Major League Baseball unveiled the plans — and merch — for the inaugural Players Weekend, which is an event that allows MLB players to ... well ... I’ll just let the MLB article describe it:
Major Leaguers will let their personalities and passions shine like never before when the newly created Players Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 25, to Sunday, Aug. 27. Those are just 20 of the nicknames that players across all clubs will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms.
What does that mean? Something like the Yoan Moncada jersey pictured above. I like the jersey better than the cap, which has a red too close to Cleveland’s alternate uniforms for my liking.
The White Sox unveiled their nicknames through the online store, and the Sox were short on amusing surprises like these:
Some of our favorite Players Weekend nicknames thus far:— Big League Stew (@bigleaguestew) August 9, 2017
Josh Phegley is PTBNL
Chase Utley is Silver Fox
Kyle Seager is Corey's Brother pic.twitter.com/2X7ICWb3WS
Or Alex Avila going with “Parkman,” which would have been incredible last year:
Alex Avila is "Parkman," which, how did we all miss that one when he was here pic.twitter.com/20gyIHsiqo— uɐɯssnS ʇʇɐW (@suss2hyphens) August 9, 2017
The White Sox are also short on fascinating backstories like this one:
But don’t count them out yet, because there’s also a “thank you” sleeve patch that will allow players to write in the name of a particularly important influence in their development:
So that may be one source for stories we hadn’t heard before. Until then, we can’t deduce a whole lot from the nicknames White Sox players chose for their own jerseys. One didn’t choose one at all.
- Nate Jones
If Chris Sale didn’t use “Condor” (he went with “Stickman”), we couldn’t count on Jones to use “Time Baby.” Even then, bypassing any kind of alternate name is literally what Conor Gillaspie does.
Conor Gillaspie's Players' Weekend jersey surprises no one. pic.twitter.com/cRfbRvvhO7— Phenomenal Source (@SouthSideSox) August 9, 2017
Rick Renteria nicknames
- DH (David Holmberg)
- Clip (Tyler Clippard)
- Los (Carlos Rodon)
- Saly (Tyler Saladino)
- Avi (Avisail Garcia)
- Petey (Jake Petricka
- Putty (Zach Putnam)
- Matty D (Matt Davidson)
- Narvy (Omar Narvaez)
- Big Pelf (Mike Pelfrey)
I’m not certain whether Renteria uses all of these nicknames for players, but if you huddled the 29 other MLB managers to address White Sox players they hadn’t met, these would be the consensus choices.
“Saly” is the disappointment of the group, because 1) it’s not spelled the way it’s pronounced, and 2) now I wonder why he even bothers with the mustache. “Big Pelf” is the standout, as I kinda want one for a conversation starter 10 years from now.
- Yo Yo (Yoan Moncada)
- Bubba (Chris Beck)
- Dutch (Derek Holland)
While Moncada’s name plate will feature a simple shortened version of his name, we know it’s not Renteria’s default choice (he went with “Moncy”). “Yo Yo” is his preferred nickname, and this gives him a chance to establish it. “Dutch Oven” would sell more than “Dutch.”
- Szmydth (Kevan Smith)
- Clarke (Adam Engel)
- B. Moss (Tim Anderson)
Scott Merkin relayed that “Szymdth” is how Kevan Smith’s name was originally spelled when his family emigrated from Poland. “Clarke” is the name of Engel’s daughter, who was born in June. “B. Moss” is for Brandon Moss, Anderson’s best friend who was killed earlier this year. Anderson has recently undergone counseling for the grief.
- Juego G (James Shields)
- El Chamaquito (Alen Hanson)
- El Meteórico (Gregory Infante)
- El Molleto (Leury Garcia)
- El Jaliescience (Miguel Gonzalez)
- El Del Peñonal (Yolmer Sanchez)
- Mal Tiempo (Jose Abreu)
“Juego G” is Shields’ spin on the “Big Game” nickname, but it also sounds like his juggalo name (which is merely the Spanish word for “juggalo”). “The Meteor” is a cool nickname for Infante, although maybe a reach. I’d go with “El Cometa” since he comes around every seven years or so.
Regarding the others, those with a better understanding of Spanish language and Latin American culture can correct me, but best I can tell, “Chamaquito” is a kind of “kid,” and “Molleto” looks like one of those words that might get you in trouble if you’re not the one who is supposed to be saying it.
The others are or seem geographical. “Jaliscience” refers to state of Jalisco in Mexico, where Gonzalez was born. I use “seem” for Yolmer Sanchez, since the straight translation of “Del Peñonal” would mean he was from a coastline, but maybe Jofp might have a more precise idea.
Mal Tiempo is Abreu’s hometown in Cuba, but an added bonus is that “Bad Weather” looks menacing on the back of a jersey. Abreu wins this exercise this year, and I don’t think it’s close.