HOUSTON -- David Burd still isn't so sure that Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel isn't up to something sinister. Keuchel can be a jokester, so Burd -- the Astros' longtime clubhouse assistant -- isn't quite sure what to think of Keuchel's choice of jersey name for the upcoming Players' Weekend.
"It just came out of the blue," Burd said. "Why is he doing it?"
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Since learning Friday that Keuchel planned to have "DAVID BURD" across the back of his jersey for Players' Weekend on Aug. 24-26, Burd has been wondering if the left-hander has an ulterior motive. Is it a practical joke? Is it really a tribute to the rapper and comedian who has the same name?
"I don't know if he's up to something or wants something down the road," Burd said. "I'm serious. I mean, it would be an honor for him to do that."
Keuchel says it's simply a tip of the hat to Burd, who's worked for the club since 1989 and has quietly gone about his business in the clubhouse doing laundry, packing bags and helping clubhouse manager Carl Schneider with the equipment.
"I was thinking about who would be kind of fun, kind of cool to put on the back of my jersey," Keuchel said. "My idea last year was declined by MLB, so I just thought about the clubhouse guys, and the only guy that absolutely hates any recognition or any personal gain is 'Tweety,' and everybody loves him here. ... I thought it would be fun and cool to recognize him because he doesn't get out much, nobody knows his real name."
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Even those who are in the Astros' clubhouse daily probably won't recognize the 57-year-old's full name. Everyone calls Burd by his nickname of "Tweety," which he's had since grade school in New Jersey when a group of boys who shared the same first name needed a way to identify each other. He's been called "Tweety" ever since.
"He goes about his business his own way, and we love him for it," Keuchel said. "He's one of the most well-known figures in this clubhouse since my tenure the last seven, eight years."
The soft-spoken Burd found out about the jersey on Friday, when Schneider informed him he'd have to sign a form giving Major League Baseball permission to use his name.
"I get no royalties out of it," he said.
Keuchel said MLB originally expressed concern over the idea of having Burd's name on his jersey because it is the real name of rapper/comedian Lil Dicky. Keuchel said he had heard of Lil Dicky but had no idea his real name was also David Burd. MLB approved it after hearing Keuchel's explanation, but that didn't stop the entertainer from giving Keuchel a shout-out on social media.
"I know he really liked it, and it was kind of cool," Keuchel said.
Burd, who was born in Flemington, N.J., in the same hospital as Astros pitcher Charlie Morton, has been given a shout-out by a player before. Jeff Bagwell thanked "Tweety" during his Hall of Fame speech last year, with Burd in attendance, in Cooperstown, N.Y.
"He said 'I'm not going to say David Burd because nobody knows who David Burd is. I'm going to say Tweety,'" Burd said. "That probably made my year last year. That and, of course, the World Series. And it was my first time in Boston [for the Division Series]. That was up there, too."