Giants keep it normal in Player’s Weekend nickname game

The MLB unveiled a new line of jerseys for “Player’s Weekend,” because, apparently, the other weekends were for someone else.

Let’s be honest, this weekend isn’t for the players, it’s for the MLB. They’ll sell more $200 jerseys and sell them under the guise of a league-wide attempt to get with the young folk.

Still, some of the nicknames are fun. Kyle Seager‘s is “Corey’s Brother,” (Madison Bumgarner‘s personal favorite) a persona he’s clearly embraced. Miami’s A.J. Ellis is “Dad,” Los Angeles’ Andre Ethier is “Daddy,” Oakland’s Josh Phegley is PTBNL (player to be named later). Aaron Judge is “All Rise,” the least nickname-y one, and Cody Bellinger is “Codylove,” the most disappointing one, given his influence on the game.

Some had fun with it, most just went with abbreviated versions of their original name, some didn’t even bother. The Giants, generally, didn’t have too much fun with it. Here they are if you don’t feel like looking at the online shop.

The best ones, explained:

Mark “Stretch” Melancon: At first this seemed like an ill-informed decision. The Giants already have a “Stretch,” Mark, and he’s a pretty famous one. He has a cove named after him, Hall of Famer, retired number, you know.

But Melancon didn’t take the “Stretch” nickname to piss off an entire fanbase, he’s openly throwing shade at those who circulated a story that he rubbed teammates the wrong way for changing the bullpen stretch time. The story Bruce Bochy compared to “pole-vaulting over mouse turds.” Melancon is embracing it, which probably means his teammates did too.

Ty “The Preacher” Blach: Dirt bike accidents and blisters are partly to blame for the Giants’ horrendous season. If we’re looking for positives, all the bad blazed a path for Blach to blossom into the best starter for the Giants this year.

Apparently, the nickname roots back to his Sacramento days. Radio announcer Johnny Doskow christened him with it because, according to Blach, “he wears his faith on his sleeve.”

Some that need to be explained, explained:

Hunter “Wawinaji” Pence: Wawinaji means “hunters” in Swahili. I assumed Pence would pick something Game of Thrones related, given his walk up music and well-documented super-fandom — his wife Alexis said “play ball” in a Khaleesi costume on GoT night. He chose Wawinaji instead, which was apparently Jarrett Parker‘s suggestion.

Gorkys “Cazador” Hernandez: Cazador means “hunter” in Spanish. So we have a “hunters” and a “hunter.”

The rest are pretty standard:

  • Michael “Beast” Morse (longtime nickname)
  • Matt “Horse” Cain (longtime nickname)
  • Sam “Rojo” Dyson (red hair, made cooler with Spanish translation)
  • Madison “Mad-Bum” Bumgarner (don’t understand the dash, but this is a given)
  • Denard “Spaniard” Span (just a cool way to lengthen a short last name)
  • Johnny “Cinco” Cueto (not actually sure about this one)
  • Jeff “Shark” Samardzija (longtime nickname because he looks like the shark from Finding Nemo)
  • Brandon “B-Craw” Crawford (longtime nickname)
  • Kelby “Tommy” Tomlinson (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Will “Smitty” Smith (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Buster “Buster” Posey (That’s a cop-out, Gerald)
  • Jarrett “Park” Parker (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Nick “Hundo” Hundley (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Kyle “Cricky” Crick (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Matt “Matty Mo” Moore (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Austin (AC) Slater (Not actually sure about this one)
  • Hunter “Strick” Strickland (Bruce Bochy-given nickname)
  • Brandon “Belt” Belt (Probably didn’t want ‘Baby Giraffe’ on his back)
  • Cory “Gearrin” Gearrin (Do you have a better suggestion?)
  • Josh “Osich” Osich (I’ve only heard him referred to one other name, and it came via broadcaster blooper)
  • Conor “Gillaspie” Gillaspie (He’s the last person I’d expect to adopt a nickname)
  • Joe “Panik” Panik (Not even Bochy can nickname this one)

The theme, it seems: Honor thy manager.


Shayna Rubin is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @ShaynaRubin on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.