Towards the end of the month, MLB is hosting a league-wide Player’s Weekend. As part of the festivities, players around the league will get the opportunity to wear a jersey with a nickname on the back rather than their boring old last name. We introduced this on Wednesday and showed you some of the nicknames. Now, it’s time to grade them. Somewhere, there is a full list of Red Sox nicknames, but I cannot find it. Thus, I will just be going off the list of jerseys shown here.
Andrew Benintendi: “Benny”
This is just boring, if we’re being honest. Benintendi is a young, good-looking guy with great hair and a name that kind of sounds like one of the most famous video game systems of all time. And he just turned his last name into what six year olds named Benjamin go by. You can do better than this, Andrew. You have to do better than this.
Dustin Pedroia: “Laser Show”
This is just a solid choice. Nothing special, but nothing really to complain about. If he had just made up the Laser Show nickname more recently I’d probably be more excited, because it’s an objectively cool nickname. It’s been around for a while, though, so some of the shine has worn off. Still, good job Dustin.
Mookie Betts: “Mookie”
Part of me respects the hell out of this choice. There’s a special kind of laziness in just putting the name you go by on the back of your jersey and just calling it a day. Plus, it actually is a nickname for Markus Betts. Still, as someone who should be the face of the franchise for a long time, something a little more creative would have been nice. Oh well.
Sandy Leon: “Noah”
When this name was first revealed, I was flabbergasted by this nickname. I couldn’t possibly figure out why Leon was referring to himself as Noah or if it was an actual nickname. Does he build arks in the offseason? Is he a hoarder of animals? Is it because of his beard? The possibilities were endless. As it turns out, it’s actually just a nice, sweet reason. Noah is the name of Leon’s unborn son. That’s nice, Sandy.
David Price: “Astro’s Dad”
So, there’s at least a little creativity here, I guess. Plus, part of Price’s brand on social media over his career has been how crazy he is about his dog Astro, so it makes sense to use this opportunity to tie it back to Astro. This is all very good. Dogs are good and people who like dogs are good. On the other hand, Price does have an actual human baby. So, ya know. Not the end of the world, but there’s a little *thinking face emoji* to this one.
Rick Porcello: “Veintidos”
This one is incredible, and I can’t begin to describe how much I respect Porcello for this nickname. The man, who as far as I can tell has no ties to Latin America or Spain, just took his uniform number and translated it to Spanish. Amazing. A true inspiration for us all.
Xander Bogaerts: “X”
The simplicity is beautiful here, as there are some ways he could have tried to get too cute. For example, if he had gone with “X-Man,” this would have been an easy F. That’s lame as hell. Just going with a simple X is sweet, though. I’d buy that jersey if I had money to buy jerseys.
Jackie Bradley: “JBJ”
Again, points for simplicity. Basically everything I wrote about Bogaerts applies here.
Tyler Thornburg: “Thorny”
Ah, the hockey nickname. Just taking your last name and adding a “y”. We haven’t even seen Thornburg this year so his nickname is inconsequential, but this is kind of boring.
Eduardo Rodriguez: “El Gualo”
I am embarrassed to say I don’t know what this means and google is not shining any light on this. I cannot, in good conscience, give a grade for this when I don’t even know what it means.
Craig Kimbrel: “Dirty Craig”
Grade: A+ or F-, no in between
Good lord, Craig. What you doin’, bud? This is just a shocking nickname and I can’t decide whether or not I love it or hate it. All I know is that from here on out we will be referring to the Red Sox bullpen as Dirty Craig and the Boys.
Chris Sale: “Stickman”
This is a pretty solid nickname, because Sale is skinny. You know, like a stick. Do you get it? Anyway, this is probably a C+ nickname but I gave him a little bump because he struck me as someone who wouldn’t even participate in this. So, good on you for participating, Chris.
Drew Pomeranz: “Big Smooth”
What? This came out of nowhere. I’m so shocked I’m just giving Drew an A and hoping he’ll leave me alone.
Chris Young: “CY”
I get it. It’s the first letter of your first name and the first letter of your last name. I was a little excited because I thought this was Joe Kelly’s jersey at first, so the disappointment when I found out it wasn’t didn’t bode well for Young’s grade.
Robbie Ross: “Lawnmower”
I’m assuming this is because he mows down hitters? Right? That’s actually pretty good. We won’t see it on the mound, but nice job Robbie.
Mitch Moreland: “2-Bags”
This is the closest the Red Sox have to a “He Hate Me” level jersey, and ol’ Mitchy Two Bags is embracing that nickname. He also received bonus points for using the number two rather than the word. That just improves it in a way I can’t quite articulate.
Hanley Ramirez: “El Trece”
This is just Ramirez’ number, and while I still respect the laziness of just translating your jersey number he doesn’t get the same shock factor boost as Porcello since Ramirez is actually from a Spanish-speaking country.
Brock Holt: “Brock Star”
This is bad and he should feel bad. For one thing, Brock Star is kind of lame if we’re being honest. But, more importantly, he had a chance to put “\o/” on a jersey and passed it up. You should be ashamed of yourself, Brock.
Matt Barnes: “Barnicles”
This actually isn’t a good nickname, even putting aside that they misspelled barnacle for some reason. Barnes gets a pass for putting this up to a fan vote, though.
Joe Kelly: “JK”
By all accounts, Kelly is the funniest player in the Red Sox clubhouse. He had that great Cy Young prediction that people took seriously, and was reportedly behind the Red Sox bullpen members putting their senior photo above their assigned seat in the clubhouse. That all he could come up with were his damn initials is disappointing. You can do better, Joe.
Blaine Boyer: “Grande Rijo”
This translates to Big Red, which is good because Boyer is a big man with red hair. With shades of “White Mamba” I can totally get behind this nickname.
Doug Fister: “Fist”
You know what you did, Doug.
Heath Hembree: “Heater”
This is kind of boring, especially for a guy with such distinctive hair and constant Kenny Powers comparisons. It’s at least a tiny bit creative, but there was so much potential for more.