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: “Man vs. Bible”!
Before we proceed, though, let us remember those who have previously survived this crucible of sturdy ghosts. Last time out, John Olerud did a better job of raising another man’s children than did Steve Garvey or Ty Cobb and thus claimed the nickname “America’s Step-Dad.” So now let us — snifters in hand, cardigans beswaddling our mortal parts — gaze upon The Fireside Mantel of Reposed Fortune-Hunters:
And now … “Man vs. Bible”!
Implications and Intimations
He is a tortured sort. He wants badly to please the Judeo-Christian godhead, but doing so is at cross purposes with his blackened nature. Normally, he would yield to his wicked appetites, but the Good Book — and the Jeff Huson-led tent revivals he attends — wrench his guts. So sometimes he gives in and then weeps in the pews. Other times, he resists and then weeps at the scent of corn liquor or the promise of gonorrhea.
He is Man vs. Bible. And don’t you know that he is losing the fight?
Who, citizens of sufficient origins, should be nicknamed “Man vs. Bible”?
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