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We've gotta do someting about bad baseball nicknames

I've long been a fan of good baseball nicknames, and I am deeply saddened that we currently find ourselves in an era in which the best anyone can seem to come up with are diminutives of given names. Simply adding a "y" or an "ie" to someone's name is not a nickname. It's a term of endearment. My momma calls me "Craigy" and it's actually kind of cute, but if I was a ballplayer and a teammate called me that I'd probably sock him one.

It's good to hear that I'm not alone in hating this phenomenon:

The Royals are an improved ballclub, and it's high time the players and coaches put more thought into the names they use for each other (at least in public). Listen to manager Trey Hillman. Bench coach John Gibbons is "Gibby." Catcher John Buck is "Bucky." Pitching coach Bob McClure is "Mac." Pitcher Brian Bannister? Yep, "Banny."


Rany Jazayerli went so far last year as to implore his readers to come up with better nicknames for the Royals. That kind of thing may not work. Back in the day the good nicknames came from sportswriters and radio guys who basically had a monopoly on disseminating information about a given team. If the beat writer wanted to start calling the first basemen "Chuckles," there weren't 50 other media outlets undermining that. The guy pretty much became Chuckles. Consensus matters, and between all of the blogs and newspapers and television coverage it would be pretty hard to make anything good stick today. We're pretty much left with whatever the players themselves come up with.

I guess the only way to combat all of the diminutives is for the beat writers to start challenging the guys giving the quotes. when Trey Hillman says "Banny really had good stuff," the writer should say "Who? Who's this Banny?" When Hillman clarifies, he should be met with a dubious stare and the comment "you're seriously calling him 'Banny.'? What, are you two dating or something."

Maybe it won't work, but there's at least a chance such a thing will inspire some creativity that will lead to the next "Oil Can" or "Sudden Sam."