Let’s Create Some Better Nicknames for Cubs Players’ Weekend Jerseys
The Cubs will be donning their special Players’ Weekend duds for their series with the Nats, but some of the nicknames are a little meh. So after seeing the hilarious video from Cubs strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss (which seems to have disappeared?), I wanted to take things a step further.After all, there are 25 guys on the roster and Bussy didn’t get to everyone.
The overriding truth here is that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, pick your own nickname. Nicknames are best when someone else gives them to you, whether they’re based on your snaggletooth, your funky BO, your inability to carry a tune, or the kind of fish you like. They don’t always have to make sense to the outside world, but they should always have a corresponding story to go along with them.
I’d also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to plug the “fun” uniform idea, rather than the black/white monstrosities they’re using this year. While you may or may not have been a fan of the two-tone unis from the last two seasons, they are light years beyond the 2019 option. Or maybe you’d prefer something like the Little League unis and would want something like that for the weekend.
Regardless, these special jerseys should feature some kind of defining team logo for each city, along with special nicknames on the back. In addition, you could even let kids pick nicknames for their favorite players in a survey, then have the kid whose nickname was used stand out by the player in pregame. What do you know, MLB has yet another kid-friendly initiative to reel in the next generation.
Some Cubs players got it right, so I won’t mess with those at all. For example: “Speedpass” (Steve Cishek), “El Mago” (Javy Báez), “Yu-San” (Yu Darvish), “Hollywood” (Cole Hamels), “Dutch” (Derek Holland), “Chieng” (Tony Kemp), “Salt” (Brandon Kintzler), “Lelo” (José Quintana), and “Venezuela” (Willson Contreras). Most of these names include a story or were given to the players at some point in their respective careers/lives by friends or family. You don’t mess with friends and you don’t mess with family.
So, who needs a new nickname? How about all those guys with mundane variations or abbreviations of their names: KB, Hendo, Stropy, Schwarbs, etc. These may indeed be names the players call each other, but they don’t add a ton of fun for new jerseys or a special weekend. We’re going to change them (:
- Kris Bryant: Sparkles, which should be self-explanatory.
- Victor Caratini: Carrot and martini emojis, because that would be really fun.
- Nicholas Castellanos: Big Nick Energy or Nicky Two Bags, which breaks the own-name rule but whatever
- Tyler Chatwood: Ball Four, kind of throwing shade at himself.
- Ian Happ: Mr. Media, because the guy loves playing with old phones and mics in the dugout.
- Kyle Hendricks: Professor, or go with the blank face emoji.
- Jason Heyward: Rain Delay Man, which should take less than 17 minutes to figure out.
- Craig Kimbrel: Lt. Dangle, based on his stance of course.
- Jon Lester: BDJ, which probably won’t play because you know what it means. Let’s just say the southpaw doesn’t need to make a pitstop at the gas station for any, um…supplies.
- Jonathan Lucroy: Engage, something only the Star Trek fans will get.
- David Phelps: Fightin’ Phelps, since he went to Notre Dame.
- Anthony Rizzo: Leadoff GOAT, apologies to Rickey Henderson
- Kyle Ryan: Wolfhunter, because he is an avid sportsman who loves pontoon boats and, apparently, hunting wolves.
- Kyle Schwarber: Hulk, Safelite, Mr. Budweiser Sign, no explanations required.
- Pedro Strop: To the Left, which would probably cause some more heads to explode.
- Rowan Wick: Dudley Do-Righthander, since he’s Canadian, eh. Oh, for Pete’s sake, that was good.
While the players aren’t going to be wearing any of these names on their backs this weekend, they probably should. This whole event is about having fun and getting to know a little more about the guys we invest entirely too much time in throughout the season.
Just as long as they win two of three for Joe “Meatloaf” Maddon.