On 23-25 August, MLB® and your Chicago White Sox® will once again celebrate the longstanding, three-year tradition of Players’ Weekend®, that annual three-day weekend in which the players on your favorite team get to trade in their regular, day-to-day work togs for a butt-ugly alternative uni with a bright, bold palette of mostly brick, cinderblock, charcoal and blech.
According to MLB®, this weekend “will shine a light on the unique personalities behind the world’s most talented baseball players,” and helpfully provides a link to the MLB® Shop®, where you, the average fan®, can dress just like your favorite player will, at low, low prices® starting as low, low as $21.95 for a youth-sized Majestic® White 2019 Players’ Weekend® Name & Number T-Shirt®.
Of course, real, Authentic® fans will want to shell out $219.99 or more for a Majestic® Black 2019 Players’ Weekend® Authentic Roster Players’ Weekend® jersey. Just like the big boys® in black® wear.
One of the “charms” of these Players’ Weekend® froufrou’s is that each MLB® player gets to choose a nickname to put on the back of his Authentic Roster Players’ Weekend® jersey, making them whimsical®, fun, and lighthearted, and allowing your favorite player® to shine light on their unique® personality.
Scrolling through the list of each team’s currently released nicknames is dreary® to say the least. Painful®, to say more. There may be numerous reasons for this: Some players honor friends, loved ones or hometowns — nicknames that have a personal® meaning for them, which is nice, but mean nothing really to us, which is less nice. But hey, it’s Players’ Weekend® after all, so the players can and should do what they like.
But more than this, what’s reflected in the chosen nicknames is that, frankly, we’re living in an era that is a wasteland® for fun and interesting nicknames®. Aside from the odd Thor® here and occasional Kraken® there, it’s clear that MLB® pines for the good old days® when there were real, honest-to-goodness® nicknames that were odd, quirky, and genuinely shined a light on unique® personalities.
Today®, not so much.
I shan’t bore us all here with the full list of the lack of imagination and verve® that is the full MLB® Players’ Weekend® roster of drear (you can go here if you’d like to scroll through the list yourself; I recommend a strong cup of coffee® or your favorite energy drink® as an accompaniment) and will instead keep my laser focus® on your Chicago White Sox® and the choices their players have made to shine a light on their unique® personalities.
Each nickname will be judged and graded on its level of Soxiness®, a difficult to explain but hyper-accurate® combination of encapsulating the essence of White Soxicity® as it exists in this, the 2019 Season®. Soxiness® falls on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being horribly unSoxy and 10 the epitome of White Soxness®. Obviously, which is “better” (a high or low score) is ambiguous and depends upon the reader’s view of White Soxicity® as it exists in this, the 2019 Season®. Commentary is provided as needed, and alternate suggestions® made where appropriate.
José Abreu: “MAL TIEMPO®”
José used his hometown of “bad weather®” last year, too, and if nothing else, it makes you less and less surprised it takes something like testicular torsion® to keep him off the field: The kid grew up in the least hospitable-sounding city in the world®, at least south of Death Valley.
Alternate(s): MAL OBP®, this being 2019® and all.
Tim Anderson: “TA7®”
Timmy® has a personal brand, bub, and I respect that. You can already buy TA7® merchandise. MLB® got nothin’ on Timmy®. But, in fact I do respect that. Anderson knows the world we live in and has a good idea of how to thrive in it. I respect that.
Alternate(s): Timmy®, of course. And Stick Talk®, duh.
Aaron Bummer: “BUM®”
Kind of obvious, but with his strong, steady improvement, it also gets some irony points. Those points, hard negated by the obviousness, rending it essentially neutral.
Alternate(s): Notta BUM®; Comma, Man®
Dylan Cease: “CEASE®”
This is, without doubt, my favorite of all the Sox nicknames®, perfect in its absurdity and wit. If I had any doubts about this kid’s future, this dispelled them all. He may be a genius. And I’m not kidding here. This may actually be 4-D chess.
Soxiness®: 1 / 10
Alternate(s): What would possibly be the point®?
Alex Colomé: “THE HORSE®”
Not bad, though I’ve never seen any reference to it being used. Of course, he’s only been here part of a season and doesn’t get a lot of coverage outside of people trying to decide if he’s actually a) really very good; b) worth having/paying as the Sox aren’t very good at this point; c) does that silly thing with his hat on purpose or not. So I don’t know if this is a legit nickname or one of those kinda pathetic things were somebody desperately tries to give themselves a cool nickname. I’m going to err in favor of the former. He seems pretty cool to me. Unless it really is some sideways reference to having been caught taking horse steroids. Then I’m gonna dock him a bit, as well as figuring his hat is worn that way due to onset gigantism developing in the noggin.
Alternate(s): The Dominican Stud®. While writing this and thinking about horses, Johnny Cash’s version of “The Tennessee Stud” was running through my head. And frankly, putting “The Dominican Stud®” on the back of your jersey would indicate serious closer huevos.
Ryan Cordell: “CORDY®”
Ricky’s Boys Don’t Have Much Imagination and Neither Does Ricky®.
Soxiness®: 9.5, which is not a good thing in this particular instance.
Alternate(s): Ry-y®; Any®, Delly®; Silly®
Jimmy Cordero: “GERARD®”
This appears to be one of those personal statements in which a player actually chooses to use his real name instead of the Anglicized version of it somebody slapped on him in his youth because they didn’t want to bother to learn how to pronounce “Gerard” the way it’s actually pronounced in Gerardo’s first language. Or maybe it’s just his real middle name, since every source I’ve looked up since typing the first part here lists him as Jimmy Gerard Cordero. So I may be full of it. But on behalf of every Luis who’s been reduced to a “Looie,” I’m rating it high anyway.
Alternate(s): Who’s “Jimmy”? ®
Dylan Covey: “COVE®”
This is the sort of nickname that’s probably been used for him since he was a toddler, and by four-fifths of everyone he’s ever met casually. This is also the sort of nickname that proves we live in a nickname wasteland® populated by bros.
Alternate(s): Zimmy®; X Chances®; 5th SRTR®; Big Shuttle®
Ross Detwiler: “DET®”
See: Dylan Covey
Soxiness®: 2.5, because at least as of this writing, he’s pitching .5 better than Dylan Covey
Alternate(s): Still Here®; Not In AAA®
Adam Engel: “MAN OF STEAL®”
This is a handle Engel has been using for quite some time now, so that’s legit. However, this also smacks of the self-made nickname ... which smacks of desperation. It’s also not very accurate, as Engel’s MLB® SB rate is both meh (73%) and limited (27-of-37).
Alternate(s): Man of Some Thin, Lower-Grade Steal®; Man of Leather® (which actually fits); Finally +WAR®
Jace Fry: “FRENCHY®”
Points for being clever, though only a few points, because it isn’t all that clever. But it is clever enough, and it’s vastly better than “Jacey” or some crap like that (See: Ryan Cordell). Still, if going that route, there are some better options.
Alternate(s): Saturday Night Fish®; Baby®; Bigger Fish To®; Daddy®; Vocal®; among others
Leury Garcia: “LEO®”
Not sure if this is actually a name Leury goes by or not. Maybe it’s his astrological sign. Maybe it’s his Dad’s or kid’s name. Whatever else it is, it’s pretty nondescript, which kind of makes it perfect for you 2019 Chicago White Sox®. But it doesn’t make it suitable for one of the season’s greatest pleasant surprises, even if he did show signs of minor stardom all along.
Alternate(s): See? I Told You®; Underdog®; Out-Performing Expectations®
Ryan Goins: “GO GO®”
While I’m sure it isn’t, I’m going to treat this as though this is pleasant-surprise Goins’ tribute to the 1950s history of his newly-embraced team. It probably isn’t, but as far as I’m concerned, I believe it is, and this makes Ryan Goins a True® Authentic® White Sox®. You believe what you like.
Alternate(s): None®. This tribute is great and I love Ryan Goins for it. (Hitting and glove so far help, too.)
Jon Jay: “305 J®”
Referencing your Miami area code in a season following the biggest free agency fallout in franchise history, when you were acquired solely to lure that free agent (Manny Machado, also from the general 305 area) to town can be taken several ways: ballsy as hell; pretty clueless (was Yonder Alonso’s gonna be: HA-HA?); or a journeyman’s pride-above-franchise. Credit for this referring to something personal, which shines a light on his unique® personality. Points subtracted for the salt-in-wound factor.
Alternate(s): Inscrutable®; Unique®; Founding Father® (duh)
Eloy Jiménez: “THE BIG BABY®”
A handful of professional athletes have now had “Big Baby” as a nickname. Maybe it’s a personal thing, but I find this nickname grotesque. It beats Eloy-y or Jimy, but not by a lot. I think we need to crowdsource a better nickname for the kid, and do it better than our comment threads have so far. Perhaps a cash prize is in order.
Alternate(s): Cash Prize®; Pinwheel Spinner®; Your Ad Here®
Reynaldo López: “REY®”
King, is of course, a little ostentatious, but I still prefer to believe that’s his intent, rather than simply accepting it as a phonetic spelling of a Ricky-ism (and yes, I’ve seen Lopy quoted) or just shortening his first name, Bro-style. Come on, kid, you’re better than this. Or at least you have been since the AS® break.
Alternate(s): Second-Half Adjustments® (with respect to, and in homage for, our former comrade 2HA)
Evan Marshall: “FORGETTING SARAH®”
Another fairly clever one, though I’m too old to have cared about this movie. However, I like the film, Hollywood, entertainment nod.
Alternate(s): E.G.®; Dillon®; McCloud®; Samuel Gerard®; Penny®; William; and I’ve got a million of ‘em, folks.
James McCann: “McCANNON®”
Longstanding (by today’s standards) and self-branding. It also works very nicely on the back of a jersey, though I sometimes have visions of William Conrad pop into my head.
Alternate(s): McDOES®. If I can’t get people behind this in the threads, maybe putting it into a post will work.
Yoán Moncada: “YOYO®”
Something about this rubs me the wrong way, but it has become an accepted and widely-used moniker for the kid, so it does actually work nicely in context, even if I don’t care for it for reasons I can’t quite articulate. So it goes.
Alternate(s): God of WAR®; Please, Dear God, Keep Me Healthy®
Iván Nova: “SUPER NOVA®”
Like Rey, a bit presumptuous, and despite his strong second half, he’s not really been Super for some time. Still, he earned it once and you and I cannot take his genuinely terrific years away from him, and don’t think any of us would really want to. Though ultimately, a nova occurs when a star blows up, so … still, I like the huevos.
Alternate(s): Modest-Sized Nova®; Regular-Sized Nova®; Rethinking Nova®
Josh Osich: “O®”
Many of you here are too young to catch the reference, but Story of O® would be clever, sly, and worthy of a 10. Josh is almost certainly too young to catch the reference. Pity. It would have raised him in my esteem, though he’s really been half-assed solid this year anyway. Without the references, though, points off for obviousness. (Also: Astute readers will remember last year’s Players’ Weekend review, which included a Player X.)
Alternate(s): O Face®; O Jays®; O For Some Consistency®
José Ruiz: “EL DE GUACARA®”
A hat-tip to his hometown, and that’s cool. Embrace and celebrate your roots, young man. More of us should acknowledge where we come from.
Alternate(s): El de Lake Elsinore®; El de Tri-City®; El de Birmingham®
Yolmer Sánchez: “NOAH ALAN®”
A hat-tip to his kids, and that’s cool. Yolmer is a delight, and I care not for the naysayers on the threads who pooh-pooh him, deride him, derogate and disparage him. Yolmer is a damned delight, do you hear me? And I respect his choice, but if anybody here deserves an old-school baseball nickname, it’s Yolmer Sánchez.
Alternate(s): Death To Flying Coolers®; The Iron Douser®; King of Coolers®; The Big Spill®; Everybody Into the Pool®
Matt Skole: “BABA®”
Perhaps a tribute to his Grandma or The Who, this is another inscrutable one, which means I like it. Thankfully, Skole is hitting well enough in his small sample size® that he looks to still be around come MLB® Players’ Weekend® to wear his jersey®.
Alternate(s): Small Sample Size®; Ex-Prospect Power®; Dingers Will Help®
These two players were apparently on the 25 man roster® when MLB® asked for submissions, but no longer appear of the more updated lists.
Hector Santiago: “SANTI®”
Hector was back with the Sox once again, after having cashed checks from what is now nine different organizations. Hector is a survivor and deserves better than this bland, Ricky-inspired nickname.
Alternate(s): Where In the World is Hector Santiago?®; Still Employed®
Seby Zavala: “SEBY®”
Points for beating Ricky at his own game, this is almost Cease-like, but falls somewhat short for obvious reasons.
Alternate(s): Next Year®; K®
Buy yours® today. Seriously, though, if you go all-in on a Players’ Weekend jersey, if you take the time to get there via an MLB link in this story to then search for your swag, you’ll leave a nice tip in the jar for South Side Sox.