Welcome to the 39th Purple Row edition (and 144th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where there's a pocket of purple amidst Colorado's sea of orange. Let's get into it...
A while ago, I wrote a piece on Rex Brothers as his tenure with the Rockies came to a close. Of course, I took note of the most important thing about Brothers: That he had one of the coolest names in franchise history. Naturally my curiosity led me to a quick search of some other great names in Rockies history and I found some real gems that I had completely forgotten about. That quick search led to a more thorough one and it became clear that the best names in Rockies history demanded to be compiled, sorted and ranked.
The internet has a pretty strong tradition of having fun with interesting and unique names. Deadspin used to run the "Name Of The Year Bracket". (The 2014 edition alone had names like Dr. Eve Gruntfest, Bamboo Dong, Shamus Beaglehole, and Sterling Lovelady). And there's usually annual All-Name teams in college football from various sources (like this one from SB Nation with names like Broadarious Hamm, Devine Deablo and Dicaprio Bootle).
So with the help of Baseball Reference, I scrolled through every player that's ever taken the field for the Rockies and pulled out my favorite names. I was expecting to find maybe ten or twenty interesting and fun names. I ended up with 74. Lots of different people have played for the Rockies!
Now, some ground rules for this very important and serious list:
- A player's stature or performance between the white lines has no bearing on the quality of their name. Ubaldo Jimenez may have been the better pitcher, but Octavio Dotel has the better name.
- Any player who appeared in a single game as a Rockie is eligible. Some incredibly obscure players are included, but minor leaguers like Correlle Prime(!!!) are not.
- The quality of one's name is obviously in the eye (or ear) of the beholder. That's me! It's hard to set specific parameters on what makes a good name. Maybe it's unique. Maybe it rolls off the tongue. Maybe it just sounds cool. Basically, if a broadcaster would get a kick out of saying a player's full name, it counts.
- Imaginary bonus points are generally added for alliteration, rhymes, baseball references, pun-ability, or nickname-ability.
In no particular order, here are the best names in Rockies history that couldn't quite crack the top-40:
- Bruce Ruffin
- Jay Gainer
- Kevin Kouzmanoff
- Omar Olivares
- Jason Bates (This is only included because of all the "Master" Bates jokes I made as a youngster.)
- Vic Darensbourg
- Ubaldo Jimenez
- Darren Bragg
- Dan Serafini
- Lance Painter
- Kazuo Matsui
- Troy Tulowitzki
- Rolondo Arrojo
- Miguel Asencio
- Kip Wells
- Andy Ashby
- Sam Deduno
- Rigo Beltran
- Giovanni Carrara
- Marc Kroon
- Rafael Ynoa
- Dave Wainhouse
- Jay Witasick
- Edwin Bellorin
- John Axford
- Marcos Carvajal
- Juan Morillo
- Travis Driskill
- Alberto Arias
- Micah Bowie
- Jeff Manship
- Ross Gload
- Jack Cust
- Neifi Perez
The Top Forty
- 40. Jim Czajkowski (I have no idea how to pronounce this but it's probably cool. He had an interesting career; made five relief appearance with the Rox in 1994 at age 30. That was his entire MLB career. Almost like Moonlight Graham!)
- 39. Bruce Billings
- 38. Edgmer Escalona
- 37. Octavio Dotel
- 36. Pablo Ozuna
- 35. Eddy Garabito
- 34. Walt McKeel
- 33. Tim Harikkala /ha RICK-a-la/
- 32. Elmer Dessens
- 31. Jair Jurrjens
- 30. Mario Encarnacion
- 29. Garvin Alston
- 28. Ty Van Burkelo
- 27. Craig Dingman
- 26. Kimera Bartee
- 25. Turk Wendell
- 24. Benny Agbayani
- 23. Cedrick Bowers
- 22. Guilermo Moscoso
- 21. Mike DeJean (His last name is a type of mustard. That's fun.)
- 20. Masato Yoshii
- 19. Jayhawk Owens
- 18. Valerio De Los Santos
- 17. Horacio Estrada
- 16. Josh Outman (His job is to get the man out and his name is Outman!)
- 15. Kit Pellow
- 14. Trenidad Hubbard
- 13. Bubba Carpenter
- 12. Quinton McCracken
- 11. Cliff Brumbaugh
- 10. Mac Suzuki
- 9. Angel Echevarria
- 8. Joe Roa
- 7. Geronimo Gil
- 6. Ryan Hawblitzel
- 5. Rex Brothers
- 4. Choo Freeman
- 3. Alfredo Amezaga
- 2. Butch Huskey
- 1. Luther Hackman -- I have no recollection of Luther Hackman. Luther Hackman was a pitcher drafted by the Rockies in 1994. Luther Hackman debuted with the Rockies in 1999 before spending three seasons with St. Louis and one with San Diego. Luther Hackman sounds like he should be a villain on Fargo or something. Luther Hackman has a cool name.
So how'd I do? Did I forget anybody? Who's too high? Who's too low?
Now we proceed to the weekly departments (And as you know, a few weeks ago, I added a new poll for you to vote on your favorite clips throughout the offseason. Sometime before Spring Training rolls around, we'll crown an offseason CLIP OF THE YEAR. So don't forget to vote for your favorite at the bottom of this post. (Last week's winner was this lady's news interview.)
Ass of the week:
So Jamal Reid of Oregon State was ejected for intentionally tripping a referee. This is a new one.
And here's a full video complete with Reid's "WHAT DID I DO?!" reaction. Pretty weird. (via ESPN)
Stud of the week:
Hey it's always nice to see the Broncos win playoff games. Let's all enjoy the most hilarious play in the history of THE NATIONAL FOOTBAW LEAGUE! (GIF via Deadspin)
I've seriously laughed at this play approximately fifty times. It's the best.
Vine of the week:
This is an all-timer in the world of sports fans on camera. Cavs fans had a rough time last night.
And a bunch of other stuff from around the internet:
My favorite thing from the sports week was this little girl's reaction to getting a game ball. Her face is just priceless.
I'm generally not all that big on the "fight video" genre, but this one from a Canadian junior hockey league is pretty interesting. The refs kind of struggle to break up the fight and eventually a ref decides to punch a player in the face, sending that player to the ice. That player's trainer did not approve! He is seeking vengeance!
I watched the Broncos game at a sports bar so I didn't have the best audio. When I saw a lot of tweets about a possible Phil Simms fart, I obviously became very excited. Then I actually heard the clip, and I gotta admit, I was a little let down.
What the hell was that? pic.twitter.com/PhfUbDHmH0— Michael Shamburger (@mshamburger1) January 18, 2016
Hey this lady is really into her robot impersonation.
This woman's robot is incredible, Kenny is baffled pic.twitter.com/Dw0rYrT5Fq— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) January 19, 2016
This one isn't all that funny, but it's pretty interesting. Jeremy Hill's fumble cost the Bengals the game against the Steelers last weekend (among other things). He was mic'd up and his reaction is pretty crushing.
This young man is not very brigt. He bougt a ticket and brougt a sign. There's a lot going on this picture. (SB Nation)
More fun NFL audio from Cam Newton. He seems upset. (NSFW)
The Monmouth bench is still going strong!
Wil Barton is out here fist bumping infants.
And finally, the Halifax Mooseheads' mascot really struggled during his big moment. It's one thing for a mascot to fall and his face and lose his huge head, but to be stuck on his knees for a good 25 seconds because he tucked the flag inside his collar when he put the head back on... that's gold. Have to admire his sticktoitiveness though! Never give up Halifax Mooseheads mascot!
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