Dan's Dugout: What's in a (Nick)name? • Latino Sports

Baseball

Dan’s Dugout: What’s in a (Nick)name?

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Okay, it’s another money grab.

Major league teams will wear nicknames, rather than surnames, on the backs of their uniforms the last weekend of this month.

Even the Yankees and Giants, two of those who disdain player names on home jerseys, will be participating.

Players had to submit nicknames for approval but not all of them got past the censors.

Surprise, surprise.

National League players will join American League counterparts on Nicknames Weekend

National League players will join American League counterparts on Nicknames Weekend

With salaries rising beyond the stratosphere, Major League Baseball, the Players Association, and their equipment suppliers have been searching for ways to bolster revenues.

Teams wore green for St. Patrick’s Day, pink for Mother’s Day, baby blue for Father’s Day, camouflage for Memorial Day, and variations of red, white, and blue for July 4.

It’s a good thing baseball doesn’t play on Groundhog Day.

Just as teams sell printed “media” guides to the general public, so they will sell these zany, one-of-a-kind uniforms.

At least it’s better than placing advertising on shirt-sleeves, as teams and leagues allow in other countries.

Weekend notebook:

The fate of the American League East title chase could be decided over the next 23 days, when the front-running Boston Red Sox play their arch-rival New York Yankees 10 times . . .

Hall of Fame pitcher-turned-broadcaster John Smoltz said on BRAVES BANTER Thursday night that he believes former teammate Andruw Jones is a viable Cooperstown candidate . . .

Andruw Jones, owner of 10 Gold Gloves and 400+ homers, will be on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot

Andruw Jones, owner of 10 Gold Gloves and 400+ homers, will be on the 2018 Hall of Fame ballot

Kudos to Ryan Zimmerman, now the career home run leader for the Washington Nationals franchise that began as the Montreal Expos in 1969 . . .

Home Run Derby participants Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, previously anchors of the Yankee lineup, have been pitiful at the plate since that event . . .

Although the Mets marvel at the offense and defense of rookie first baseman Dominic Smith, they are privately worried about his weight . . .

Another rookie, Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers, has not only filled a black hole in the Boston infield but played the position as well as anyone in Fenway since Frank Malzone . . .

With aces Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. struggling, the Houston Astros can still coast to the AL West finish line but won’t survive the playoffs without more pitching . . .

Say what? Two good games in a row for rotund Bartolo Colon now that he’s with Minnesota . . .

Now that he’s 14-1 with the Dodgers, do you think the Braves regret trading young lefty Alex Wood? . . .

Vaunted Atlanta rookies Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies, projected as the team’s DP tandem of the future, are both struggling mightily in the present . . .

Who knew Drew Pomerantz would mean so much to the Red Sox pitching staff? . . .

Jose Bautista is a strange leadoff man for Toronto Image Credit: Frank Hyatt

Jose Bautista is a strange leadoff man for Toronto
Image Credit: Frank Hyatt

Batting Jose Bautista first suggests that Toronto followed the example of Minnesota in putting a former cleanup man (Brian Dozier) in the leadoff spot . . .

The Mets have gone the other way, shunting slugging leadoff man Michael Conforto into the fourth spot . . .

How could Atlanta be 2-13 against the pathetic Phillies but over .500 against the rest of the National League? . . .

The Yankees tried to pry Jay Bruce and Neil Walker from the Mets but didn’t offer the right package of prospects . . .

With the Cards and Brewers both breathing down their necks, the Cubs could ill afford to lose catcher Willson Contreras to the hamstring injury that will keep him out for four weeks . . .

Boston’s airtight bullpen was a big reason the team took an eight-game winning streak into Friday’s game against the Yankees.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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