After reading Martin's article about the All-Star game, I was thinking about writing something about baseball players and their treatment of the press, about the fact that most of them are not as honest as Smoltz was about his feelings on the All-Star game, why this is and whether or not fans really want honesty from them, when athletes so often get something that looks like a huge backlash when they speak their minds, because fans get excited about it, and in the midst of the big deal we enjoy making about a bullshit-free quote, players decide they don't want to deal with the fallout and vow to keep their mouths shut rather than answer a thousand follow up questions, etc, etc, BUT, then I saw this glorious complaint about the modern Braves nicknaming system posted on the AJC's website this morning, so that original idea is just going to have to go on hold for now.
The AJC article complains that Bobby's nicknames are uncreative. I completely agree! Corrales invented "Frenchy," the only one I really love. They've got a poll up about the best nickname, and over there they insist that Heap's is "Mack." Yeah, whatever. That nickname is losing horribly in the polls, and I'm not surprised -- look at him, for crying out loud. He's just not a "Mack." I initially wasn't a fan of the Heap nickname, but I was always so averse to calling him "Mack" that I eventually started using it, and it stuck until it grew on me. I've never heard Bobby say it, but I did hear Frenchy shout "C'mon Heap!" from the on-deck circle once (picked up on the Bobby Mic on TV), and Davies accidentally called him Heap in an on-field interview once, then had to explain, and I've always loved this early Frenchy interview where Bill Shanks tries to get in on the fun and asks, "Ok so after you found out, what happened when you talked with Heep?" both because I can picture myself asking Frenchy that question after any conceivable incident, and because whenever people misspell it "Heep" it makes me think of Heap as a marshmallow Easter candy.
I sometimes (guiltily) wonder if Heap likes fans referring to him by his minor league nickname. I've heard reports that you'll get quite a surprised reaction out of him if you shout it to him on the field.
But at any rate, it's time for a nicknaming renaissance, and if Bobby won't lead the charge, we'll have to do it ourselves. Scooter is a good start, and I actually have my own super secret nicknames for some of the guys, most of which are fit to print (only one that really isn't, but it's been mostly retired because I like the guy better now, and also the situation that earned him the nickname in the first place is no more). Here are a few:
Henchy (resulting from talking fast one day and saying "Henchy and Freap")
Figgy (short for Figjam)
Buttercup (this one's impossible to figure out logically -- to be honest I don't even completely remember how I came up with it)
How about you guys? Anyone have anything weird or unique that they use as a player's nickname? Or am I alone in my fascination with coming up with nicknames based on nicknames until I can only think "who in the hell is that" when I hear their proper first names?