What we are doing is assigning cool nicknames to players rather than the opposite, which is a bloodless tradition that has been with us too much and too long.
So how does this running feature differ from the dear, departed exemplar of the genre? “Nickname Seeks Player” was devoted to active base-ball-ists, while “Nickname Seeks Former Player” is the province of those who no longer play this fine game because they are dead in spirit and perhaps also dead in the corporeal sense. Boileryard Clarke? Eligible! Sal Maglie? Eligible! Fred Lynn? Eligible! Dontrelle Willis? Eligible! Dave Parker? For the ladies!
You may surmise from this that almost the entire sprawl of baseball history lies before you, like a sexy patient etherized upon a table. So prepare yourself to plumb both depths and heights as we ponder fitting candidates for this week’s name to nicked: “You Shall Die From It Or With It”!
Before we proceed, though, let us remember those who have previously survived this crucible of sturdy ghosts. Last time out, John Rocker and Curt Schilling tied in the balloting for “I Denounce This Man.” I broke said tie by voting for Rocker because who gives a shit. So John Rocker and his World Net Daily columns shall forever be known as such.
So now let us — snifters in hand, cardigans beswaddling our mortal parts — gaze upon The Fireside Mantel of Reposed Fortune-Hunters:
“Museum of Questionable Medical Devices” – Ted Williams
“A Garbage Truck That Runs on Lightning” – Matt Stairs
“Colonel Sanders’s Drinking Buddy” – Charlie Manuel
“America’s Step-Dad” – John Olerud
“Man vs. Bible” – Carl Everett
“Actual, Literal Brick Shithouse” – John Kruk
“I Denounce This Man” – John Rocker
And now … “You Shall Die From It Or With It”!
Implications and Intimations
While driving around the streets of Chicago U.S.A. in my luxury motorcar, I heard a radio interview with a gentleman who helms an association dedicated to the eradication of an awful disease that shall remain nameless. He said of that disease and those it afflicts: “You either die from it or with it.”
This raised a necessary question: Which former ballplayer do you die from or, failing that, die with before you can die from? Please note that this phenomenon — dying from an incurable someone or dying with an incurable someone before that incurable someone can snuff you out — can absolutely be a good thing. “Look at him play baseball. The beauty of it,” you might say. “I want him to be the cause of my extinction.”
Or it can be because he is a baseball disease to which you succumb while in hospice or from which you will be spared only in the event that a thief shoots you in the lungs or I cut you down with my luxury motorcar.
So who, citizens of sufficient origins, should be nicknamed “You Shall Die With It Or From It”?