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: “I Denounce This Man”!
Before we proceed, though, let us remember those who have previously survived this crucible of sturdy ghosts. Last time out, John Kruk somehow confused everyone with a broth of flatulence and then somehow won the voting for “Actual, Literal Brick Shithouse.” That’s really fucking stupid and betrays an en-masse misunderstanding of the criteria, but I’ll let it stand, I suppose. Don’t ever let me down like this again. I suppose, though, the blame lies with me, since I green-lighted his coconuts nomination in the first place.
I denounce John Kruk.
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
And now … “I Denounce This Man”!
Implications and Intimations
Quite simply, this is a FORMER player you detest at a visceral level. It can be for reasons defensible and right-wise (“The man was a racist menace to all he surveyed!”), or it can be because of some trifling affront of which he is not even aware (“His stooopid lips are stooopid!”). It matters not. He can even be deceased, since the dead should absolutely be subjected to the contempt of the living.
You denounce this man because he is worthy of denunciation or because he is an awful match for your neuroses. Either is a damnable sort.
So who, citizens of sufficient origins, should be nicknamed “I Denounce This Man”?