To Willie Mays, Denard Span is Bernard Span.
To Willie Mays, Denard Span is Bernard Span. (USATSI)

I am an expert in name mispronounciations. "Axisa" is a not an easy one. The X freaks people out. "Axia" is the most common mispronounciation I've heard, though "Ax-is-a" is another popular one. It's "Ax-ee-sa" though.

Name mispronounciations happen, and sometimes when someone important says your name incorrectly, you don't bother correcting them. That's what happened in Giants camp this week. Hall of Famer Willie Mays has been calling new center fielder Denard Span "Bernard Span" in camp. And Span's totally cool with it.

Can't blame Mays here. Denard is not a common name and it is awfully close to Bernard. It's an understandable mistake.

I also understand why Span hasn't bothered to correct him. I'd just be happy with Mays acknowledging my existence. Saying my name -- Axia or Ax-is-a or whatever -- would be icing on the cake.

At some point someone will point out to Mays that Span's name is Denard, not Bernard, and he might feel a little silly about that. Until then, Bernard Span it is.