Cut4 Roundtable: What nickname do you want to 'make happen'?
Welcome to the Cut4 Roundtable, in which our staff confronts the same question about baseball, sports, pop culture, or some combination of all of it. Today's topic: nicknames for MLB players that we want to "make happen."
Have any ideas of your own? Leave them in the comments!
Matt Monagan: Lucas Duda, "The Dude"
"The Dude," as named for the Big Lebowski character who actually has a solid baseball connection, is an obvious nickname for big Lucas and here are all the reasons why:
First off, his last name is Duda. And besides "Zip-a-dee-Duda" (which feels a tad long), "Dude" sounds pretty similar. Besides, look at him. He's a DUDE.
Secondly, both Lucas and Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski are of the shapely sort. Duda is 6-foot-4 and weighs in at a muscular 255 pounds. Jeff Bridges is 6-foot-1 and we're guessing his character probably clocked in at just north of 200 during filming. Mostly fat.
Finally, both Lebowski and the Mets right fielder are L.A. natives. They abide by that laid-back, soft-spoken lifestyle. Duda prefers to let his bat do the talking while Lebowski would be quite content bowling the rest of his life.
The Mets have been trying to get the nickname to stick for the last few years, and if Duda has a solid 2013, it will hopefully catch on around the league. And if you disagree, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
Molly Fitzpatrick: Billy Butler, "Urban Brunch"
Like any good nickname, the origins of Billy Butler's "Country Breakfast" sobriquet are a little fuzzy. It might be an affectionate reference to his Southern upbringing, or perhaps a nod to his bacon-ham-and-sausage hitting power. Regardless, once #CountryBreakfast blew up on Twitter, the Royals DH took it in stride. He even incorporated the sound of sizzling bacon into his walk-up music.
Now, I love breakfast more than anyone -- possible exception: Ron Swanson -- but there's one meal I'm at least as enamored with: brunch. It's Breakfast 2.0, with all the French toast, corned beef hash and blueberry pancakes your heart desires ... except you can sleep more, and there may be booze. Come on, people.
K.C. is a burgeoning foodie metropolis, and a Butler nickname change could provide a great promotional boost to the many up-and-coming brunch spots within the city limits. (And if Kaufmann Stadium wants to start serving mimosas, I'm not going to complain.)
Dan Wohl: Brandon Belt, "Iron Giraffe"
The Giants have been on a bit of a zoological kick when it comes to their nicknames recently, and Brandon "Baby Giraffe" Belt is probably the second most prominent member of the menagerie. The 6-foot-5 first baseman received his nickname because of his elongated frame and gangling movements in his outfield days.
But Belt's not a rookie anymore. He's still looking to have that breakout season. And I don't believe he can until he sheds the babyness. He must no longer be the Baby Giraffe. He must become:
THE IRON GIRAFFE.
Sure, baby giraffes are cute. Actually, adult ones are too. But still, these 3,500-pound creatures can be terrifying when they want to. Just imagine how intimidating the idea of an iron version of that six-foot neck swinging toward you would be. With Lou "Iron Horse" Gehrig, there's already a tradition of powerful left-handed first basemen with ferrous animal nicknames. The next should be Brandon "Iron Giraffe" Belt.
Dakota Gardner: Bryce Harper, "The Joker"
How have we all not decided on a nickname for Bryce Harper yet? What the heck is going on? We've been shirking our duties as baseball fans -- nay, as people.
Here's what I propose: The Joker.
For a lot of people, Bryce Harper just sort of came into being. He came from the æther and suddenly and dangerously starting swinging the bat. He seems like he appeared as an 18-year-old phenom, and our world was never the same. He doesn't just attack his opponents -- he torments them.
Wherever he goes, chaos reigns. I was at Citi Field the other night as Stephen Strasburg took on Matt Harvey, and whenever Harper took an AB, the stadium came alive and ferociously went after the Rookie of the Year. It was brutal and it was relentless. The Joker would have relished it.
Can't you just hear Heath Ledger saying "That's a clown question, bro?" It's decidedly a creepy exclamation.
Also, look at the other parallels across the division: Heyward and Freeman are Batman and Robin. Matt Harvey can be Harvey Dent. It all just works.
So, are any of these going to happen? Are there any you want to make happen? Tell us in the comments!