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! Pete Rose? Asshole!
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: “America’s Step-Dad”!
Before we proceed, though, let us remember those who have previously survived this crucible of sturdy ghosts. Last time out, Charlie Manuel edged Wade Boggs for the drilling rights to the nickname “Colonel Sanders’s Drinking Buddy.” So now let us — snifters in hand, cardigans beswaddling our mortal parts — gaze upon The Fireside Mantel of Reposed Fortune-Hunters:
And now … “America’s Step-Dad”!
Implications and Intimations
America’s Step-Dad might be a well-meaning sort like Mike Brady. He might have “step-dad hair” like a middle-aged Robert Goulet. He enjoys being mediocre at tennis. He wears an ionized bracelet because, who knows, it might work. Perhaps, right now, he is at a Knights of Columbus luncheon. His handshake is sturdy yet not punishing. He occasionally complains that the color of the tough-up paint doesn’t quite match the color of his very rational sedan. He thinks about gas mileage. His medicine cabinet suggests mounting fates. He and your mother were brought together by a love of the evening news.
Who, citizens of sufficient origins, should be nicknamed “America’s Step-Dad”?