So, spring training everyone! Are we havin’ fun yet? Haha, just kidding, of course you aren’t having fun. By now the warm intoxication of pitchers and catchers reporting has given way to the dull hangover of analyzing 46 pitch Jamie Moyer outings and meaningless coach speak (Last week Jim Tracy praised Drew Pomeranz for his ability to throw “major league misses” when he throws balls instead of strikes. I’m still picking little bits of melted brain matter out of my ears after that one).
For Rockies fans, this spring training has been especially laborious because the only big news to have come out of Phoe–Or is the team technically in Scottsdale now? Or is it Talking Stick? Or Salt River? I don’t know, let’s just go with ‘Desert’–The Desert over the last month has been bad news. First, Alex White drank enough liquor to kill a small horse and then decided to drive around in his car for a little bit, because that’s always a good thing to do. After that, Ubaldo Jimenez and a few others thought it would be a good idea to pick at the scabs that last season’s trade left behind, and we all got a chance to feel depressed about the whole ordeal all over again.
So, in an effort to bring some levity to what’s been a less than super exciting spring training, I’d like to try and do something fun. Meaning, I’m going to use this post to try and make up ridiculous nicknames for the Rockies entire projected opening day lineup, and you are going to read it because you don’t have anything better to do.
1. Dexter Fowler, CF Proposed nickname: “Seven Pounds”
I don’t know if you guys have heard this or not, but Dexter Fowler arrived at spring training this year with SEVEN POUNDS of RAW MUSCLE added to his frame. Now, some of you may be like, “Seven pounds of muscle? Is that really a big deal?” Well yeah! It’s a huge deal! Whenever Dexter does something good or comes to the plate in a high leverage situation, the Rockies can fire up the jumbotron and play scenes of Will Smith running around in the rain while saying vague and ominous things like “It’s time,” and “Do what you promised me!” from the movie Seven Pounds. This is a great idea because people being intense in the rain will never not be cool. In fact, if it was raining right now, I’d go outside and call a random number in my phone and yell, “Tell me what you saw!” as soon as they answered.
2. Marco Scutaro, 2B Proposed nickname: “Bradycardia”
So I really struggled with this one because Marco Scutaro seems to be kind of a boring dude, and it was way too easy to come up with some hackneyed nickname referencing his Italian heritage. Then I remembered that Marco is one of the guys that O’Dowd signed because he has a “slow heartbeat.” So, like any Internet expert would, I Googled “slow heartbeat” and the first result was “Bradycardia,” which means: “Abnormally slow heart action.” I immediately decided that I really like the phrase “heart action” and the fact that Bradycardia also sounds like some kind of stomach disease that a camel would get. Boom, nickname chosen.
3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF Proposed nickname: “Car Bomb”
Yeah, okay, so Carlos has already been saddled with the “CarGo” nickname, but I think that we can do so much better. First of all, “CarGo” is basically just a cheap derivative of “Tulo,” and anytime two members of a dynamic duo have rhyming names, they immediately become 15% more lame. Didn’t you ever have friends in grade school who were brothers named Timmy and Jimmy or something like that? Weren’t they just the worst? “Car Bomb,” on the other hand, is awesome because it means that people can play the Carlos “Car Bomb” Gonzalez drinking game that my brother invented. Basically, everyone gets a laminated punch card, and each “punch” is a tiny picture of Carlos Gonzalez standing in front of a massive fireball. Whenever you see Gonzalez hit a home run live on television or in the stadium you have 15 minutes to drink an Irish Car Bomb. If you do this, you get to make one punch on your punch card. Once you get all the punches, you win! What do you win? Doesn’t matter! If this game sounds like fun to you, feel free to send me an e-mail, and I will definitely not make you your own punch card to use for the season, because I am very lazy. But it would be nice to hear that you’re into the game!
4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS Proposed nickname: None.
Tulo stays Tulo. If you don’t agree with this, you’re a big dummy and I’ll hit your face.
5. Michael Cuddyer, RF Proposed nickname: Anything but “Cuddy”
George Frazier, in between telling stories about how he grew up on a dirt farm, is absolutely going to call Michael Cuddyer “Cuddy” 50 times per game. He’s going to love it too, you’ll be able to hear that whimpering giddiness rise up in his throat every time he does it. This is going to make me so incredibly angry, because George Frazier has been using the same tired method of nicknaming for YEARS. He calls Drew Gooden, his broadcast partner, “Goody.” Hes calls the anonymous guy who hands him stats during the game “Dougy.” He used to call Aaron Cook “Cookie.” He called Garret Atkins “Atty.” I’m also pretty sure that I caught him calling Todd Helton “Toddy” one time. I can’t deal with this anymore, and I’m afraid that Frazier is just going to inspire within me an irrational hatred for Cuddyer. I’d rather his nickname be “Past His Prime Outfielder Who Will Most LIkely Never Live up to the Value of his Contract.” I really would.
6. Casey Blake, 3B Proposed nickname: “The Stiffness”
No huge source of inspiration for this one, other than the fact that I just read a tweet from Troy Renck that said Blake would be sitting out Monday’s spring training game because of neck stiffness. Also, I feel like “neck stiffness” and other old timey ailments are going to plague Blake this year. I’m fairly certain that he will miss a stretch of games at some point this season with a “misery in his bones.”
7. Todd Helton, 1B Proposed nickname: “Buck Commander”
Lots of history behind this one. A few years ago at spring training, my brother and I spotted a truck that looked almost exactly like this beauty, and it had BUCK COMMANDER emblazoned across the top of the windshield. Of course, we automatically assumed that it belonged to Todd Helton, because owning a truck like that would be the most Todd Helton thing ever. Well, as it turns out, we were probably most likely 100% right about that. A quick Google search of “Todd Helton, Buck Commander” brings up this blog post from 2007, which discusses Todd Helton and a few other major leaguers’ connection with a hunting DVD company known as Duck Commander, which has a subsidiary known as Buck Commander. This article is awesome because it contains the following quote from Willie Robertson, the guy who owns the company:
“I’ve had the number one waterfowl video at Wal-Mart eight years in a row; I know how to sell videos.”
Man, just read that quote aloud a few times and savor the way it rolls off your tongue. It’s just glorious. That blog post also led me to find this picture of Adam Laroche, showing off his Buck Commander tattoo, and basically being the coolest dude of all time. Anyways, I now like to imagine Buck Commander and Duck Commander as an Illuminati for people who like baseball and country music, and Todd Helton as the secret society’s stoic leader, thus making him the supreme commander of the Buck Commanders.
8. Ramon Hernandez, C Proposed nickname: ……
I got nothing for this guy. Honestly, I don’t even really know who he is. Just kidding, I do know who is, he’s the guy who isn’t related to the Molinas.
9. Jhoulys Chacin, P Proposed nickname: The Machine
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