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By choosing nicknames as bland as their play on the field, the Chicago White Sox plan to celebrate Players’ Weekend with a paper cup of lukewarm water, soda crackers, a game of jacks in the dugout and optional postgame karaoke

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There literally will be a Player X on the field

Intrigue: Who is this mysterious Mr. “X” ... oh yeah, it’s Xavier Cedeño, the guy on the team with an X at the start of his name.

I hate to break it to you, but the Chicago White Sox have taken a step back this year.

Wait, wait, that’s not any sort of breaking news. Obviously they’ve taken a step back. It’s “by design.”

Well, there’s another step back coming in August, and it’s an unfortunate one indeed.

Gone El Puchi and Big Pelf, arriving are DP and Bulldog. Sayonara to Dutch and El Chamaquito, howdy to Rey and Danish.

If the team has to lead the league in losses (OK, not quite lead, but lemme have this one), it can at least likewise lead in spunk, spirit, spark or sass.

Sadly, Players’ Weekend at the end of the month will come and go, and nothing memorable will remain. Sigh.

Acceptable retreads

  • Matt Davidson: MATTY D
  • Reynaldo López: REY
  • James Shields: JUEGO G

Bland

  • Daniel Palka: DP (this is either double-entendre naughty or impossibly bland, after his first five suggestions were scuttled, but there’s no way in hell our most colorful player this side of Yolmer should be wearing “DP” on Players’ Weekend)
  • Carlos Rodón: LOS
  • Hector Santiago: BULLDOG (funny, Hector doesn’t look like Jake Peavy ...)

Victims of late call-ups/failing to make an entry in the spring training sign-up sheet

  • Tyler Danish: DANISH
  • Ryan LaMarre: LAMARRE

Acceptable lifelong nickname choices

  • Jeanmar Gómez: JANKO
  • Juan Minaya: JUANITO
  • Yoán Moncada: YOYO
  • Omar Narváez: NARVY

Tributes

  • Kevan Smith: WEBBY (for deceased teammate, Daniel Webb)
  • Nate Jones: NATES NATION (Jones’s tribute to his hometown area)

Variations on a theme

  • Danny Farquhar: D-FARK (last year, FARK)

Steps back

  • Leury García: LEO (last year: EL MOLLETO, or “strong man”)
  • Miguel González: EL MARIACHI (real tough call here, because it’s a nice nod to the big fella fronting a mariachi band on the field this year, but, c’mon, last year: EL JALISCIENSE)
  • Yolmer Sánchez: EL DE PIÑONAL (sorry, I get it, hometown, but a repeat of 2017 is not what we expect from Yolmer friggin Sánchez)

Winners

  • Nicky Delmonico: PUP
  • Adam Engel: MAN OF STEAL (point of order: 12 steals in 102 games this season, but with last year’s CLARKE — his baby daughter — and this year’s, kudos for a theme)
  • Jace Fry: FOO
  • Lucas Giolito: BIG FOOT
  • Thyago Vieira: NÉGS (I don’t get it, judging by Thyago’s Twitter it’s probably something religious, but I dig it)

If you think I’m being harsh, consider who has left us from last year; not a boring name in the bunch:

  • Willy García: EL PUCHI (the cute one)
  • Alen Hanson: EL CHAMAQUITO (the little flame)
  • Derek Holland: DUTCH (mediocre pitcher, meteoric nickname)
  • Gregory Infante: EL METEORICO (oh, speaking of, “the meteor” couldn’t get it together well enough in Triple-A to wear this again in the majors)
  • Mike Pelfrey: BIG PELF
  • Jake Petricka: PETEY
  • Tyler Saladino: SALY
  • Kevan Smith: SZMYDTH (still with us, of course, and pausing a year for a tribute, but man, it’s tough to lose this one)

The rest of the team is represented below, with the five jerseys (including Mr. X, up top) available for purchase at $225 a pop.

Two men, one uniform ... yup, the White Sox are so bland, not one but two players (Luis Avilán and Avisaíl García) chose AVI for their custom jersey.
Dylan Covey, if you couldn’t guess.
The classic José Abreu. As if this sweetheart could ever be MAL in our eyes.
When I see Tim Anderson’s I think TAZ, and come to think of it, that might be cooler than TA7.