ST. PETERSBURG -- Players' Weekend is on the horizon, bringing about year two for one of Major League Baseball's initiatives to give fans an opportunity to know the players a little better."We were extraordinarily pleased that the first Players' Weekend gave fans greater insight into the players, their stories and
ST. PETERSBURG -- Players' Weekend is on the horizon, bringing about year two for one of Major League Baseball's initiatives to give fans an opportunity to know the players a little better.
"We were extraordinarily pleased that the first Players' Weekend gave fans greater insight into the players, their stories and their paths to the Major Leagues," said Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. in a release from Major League Baseball. "By highlighting their positive influences, Players' Weekend showcased the significance of youth baseball and its role in the development of Major Leaguers. We look forward to the event returning and continuing to bring fans closer to the greatest baseball players in the world."
:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
Thursday afternoon, Tampa Bay unveiled their Players' Weekend jerseys featuring nicknames that the Rays will wear when they host the Red Sox from Aug. 24-26. All Major League teams will participate in the colorful weekend.
"The Outlaw" is probably the most well-known nickname on the squad. And as any Rays fan with a pulse knows, the moniker belongs to Kevin Kiermaier and comes from the Rays center fielder's ability to rob hits from opposing teams.
Many of the nicknames for the players on the 25-man roster are self-explanatory, such as "Duffman" for Matt Duffy, and "JB" for Jake Bauers. Others need an explanation.
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Sergio Romo is "El Mechon" -- a nickname that found him when he pitched for the Giants.
"It's pretty much from Mexico," Romo said. "I came out to the song 'El Mechon' at the end of 2011. I think it's pretty fitting. It means 'The Lock.' 'El Mechon' also means a highlight in your hair. And I've always had mohawks and long hair."
Carlos Gomez is "El Final", a moniker that comes from his where he hails in the Dominican Republic.
"Where I come from, Santiago, we use that a lot," Gomez said. "It's like, 'It's over.'"
Players will wear specially designed uniforms created for the three games with jerseys by Majestic, caps by New Era and socks from Stance.
"Players envisioned Players' Weekend as a way to express themselves and connect with fans in a fun and more personal way," MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said.
Game-worn Players' Weekend jerseys will be auctioned at MLB.com/auctions. All proceeds will be donated to the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation, a joint effort established in July 2015 by MLB and the MLBPA with an initial commitment of $30 million focused on improving the caliber, effectiveness and availability of amateur baseball and softball programs across the United States and Canada.
Here are the nicknames the Rays will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:
Willy Adames: "THE KID"
Jose Alvarado: "EL POCHO"
Jake Bauers: "JB"
Jalen Beeks: "BEEKER"
Diego Castillo: "SAMANA"
Yonny Chirinos: "YONITO"
Ji-Man Choi: "JI"
C.J. Cron: "BIG FELLA"
Jose De Leon: "PULPITO"
Matt Duffy: "DUFFMAN"
Jake Faria: "FUH-REE-UH"
Wilmer Font: "FONKY"
Tyler Glasnow: "MINI HORSE"
Carlos Gomez: "EL FINAL"
Kevin Kiermaier: "OUTLAW"
Adam Kolarek: "AK"
Vidal Nuno: "SLEEPY"
Michael Perez: "MYKII"
Tommy Pham: "PHAMTASTIC"
Daniel Robertson: "D-ROB"
Chaz Roe: "RANCH"
Sergio Romo: "EL MECHÓN"
Jaime Schultz: "SCHULTZY"
Mallex Smith: "M EFFECT"
Blake Snell: "ZILLA"
Ryne Stanek: "STANNY"
Jesus Sucre: "SOOKY"
Joey Wendle: "MENDLE"
Hunter Wood: "WOODY"
Ryan Yarbrough: "YARBITRON"
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.