BOSTON -- When Thomas Pomeranz found out about Players Weekend and that a nickname would go on the back of his jersey, the Red Sox left-hander knew exactly what he would use."I didn't even ask or think about the name I would use. It was going to be 'Big Smooth,'"
BOSTON -- When Thomas Pomeranz found out about Players Weekend and that a nickname would go on the back of his jersey, the Red Sox left-hander knew exactly what he would use.
"I didn't even ask or think about the name I would use. It was going to be 'Big Smooth,'" Pomeranz said before Friday's 16-3 Red Sox loss to the Orioles at Fenway Park. "No avoiding that one. No one would let me get away with not putting it on the uniform."
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The origin goes back to last season when Pomeranz was traded to Boston. Teammates David Price (aka "Astro's Dad") and Rick Porcello (aka "Veintidos") worked together to come up with the nickname.
"That is his nickname. No one made it up," Chris Young (aka "CY") said. "That's what everyone in the clubhouse calls him."
Andrew Benintendi (aka "Benny") said it's one of his favorite nicknames on the team.
"It is funny. I think it has to do with the way he pitches and really taking his time," Benintendi said. "I call him Drew, but a lot of guys call him Big Smooth."
Players Weekend is a first-of-its kind opportunity for players to show their individual flair and allows fans to get to know them better. Established in conjunction between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, all 30 clubs will be participating in all games through Sunday, and every team will be in action each of those three days.
All clubs will wear non-traditional alternate uniforms, and each player is allowed to wear his nickname of choice on the back of his jersey, and a patch on his sleeve to pay tribute to a person or persons who aided his career.
Pomeranz chose to put "Mom and Dad" on his sleeve.
"You don't think about everything your parents are sacrificing when you are a kid and get you to all these games," Pomeranz said. "Once you get older, you start to appreciate what they did for you."
Red Sox manager John Farrell likes the idea of Players Weekend.
"For a very traditional game, this is a very non-traditional weekend," Farrell said. "Whether that means breaking rank to appeal to a younger group or spark conversation in the stands about where the nickname comes from, I think it is not a bad thing to do."
Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @_qlr5001.