On Wednesday, Major League Baseball revealed the uniforms that will be worn for Players Weekend on Aug. 25-27. Each team will wear an alternative hat and a crazy colored softball/Little League-type jersey for the weekend.
As would be expected, some work better than others (c’mon, Padres!). The Rockies, for their part, could have embraced more purple in the jersey, but then they’d have the Purple Monday jersey so this seems like a decent enough compromise. (The Rockies will be in Atlanta facing the Braves, in case you’re curious about their threads).
In case you’ve missed it, everyone is talking about the nicknames on the back of the jerseys (though the logos on the back of the hats are an underrated aspect of this conversation). As such, we’ve compiled an objective ranking of all the nicknames, based on creativity, whimsy, cleverness, personality, and obviousness. We’ll put them into tiers because who wants to read something ranking all 22 jerseys individually when it’s not written by Grant Brisbee?
Tier V: First names
This feels worse than the guys who go with their last names, since the three who did so on the Rockies might have a reasonable explanation. But using your first name gives the appearance of effort without actually having to be creative. Then again, Jake McGee might be trying to be subversive or something. But DJ LeMahieu is cheating by using a nickname he’s adopted as his first name. Now, had he gone with David John, that would’ve been awesome. I don’t know what Tony Wolters had in mind.
Tier IV: Just the facts
Players Weekend was conceived as a way for MLB players to showcase a bit of their personalities to the public by loosening up and having a little fun. But, as has been shown in documentaries like Footloose, some people just hate fun. Then again, there might be explanations here. Maybe Pat Neshek’s nickname request got lost in the trade, or would’ve been lost in translation from one clubhouse to another. But Pat Valaika seems to have missed a great opportunity. In the case of Greg Holland, maybe it’s not too late to submit Samson.
Also, technically Germán Márquez belongs in the next tier up, but points off for taking off the "Z" in your name.
Tier III: What the manager calls you
Bud Black doesn’t seem to have the same tendency as Walt Weiss to just find a not-so-creative way to add a “y” to the end of a player’s name. But old habits and what not. That's why Chad Bettis (“Betty”), Tyler Chatwood ("Chatty"), Mike Dunn ("Dunner"), Kyle Freeland ("Free"), Ryan Hannigan (“Hanny”), Jonathan Lucroy (“Luc”), Scott Oberg (“Obie”), Adam Ottavino ("Otto"), Chris Rusin ("Russ"), and Antonio Senzatela ("Senze") are this low. I have no doubt this is what they're called around the clubhouse, but it's just not that interesting.
I wanted to make an exception for Carlos Gonzalez, but the whole "take the first few letters of each name and smush them together" trend in nicknames is mostly a cop out, on principle.
Tier II: The personal tributes
There seems to be no connection between the player and nickname for Ian Desmond (“Charron”), Trevor Story (“Joe”), and Tyler Anderson (“Ricky F”). But, considering Desmond’s younger brother, to whom Desmond has been a father figure over the past few years, is named Chris Charron, there may be some personal tributes going on for these jerseys. If that’s also the case for Story and Anderson, kudos for taking a fun thing and making it about shining the spotlight on someone else, which very clearly shows their personalities. (EDIT: Story's is a tribute to his brother).
Of course, Ricky F could be some weird nickname he got in college, in which case it would get bumped up to the next tier. The world may never know.
Tier I: Actual nicknames
Obviously some of these are better than others, so we will rank these individually.
7. Jeff Hoffman
"Hoff" should be in Tier III, since it’s just an abbreviation of his name, but as luck would have it, it opens you up for some great Nightrider or Baywatch memes. So he gets a bit of a bump.
6. Nolan Arenado
There's nothing terrible wrong with "Nado," but it just feels like something is lost when we could probably help him out.
5. Gerardo Parra
Okay, I have no idea what he’s going for here, unless he’s really all about “You Only Live Once” or something like that. Either way, the mystery, coupled with the way he’s totally redeemed himself this year, gives it a boost.
4. Alexi Amarista
Don’t mess with ninjas. Even if it’s just someone with a nickname.
3. Jon Gray
Feels a little on the nose. That being said, the guy has an actual nickname and the Twitter handle to prove it.
2. Charlie Blackmon
By now we’re all used to “Chuck Nazty.” But like the view of the mountains from the Front Range, just because it’s familiar doesn’t make it any less wonderful.
1. Mark Reynolds
I like to think he got onto his Baseball-Reference page and noticed his nickname on there was “The Sheriff of Swattingham” and decided to stick with it. Either way, it’s the coolest nickname of the bunch.
★ ★ ★
As a team the Rockies could have done a lot better, but they could have done worse as well. What nicknames would you recommend or change? And why doesn’t Raimel Tapia have a nickname?? Let us know in the comments.
Who has the best jersey nickname?
This poll is closed
Sheriff - Mark Reynolds
Chuck Nazty - Charlie Blackmon
Gray Wolf - Jon Gray
Ninja - Alexi Amarista
El Yolo - Gerardo Parra
Nado - Nolan Arenado
Hoff - Jeff Hoffman
Other (in comments)