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The Name Game

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Has the time come for national White Sox nicknames?

Travelers Championship - Final Round
Go back back back: The master of the nickname gets the trophy
Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

It could just be a fan’s misguided hopes, but it had seemed to me before the All-Star break that the White Sox were becoming a team. Not a good team yet, by any means, and regressing badly after the break, but no longer just a bunch of guys who like to dress up in the same kinky outfits.

They’ve even got their cliches covered:

  • Spirit leader fun guys Yolmer, Leury and, now, Eloy
  • Thinkers like McCann and Giolito
  • An elder statesman like Abreu
  • Brash Timmy
  • and a whole bunch of young upstarts

Note I only used first or last names there, not both. We adhere to journalistic principles at SSS, so normally first reference is always both names, but, truth be told, I feel clumsy using both sometimes. If Eloy or Yolmer or Yoán or Leury do something, what other Eloy or Yolmer or Yoán or Leury could I be talking about? If I write that Ricky made a strange decision, do Sox fans need me to point out which Ricky? Wait, I guess so — depends on whether the strangeness comes on the field (Renteria) or off (Hahn).

Chicago White Sox v Chicago Cubs
Ricky “Why buy when you can” Renteria
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Of course, sometimes a first name won’t do, usually because of commonness — there may be up to 1% of Sox followers who think that “José” means Ruiz or Rondón. There may be a few more who associate “Timmy” with a tow-headed kid always being saved by Lassie. And somebody may think a catcher named McCann might be Brian, or that Jon Jay is the one who was the first U.S. Chief Justice.

Portrait Of John Jay
The John Jay not known as a base-ball outfielder.
Photo by Interim Archives/Getty Images

Still, that’s unbalanced — some first names by obviousness, some first and last by necessity. Time to remedy that.

Since Chris Berman is no longer around ESPN to create nicknames, instead relegated these days to doing a few games for Those Other Sox, we’ll have to create our own. Permit a few suggestions, one or two of which I’ve used before, to which you are free to add your own.

Position players of this moment first:

James “Pa can’t but” McCann
José “Can, you see” Abreu
Yolmer “Castles in the” Sánchez
Timmy “’Fell in the well again, Lassie” Anderson
Yoán “Hey, what’s up” Moncada (yes, he’s Cuban, not Jamaican, but it flows)
José “See ya” Rondón (no intended use of SSS sentiment there)
Eloy “There’s nobody like” Jiménez (or, for offense “The Eloyminator” and for current defense, “The Eloyteror”)
Leury “Time to light the ci-“ García
Ryan “Don’t forget to pull the rip” Cordell
Jon “You doesn’t have to call me Ray” Jay (if you’re too young to know about Raymond J. Johnson, Jr.’s routine, you should look it up, he once used it to sell beer)
Charlie “Better not catch you with your hand in the” Tilson
“He plays catcher, to be ex” Zack Collins

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Charlie “Better not catch you with your hand in the” Tilson, putting hand to better purpose.
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Pitchers, starters first:

Lucas “Does anybody remember the Chevy” Giolito (Yea, I know “Gi-elito” is already in use. Can’t believe Berman would settle for that.)
Iván “Blame it on the bossa” Nova
Dylan “Sailing the seven” Cease
Dylan “My melan” Covey “baby”
Reynaldo “How can you call that pitch” López (or, Reynaldo “Re mi fa sol” López
Ross “Gotta get out of” Detwiler
Alex “Choose one from” Colomé (have to keep him — this one’s too good to lose)
Aaron “Hope this time’s not a” Bummer
Evan “’s to Betsy, better call the” Marshall
“Zero degrees” Kelvin Herrera (at zero Kelvin, there’s no movement — like his fastball)
Jace “I got better fish to” Fry
Juan “na bet I can get this guy?” Minaya
Josh “Trichin” Osich
José “Geez” Ruiz

Chicago White Sox v Chicago Cubs
Alex “Choose one from” Colomé, with the Sox on a one-year contract, or, in spirit of nickname, a “to go” order.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Coaches don’t generally get included, but they did we could add Daryl “Please come to” Boston, Don “Flew the” Cooper, Nick “Tip of the” Capra, Joe “Lining up at the golden arches is called” McEwing, and something you come up with because I can’t for Todd Steverson.

Get all those down, and used by national media, and we’ll really have a team.