On Wednesday, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reported that Major League Baseball will relax uniform standards, among other concessions to normal rules of order, on what will be called Players Weekend. According to the article, “players will have the option to wear a jersey with a nickname” as long as said nickname stays constant throughout the weekend and is not offensive or profane.
Despite a mostly unfounded reputation that the St. Louis Cardinals are a stodgy organization that hates fun, mostly from fans of a team that traditionally gets Mad Offline to such an extent that they would rather throw a temper tantrum by throwing a baseball back onto the field instead of giving a small child a souvenir he or she will treasure for a lifetime, the team has many fun players who could take advantage of this weekend to flaunt their personalities. Here are my top five for a wish list of nicknames.
5. Stephen Piscotty, “STANFORD”—Announcers have always been obsessed with where players went to college. As somebody who memorized Madden 03’s listed player colleges, I can relate. But Piscotty is a unique case—unlike Matt Adams and Slippery Rock, mentions of Piscotty attending the Pacific coast’s equivalent to Harvard is used to speak to Piscotty’s intelligence. While I’m a big Piscotty fan, I’ve never thought he was really any more or less intelligent on the field than the typical player, and that this was a fairly lazy trope, but if I were Stephen Piscotty, I would encourage this meme as much as possible. He can be the Ryan Fitzpatrick of MLB.
4. Yadier Molina, “YADI”—I have seen multiple fans wear “YADI 4” shirseys before and I have no idea why these exist. Were they custom made? Why would you want one? It’s not as though “MOLINA 4” shirseys are hard to find. But it takes true and weird commitment to your favorite player to put his semi-nickname on a t-shirt. Those fans deserve their day in the sun.
3. Tommy Pham, “HE HATE ME”—Y’all remember Rod Smart? He was a running back for the XFL’s Las Vegas Bandits and he was the only famous player during the only season of the Xtreme Football League because in lieu of using his actual surname on his jersey, it read “HE HATE ME”. I don’t even remember who “he” was (apparently Smart doesn’t really remember either)—we probably wouldn’t remember this whole thing if he hadn’t played in the first XFL game, after which most of us stopped watching the league forever. You probably didn’t even notice that I wrote the wrong nickname for the Las Vegas XFL team—they were actually called the Outlaws.
Anyway, Jonathan Broxton would’ve been a good pick for the moniker since he wore Smart’s #30, but following his departure, the logical pick here is Tommy Pham.
2. Randal Grichuk, “I AM RANDAL”—This, of course, is contingent upon Grichuk having returned to the big leagues by late August. If he agrees to wear this jersey, he should be promoted immediately as a sign of goodwill. For what it’s worth, even without context, I think this is a funny idea for a jersey.
1. Carlos Martinez, “EL GALLO”—One of the safer nickname bets on the Cardinals is that Martinez will use his more common nickname, “Tsunami” (or possibly “Tsunamy”, to match his Twitter handle, though it is unlikely that MLB will allow Brett Cecil to acquiesce the #27 to make the match perfect). And this is fine and well and it’ll be fun to see. But I’m biased and would prefer he use his VEB-crafted nickname. Viva El Gallo.
Anyway, here’s the stuff that happened on VEB yesterday.
- I wrote about Matt Carpenter leading off. While I am skeptical that he is actually a better hitter batting first in the lineup, and consider his better results mostly caused by BABIP luck, I view moving Carpenter away from the three-hole to be an accidental step in the right direction.
- In the Daily Farm Report, Josey Curtis writes about terrific minor league performances from Sandy Alcantara, Juan Yepez, and others.
- Tommy Pham was the subject of a fantastic USA Today article by Bob Nightengale, and now he is the subject of a fantastic analysis of the Bob Nightengale article courtesy of the Little Scooter.
- Craig Edwards wrote about how the Cardinals should destroy the Baltimore Orioles. I recapped the first game of the series, which was fun and good.