10 players poised to light up Players Weekend

August 23rd, 2017

If you can look at 's nickname on the back of his jersey this weekend without, well, smiling, you need to loosen up, my friend.
You win, Mr. Smile.
No player did a better job of coming up with a nickname -- yes, Mr. Smile -- that captures both his attitude and his game.
You simply cannot watch Lindor play shortstop for the Indians without feeling some of his boundless joy and endless supply of energy.
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And Lindor is a perfect example of what baseball is celebrating this weekend. This is about the players. About their talent. About their personality.
That's why they're wearing nicknames on their jerseys and personalized patches on their shoulders.
In doing this, they're revealing a part of themselves that they don't usually reveal in a team sport that's a symphony of movement and cooperation.
What you need to know for Players Weekend
One of the first thing Commissioner Rob Manfred said to players in his first round of meetings with them was this: You are the very best thing about this sport.
Manfred told them that he didn't believe baseball had ever been better represented by a generation of players than it is right here, right now. He said baseball wanted to celebrate and promote these players -- their talent on the field, their sense of social responsibility off it -- in a way they'd never been promoted before.
That means you, . And you, . And hundreds of others.
Here's guessing that players will love this thing as much as fans. They will compare nicknames and have some laughs.
And that's the whole point.
This could end up being one of those weekends that players and fans alike look forward to. Some players are sure to start thinking about their 2018 nicknames almost immediately.
After scouring the hundreds of 2017 nicknames, I've come up with a Top 10 list of players who may just light up Players Weekend.
That is, they've got just the right combination of a cool nickname and an even cooler game.
First, though, a special hat tip to Mariners outfielder and his nickname.
How clever is it that one of the fastest players in the game would slap that nickname on the back of his jersey?
Hey, Zoombiya, save that one for 2018 when you'll be off the disabled list and making it both a nickname and job description.
My top 10:
1. Mr. Smile -- Lindor, Indians
To paraphrase Sparky Anderson, if you don't like Lindor, you don't like ice cream.
2. All Rise -- , Yankees
You don't really have to ask, do you? No, you don't.
3. Wild Horse -- , Dodgers
If you've seen Puig play, you don't need an explanation. Vin Scully tagged him with that one during a rookie season when he played with a ferocity that was almost frightening. Puig thought every base was there to be stolen, every outfield wall to be crashed into.
4. Sang Nam Ja -- , Brewers
Trust me when I tell you this is a great nickname, one he brought back home after three years in Korea baseball. Loosely translated, it means "Bad Man" or "Bad Dude" or something really close. When Thames homers for the third time this weekend, the Brewers' television crew will have a full report.
5. 100 Miles Giles -- , Astros
It's not bragging when you can do it. Giles has hit 100 mph 10 times this season, according to Statcast™. Only 14 Major Leaguers have done it more.
6. Big Bear -- , Marlins
Ozuna's nickname was as easy, but nevertheless cool and appropriate. Oso is Spanish for bear, and Ozuna has long adopted the nickname. The Marlins had a "Big Bear" promotional T-shirt a couple of years ago.
7. Big Chill -- , Rangers
Mazara is a star at 22, one of those amazingly gifted players who makes the whole thing look easy.
8. Boomstick -- , Mariners
Cruz is on his way to his fourth straight 40-home run season. He's got one of the best smiles in the game as well.
9. ToddFather -- , Yankees
This idea was made for Frazier, one of those people who just doesn't have many bad days. Oh, and he's only 31 years old, but around all those kids on the White Sox and Yankees, he may have felt like the old man at times.
10. Corey's Brother -- , Mariners
This list might be a tad heavy on Mariners. But how can you not include this one? Older brother is a player in his own right. Seager has averaged 27 homers the past three seasons and has an All-Star appearance (2014) and a Gold Glove ('14) on his resume.
Honorable mention: Porterhouse (Mike Napoli), Sugar (), No Panic (), Carl's Jr. (), Nerd Power (), Bird Dog (), All-Starlin (), Triggonometry (), Sweet Lettuce (A.J. Griffin).