring to Josh Hamilton as “The Great Hambino”, which of course is a nod to The Sandlot. But it’s too long. I think Josh has “Hambone” tattooed on his arm, so we should just go with that. If even that’s too long, we should just call him “Bone” or, even better, “Boner”. I mean, Boner works on so many levels: it can either mean a huge mistake or a huge erection. And for some reason, I just see Boner as the kind of guy that thinks more with his dick than with his brain. So it’s perfect. Boner it is.
Quite often, nicknames arise out of necessity. When I was in college, there were like ten different Brians in my circle of friends. So, Brian from Texas became “Texas Brian” and fat Brian became “Fat Brian”. Okay, I realize now that these were not terribly imaginative names, but I disclaim all responsibility for their creation. The point is that the players that need nicknames the most are the ones with the most common names. A-Rod would never have become A-Rod in the first place if his last name wasn’t the relatively common “Rodriguez”.
So there are players out there who desperately need a nickname, and all I’m saying is that let’s all get together and try and give them an interesting one. Like Adrian Gonzalez. I’ve heard people call him “Gonzo”, but come on, that nickname is for anyone named Gonzalez. And “A-Gon” isn’t distinctive enough, since there are other players (like Alex Gonzalez) who this could apply to. Should we just call him “Adrian”? Is that distinctive enough? My idea is to anagram the first three letters of his first name and combine it with the first syllable of his last name. DraGon. Yes, I know you are blown away and you are welcome.
The stumper for me is Miguel Cabrera. There are many Cabreras and there are many Miguels. Yet all we can come up with is “Miggy” or “Cabby” or “MCab” for the greatest hitter in the game? Really? We can’t come up with something better than that? Alas, I don’t really have a better idea at this point. My fiancee likes to call him “CaBEARa” because he looks like a cuddly teddy bear. I would be fine if this caught on.
My final suggestion is that we all must band together to make sure that Omar Infante is only referred to from this day forth as “O-Baby”. Seriously, how has this not happened yet?