Posted on: May 20, 2009 1:14 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2009 1:18 pm

Do Their Parents Hate Them?

Last week I broke down the 10 best names currently in baseball and this week I promised to do the same for the 10 worst. Over the years, there have been some names in baseball that I am not even sure I can type for this blog, so I am going to keep myself out of trouble; however, I am sure you know what they are. If you don't, a quick Google search will fill you in on the topic.

Now, I understand that some people may find these names quite entertaining and feel they deserve to find a place in the best baseball names, but some of these are just cruel, especially for a young kid growing up. A few are pertaining to the names chosen by the ball players' parents, yet the majority address the last name acquired at birth, which makes you wonder...where do such terrible last names come from? Good names or bad names, these players find a way to entertain us when our team is getting crushed and we still have 15 beers to kill in the third inning.

10. Gabe Gross (RF for Tampy Bay Rays) - There really isn't much indepth analysis needed for Gabe. His last name is Gross! Once you learn what the word gross means as a child and then your realize..."Oh man, that is my last name,"... you have to need a serious sit down with your parents or a counseling session. I mean someone could tell Gabe that he is Gross and not be insulting him...or would they be insulting him without being at risk of getting in trouble. See how confusing this is!
9. Nomar Garciaparra (1B Oakland Athletics) - A lot of fathers give their child the same name as themselves so that is nothing to be ashamed of; however, Nomar's dad, Ramon thought he would do something a little different. Yes, you caught on to that. Nomar is Ramon backwards. "Son, it has been a longstanding tradition in this family to pass down the name Ramon, but you were not worthy of the name so I gave you my name...backwards." Thanks Dad!
8. Scott Proctor (RP Florida Marlins) - OK, I know there isn't anything wrong with this name at first glance, but the word proctor just doesn't sound appelaing to be. It's like a mix between colon, rectal and doctor with a "p" thrown into the mix. Yes I know I have problems, which I am currently seeking help for, but everytime I hear Scott Proctor's name, I think of that certain procedure that my doctor will start performin on me when I turn 40.
7. Joba Chamberlain (SP New York Yankees) - OK, well I am not exactly sure if Joba is his given name or one that he acquired but c'mon people. I know you are thinking, what's wrong with having a name from Star Wars? Well, nothing if your name is Luke, but when you are named after Jabba the Hut, a half ton blob from, from one of the most famous movies ever...and you are already a heavy set person to begin with, the combination is not appealing. I can only imagine the torment Joba received as a child...oh wait he still does.
6. David Riske (RP Milwaukee Brewers) - I am not 100 percent sure about the pronunciation of David's last name, but it sounds like Risky to me. Now I don't know about you, but as a manager, I wouldn't feel very good about sending a guy into a tied ball game with the bases loaded when his name is Risky. Not to mention, what woman wants to marry or let alone, go on a date with a man named Risky?
5. Chris Getz (2B Chicago White Sox) - Chris Getz what? His name is an incomplete sentence? Now even though I can't spell to save my life, I happen to be a grammar freak, and it drives me crazy when something doesn't read properly, like...incomplete sentences. It's like going on a date, getting a nice long kiss at the girl's front door and then not getting invited inside. Yes that's right, Chris Getz nothing!
4. Jimmy Gobble (SP Chicago White Sox) - The poor boy's last name is not only the definition of the terrible sound a bird makes that we happen to eat on Thanksgiving, but the word is also synonymous with a certain action females tend to perform on males. So when you hear Jimmy Gobble, do you think Thanksgiving feast or just late night...oh man I'm just not going to go there!
3. Dan Uggla (2B Florida Marlins) - What was the most frequent insult you heard growing up as a child? That's right! "Oh ya, well you're ugly and your mom is too!" Well, in Dan's case they weren't far off from the truth. Now I'm not saying that Dan and his mother are ugly, but they are indeed Uggla. There is no way Dan didn't run home crying from elementary school at least three times a week.
2. Justin Duchscherer (SP Oakland Athletics) - Man I don't even know where to begin with Justin. I'm not even quite sure I can type his name again or attempt to pronounce it properly without violating the CBSSports Terms of Service. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, Justin's last name is an adjective describing a female action which is not very flattering. Thankfully for him, not many kids knew what that word meant growing up...but every drunk guy in the opposing team's stadium does.
1. J.J. Putz (RP New York Mets) - I know J.J.'s last name is pronounced Poots, but we all know that nobody actually calls him that. Every fan prounounces his name the way it is spelled...Putz. In case you are unaware of the meaning behind the word putz, it is a yiddish word that means, a foolish man or obnoxious man. So yes, J.J.'s last name is actually fool. The announcer for the New York Mets calls J.J. a fool everytime he runs to the mound from the dugout. It's a good think he is a good pitcher!

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 13, 2009 12:38 pm
Edited on: May 14, 2009 11:50 am

What's in a name?

I have always thought that sports provided us with some great and not-so-great names, with baseball carrying the cream of the crop. There have been some spectacular names that have come from America's Past Time like Mookie Wilson and Rollie Fingers. Our favorite game has had quite a few changes over the years, some for the greater good of the game and some which the all fans would like to forget. With that being said, the young superstars have taken the game to another level and we are all counting on them to put the whole steroid era behind us. With that being said, I know we are tired of hearing and talking about the negativity of the past, so I would like to focus on a fun part of the game. The new wave of players who entertain us because of the names their parents either gave them or they were forced to inherit. Here is a list of my ten best and ten worst names (to be released next week) in baseball.

Top Ten Great Names
10. Ryan Theriot (SS Chicago Cubs) - There is nothing spectacular about the name ryan, but with a last name of Theriot (prounounced terio), his Chicago Cubs teammates have taken it upon themselves to call him "The Riot." I don't know about you, but I'm not messing with anyone who is constantly referred to as "The Riot."
9. Grady Sizemore (CF Cleveland Indians) - A name like Grady is a pretty catchy baseball name but it's the last name that stands out. That's right ladies, SIZEMORE! OWWWWW! That's a pickup line in itself. "Hello there, the name is Sizemore, Grady Sizemore." Man would I have had a great time with that last name in college!
8. Denard Span (CF Minnesota Twins) - OK, besides his last name being one connecting arch short of the poor man's lunch meat, SPAM, I really don't have anything inquisitive to say about his first or last name. However, he has two names you don't normally hear and they just flow together in some strange way that screams, "I'm a bad ass baseball player!"
7. Corey C. Hart (RF Milwaukee Brewers) - "I wear my sunglasses at night, so I can keep track of visions in my eyes." That's right, you all know that song from the 80's. Well the guy who sings that song is Corey Hart and it is spelled exactly the same way. That automatically makes the Brewers right fielder one of my favorite athletes.
6. Terrmel Sledge (Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) - OK so Terrmel is no longer in the league, but he used to play for the Padres and it still playing baseball in Japan so he qualifies. I'm not quite sure what kind of name Terrmel is but is sure is catchy and when you combine it with a name like Sledge, it creates a tough baseball name. He should have been a wrester. I wouldn't make fun of him!
5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (C Texas Rangers) - In addition to his last name which I really don't feel like typing again sounding really cool, I believe he has the longest last name in the history of baseball. Not to mention that everyone naturally calles him "Salty" which is just a sweeeeet baseball nickname. You get introduced to the new guy as "Salty" and you are instantly thought of as the cool guy.
4. Boof Bonser (RP Minnesota Twins) - I actually think Boof is his real name which makes this even cooler, but even if I was wrong about that, it really doesn't matter because his last name actually, Bonser is just as cool. With a name like Boof, I feel like you can do anything and get away with it. I can see a teacher reading a paper he wrote in highschool and thinking, "Man this is terrible, oh Boof wrote it. I love that kid. He gets an A plus."
3. Milton Bradley (OF Chicago Cubs) - I don't think I really need to explain why his name is so cool since he has the same name as the company that produced all the toys and games we grew up playing with. The ironic part about his name is that even as a major league baseball player, he still throws more temper tantrums than a five year old and acts like he just lost a match of Hungry Hungry Hippo.
2. Coco Crisp (OF Kansas City Royals) - Here is another name that I don't think needs much of an explanation for sitting in the two spot. We all love the cereal commercials almost as much as the cereal itself and if you have never eaten cocoa krispies then you were deprived as a child just as coco is being deprived of baseball stardom playing with the Royals. Oh wait, they are actually in first place of the AL Central...for now.
1. So Taguchi (LF Chicago Cubs) - Hey, check out my new sunglasses. Dude, you are soooooooo taguchi. I actually use that term to describe the act of trying to look cool and actually succeeding. Why is So, the best name in baseball? Because his name can be used as a sentence. Show me any other person in sports whose name can be used in such a manner. That's right you can't! Don't deny it, this list of baseball names is soooooo taguchi.

Tune in next week for my Top Ten list of the worst names in baseball. And as always, feel free to tell me what names I am missing on this list because I know there are some great names out there that I have passed on in my biased affinity for some of these players. Oh and in case you didn't notice, it appears as though the Cubs have three of the top ten players with the coolest names in the league.

Posted on: March 25, 2009 1:08 pm
Edited on: March 25, 2009 1:27 pm

WBC: Vacation Like Feel

My roommate and I received tickets for the World Baseball Classic at Dolphins Stadium (I still call it Joe Robbie Stadium) for the games in the second round of the bracket. We are both huge fans of baseball and figured we should take advantage of the fact that we live so close to the stadium. I was surprised at how easy it was to get tickets as people were practically giving them away...and I was more than happy to take them. However, after the U.S. team lost its first game when I was out of town, I was disappointed when I found they wouldn't be playing on Monday, March 16th which is when I was able to go. Instead, I had to settle for watching Venezuela play Puerto Rico. Even though I could care less which team won, I figured I would go anyway since I had tickets.

Honestly, I was not that excited about sitting through a game where I didn't care about the outcome, but once I got to the stadium, everything changed. This game was like no other sporting event I have ever been to. Obviously it didn't compare to a Florida Gator College Football National Championship game, but it was...well different. I have never really been out of the country let alone seen a soccer game live in Europe or South America, but this is what I imagined it might resemble. I left the stadium feeling more cultured and I will tell you why...

The crowd : Now, I am used to standing for entire games and going crazy after just about every play at Gators games, but never at a baseball game, particularly at Dolphins stadium. I think I have gone an entire Marlins game without standing up, but that wasn't going to happen on this night. The fans from both Venezuela and Puerto Rico go crazy after anything that happens in favor of their team. I mean nasty pitches, strikeouts, routine singles, routine ground balls, deep fly balls hit to the warning track. And I am not just talking about standing up and clapping. These fans chant the name of their country and then move into some kind of song while the pitcher is already delivering to the next batter. And yes, you can only imagine what happens when a double play is turned, a diving catch is made or a run scores. It's kind of like a soccer game, but with much more to cheer about because...well, baseball is better!

Instruments : Not only do you receive the entertainment of a baseball game with the purchase of a ticket, you also receive musical entertainment throughout the game. I would say about 20 percent of each team's fans had some sort of musical instrument while the rest had those hard-stick-balloons that make a crap load of noise when you bang them together (what Japanese baseball has made popular). You can hear tambourines, maracas, drums and this thing that looks like a humongous thimble that is louder than all the instruments when you rub a wooden stick against it. And they don't just make a bunch of noise, the fans sound like they actually all get to together and practice. You would think a bunch of mariachi bands were hired to stand all around the stadium. The music also never stops from two hours before the game to...well they were still going when I went home. The fans of both teams parade around the stadium and their sections before the game, playing songs and proudly chanting the name of the country they represent, all the while looking more like a conga-line gang more than anything. It's quite an intimidating feeling when you are walking toward such an ensemble. And when Venezuela won the game that night, I am dead serious when I say it looked like a parade after a team wins the World Series without all the confetti.

Political Agendas
: Yes, I know you see signs at every baseball game, but not like this. The amount of information on these signs should allow them to be considered as novellas. These fans have a lot to say and apparently they are going to use every space on the front and back of that poster board to voice their opinion. Even though I have taken five years of Spanish classes, I still really didn't have any clue what the signs meant or what they were trying to say, but a lot of them seemed to have a political agenda. The Venezuelan fans heavily and voraciously booed Magglio Ordonez. At first I thought I was just hearing things or they were just emphasizing the 'O' at the end of his name, like fans most often do at baseball games. But, I noticed they were doing it again the next time he came to the plate, so we asked a woman sitting next to us why the fans were booing one of the best players on the team. And what we were told is that Magglio recently sided with the very unpopular Venezuelan president on a talk show and the fans were not too pleased with him. What was really great was listening to the Venezuelan fans boo the ever loving crap out of Magglio and then shower him with cheers guessed it, a routine single. You gotta love sports fans. Isn't that right A-Rod?

The People : From what I could tell, the fans from Venezuela and Puerto Rico were not at the stadium to watch just a baseball game; everyone was their to experience an event. People are constantly walking around and talking to each other in different sections; it almost reminded me of the fraternization that takes place in between classes in high school. Now this can be kind of annoying for a fan that is trying to catch a glimpse of every pitch, but you have to just realize that it's not going to happen and that is what we did. So we decided to embrace the situation and fit in with the crowd. With that in mind, we asked the woman sitting next to us who we should root for. She responded by saying she was Puerto Rican, but her husband was with Venezuela and that we should root for Venezuela. My roommate and I were a bit confused by her answer as she was sitting down with six kids next to her and no husband in sight. So, my roommate asked her where her husband was and her response was..."Oh he is on deck." We turned back around to the field and Melvin Mora was standing in the on-deck circle. Low and behold, we were sitting next to Melvin Mora's wife. She was probably the most approachable person I have ever sat next to at any sporting event and she may have been the most knowledgeable woman I have ever sat next to at a baseball game. Not only was I impressed with Gisele Mora's disposition and knowledge of the game, but she had six kids sitting next to her (they were all hers), and five of which were quintuplets...yes, that's five kids in one birth people! And to top it all off, they were the most well behaved kids I have ever seen in my entire life. Now, I am sure the fact that they all had their own hand-held video games helped, but keeping six kids under control for an entire baseball game is more of a monumental feat than anything that can be done on the baseball field. Gisel even had the dignity to text my roommate and wish him a happy birthday last weekend. I am going to have to say that Melvin Mora is my new favorite baseball player.

Country Pride : A lot of the fans were wearing the jerseys of the teams which their favorite players play for from the leagues in their country. Many of the fans also had Puerto Rican and Venezuelan flags draped over them like a cloak and quite a few even had their face painted. The pride floating around the stadium was palpable and there were a few times I even got chills even though the United States was not playing. I really got a feel of how important baseball was to the fans of both of these countries and it reminded me of why baseball was my first love. I was interested in the World Baseball Classic before I attended this game, but now I actually truly cared. I really wanted the United States to win the whole tournament. I couldn't wait to attend the next game and chant...U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! I really wish more Americans found this event more interesting and more of our top-notch players would represent our country in the tournament, because it really was like nothing I have ever experienced and it could become so much better. I only hope that one day the United States will win the World Baseball Classic and that I will be there to see it all happen while I am wearing my American flag.

In case, you couldn't quite catch the tone of my message, I am huge fan of the World Baseball Classic and I would recommend going to as many games as possible to anyone that is a baseball fan or anyone that would just like to experience something different. When I was at the stadium, I honestly felt as though I was in another country on vacation, and experiencing a once in a life-time opportunity. Now, yes, the $7 dollar beers may have contributed to that feeling, but you really can't understand how special the WBC is until you experience it for yourself.



Category: MLB
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