*****Update: RESULTS ARE IN: The winner of the Poll below is "Stanley Musial" Pineda. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions.*****
This post is about beginning a very serious discussion. I’m not here to tell you where babies come from, but it’s sort of the same thing. This is about Michael Pineda’s nickname. It is both crucially important and timely to have this discussion right now.
This discussion is crucially important because a nickname can be such a transcendent and monumental part of a player’s identity. Shoeless Joe, the Iron Man, the Rocket, the Freak, Death to Flying Things, King Felix, the Kid, Big Unit, the Flying Dutchman. These words convey so much and, once bestowed, often define the player as much as the player defines the name. Would the Kung Fu Panda have such a strong following without such a strong nickname? Would anyone remember Cool Papa Bell if he went by his given name, James Bell? The right nickname means a lot.
The discussion is timely because we have entered a narrow window of time during which Pineda is both new and familiar. He has formed the sort of indelible impression that demands a good nickname and helps provide its content. Of course we could sit on our thumbs and wait for someone else to think of something, but I believe that would be a serious mistake. What if Neihaus had failed to bestow Death to Flying Things with a good moniker prior to his current unfortunate ailment? Would we be praying for the return of Poopy Stank Frank? I’m sure Daffy Dean and Droopy Ball Bryant would have given just about anything for the right nickname early on in their careers. But once you’re the Goose, you’re the Goose.*
It is with these thoughts in mind that I would like to offer both a submission of my own and a forum for other submissions and discussion. I am well aware that others have broached this subject, but I think it is important to pool our efforts in one thread. A quick search through the comment fields uncovers a few suggestions from others that may be of varying amounts of sincerity. I have seen “Lord of all the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the American League in General and The American League West in Particular.” While this loses points for brevity, it gains them back for accuracy. Also submitted are “Black Hole” and “Jaws.” These are certainly on point as well, but I haven’t yet seen a groundswell of support.
As for my own submission, I humbly present “El Diablo” for your review and comment. I cannot claim authorship, as it is based on Niehaus’s memorable description of Pineda’s Spring Training slider: DiaBOLical! I like that it makes me think of Niehaus. I also think it appropriately conveys the feeling in the inner recesses of the soul of any batter who has to step into the batters box against Pineda. Perhaps Pineda Day can be “Dia de los Muertos” to complete the theme.
Anyway, that’s just one idea. I don’t want it to dominate the thread, but I present it as a launching off point. I hope that we can settle this here, and soon, before Señor Pineda misses a start due to a flair up of Chlamydia and this decision is made for us in permanent and horrific fashion.
*No offense, Goose
311 votes total