Nickname Seeks Player: “$45 Couch”

Our ongoing quest, in the manner of the noble knight-errant, is to assign players to cool nicknames rather than indulge in the tired, shopworn paradigm of assigning nicknames to cool players.

First, though, a brief jaunt through our Nickname Seeks Player Sun-Dappled Old-Growth Forest of Honor:

“Bad Miracle” – Wily Mo Peña
“Captain Black Tobacco” – John Danks

Moving on … The nickname up for grabs in this episode? It’s “$45 Couch”!

The inspiration for the nickname “$45 Couch” comes to us by way of thinking-man’s kick boxer Dan Wade, who, recently over large beers, informed us that he once owned a $45 couch. He prattled on. We, meanwhile, thought about how “$45 Couch” would make a good nickname …

Denotations, Connotations, Implications, Intimations, and Incriminations:

A $45 Couch is not something you want; it is something to which you are resigned. The $45 Couch is a signifier that, in the famous manner of signifiers, signifies something. That something is the plucky region between full dependency on the parental unit and the soulless expanse known as one’s “earning years.” The $45 Couch is the best you can do under the circumstances. And isn’t that — along with putting off death until it’s at least convenient — the point of all this?

The $45 Couch can also be something endearingly serviceable. Although you can afford something better, you stick with the $45 Couch because of nostalgia or frugality or force of habit — even if your significant other forces a “basement/garage diaspora” upon you and your beliked $45 Couch. The people say: serviceable!

Prototypes from Baseball’s Gauzy Past:

In all instances, it is preferable if the player in question at least vaguely resembles a couch. Bob Hamelin felt like the best we could do at the time, and he was large without necessarily being in charge. John Kruk was all serviceable and stuff despite looking very much like a couch. Ditto Dmitri Young.

Guiding, Determinative Query: What current major-league player should be nicknamed “$45 Couch”?

The floor, gorgeous signatories to every important historical document, is open for nominations …

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65 Responses to “Nickname Seeks Player: “$45 Couch””

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  1. Scott B. says:

    Jack Cust. No one has ever truly wanted Jack Cust, but yet some have come to realize having Jack Cust can be a very good thing.

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  2. shermanator91 says:

    Prince Fielder

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  3. OLL says:

    Matt Stairs

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    • Ben says:

      Here’s another thing about the $45 couch. You didn’t buy it new for $45 dollars. No, you actually inherited it from an ex-roommate who left it behind when he moved out. He got it from an old girlfriend who got it from one of HER old roommates, who’s parents bought it for her at a neighbor’s yard sale.

      Mr $45 Couch has to have an extensive history of different teams on the back of his Topps card. Stairs has, by my count, twelve.

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      • Stephanie says:

        Excellent – the $45 couch surely gets transferred about. So does Stairs.

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      • mmulvihill76 says:

        Ben, cogent analysis. The transactional history (and multitude of owners) of the chattel is of prime import. Furthermore, such a couch is unavoidably misshapen and lumpy, two adjectives easily transferable to Mr. Stairs.

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    • TheGrandSlamwich says:

      Stairs was my first thought on this. Great minds think like me!

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  4. Greg says:

    Jose Molina

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  5. Musially says:

    Justin Turner

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  6. Dwade19 says:

    There was nothing inherently wrong with the couch, it just broke down quickly. In that spirit, I suggest either Pedro Feliciano or Jake Peavy.

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  7. fjrobinson44 says:

    Eric Hinske. Serviceable bat (or better), looks like a couch in the field.

    +6 Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Yirmiyahu says:

    Liván Hernández

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  9. Todd says:

    Colby Rasmus

    too soon?

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  10. Jay says:

    Lyle Overbay

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  11. Jacob Smith says:

    Jack Cust sounds like the ideal fit for this.

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  12. Andrew says:

    I am going to second the Eric Hinske

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  13. shockey12 says:

    Molina makes sense. First off he definately looks like a couch. He`s easy going, good defensively and you can just sit back and get comfy watching him. He doesn`t seem that great but he is definately not bad. He`s cheap, useful, and he does the job but the more he plays the less comfortable it is, kind of like after you sit on an old couch for too long.

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  14. filihok says:

    My immediate thought upon seeing the title of the article was Yuniesky Betancourt. Despite the best intentions of those above who have made suggestions, I am not swayed.

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  15. shockey12 says:

    jose molina that is.

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  16. buddy says:

    Brad Penny. (4500 pennies?)

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  17. Scott Kazmir's Talent says:

    Alex Rios

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  18. ngranered says:

    How about Edwin Jackson? Traded 5 times in the last 3 years. Like a cheap piece of furniture, he makes you go “Oohh, this might be a nice value.”

    And within a year, you want nothing to do with it.

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  19. reillocity says:

    Carlos Lee (#45). Just over 6 feet. Was really nice when bought used but is now well below average and sticks out like an elephant in the room. The quality of the leather has deteriorated in particular. Heavy and rather difficult to move. Spent so much on it that it would be painful to toss even though it is now practically worthless. No one else seems to want it – even the garbage men (Sabean) won’t take it.

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  20. Steve says:

    Livan Hernandez immediately popped into my head. I think it’s a perfect fit.

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    • joshcohen says:

      i think we’re missing one very important element in the couch’s life cycle: it’s original purchase.

      at some point (maybe early 90s) a working man came home one night from sears, possibly macy’s, with this couch strapped to his truck. he brought it into his home and said, “here, family, is our new couch”. the family welcomed it and immediately envisioned rockwellian thanksgivings, super bowls, world series and other important events that it would witness. yes, while no one would call it the best couch in the world, it’s arrival was nonetheless met with fanfare and promise. things were going to be okay for the family that bought that couch.

      years later, we look at the couch and often forget the promise it once held. oh, sure, it occasionally has its moments, but it’s a shell of its former self. it’s changed hands a lot, but it’s never been sent to the dumpster. no, it is still serviceable.

      i can’t think of anyone but livan hernandez who best embodies “45 dollar couch” life cycle and current condition.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      Agreed. Cheap and been around forever, but still quite serviceable. You get what you pay for (no more, no less.).

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  21. Chuck Hussel says:

    I thought of Marcus Thames.

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  22. steex says:

    The $45 isn’t in your long term plans and you don’t really even want it, but you just haven’t gotten around to buying a new one and putting this one out to pasture yet.

    I vote Willie Harris.

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  23. EdwardM says:

    $20 bar-stool is more appropriate for Stairs. This moniker belongs to Hinske.

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  24. Pat says:

    I’m sticking with Hinske, though Adam LaRoche or Lyle Overbay can also be candidates. I feel like it has to be a mediocre first baseman.

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    • Rick says:

      It seems appropriate that all those guys are or were Pirates. Can they be the $45 couch franchise?

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  25. Kyle says:

    Cesar Izturis, Yuni, or McClouth

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  26. Jeff says:

    Well I know Tigers fans would agree that this could pertain to Brandon Inge. Until recently the organization stuck with him no matter what. He was no where near a ideal 3rd baseman but he was good enough for the Tigers too keep around far too long.

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  27. Mac says:

    People seem to be focusing on players who look like couches, and that misses the point. A $45 couch is something everyone needs one of but doesn’t want to think about. You’ll go out and splurge on a great new plasma TV before you upgrade the couch.

    The position of couch screams infielder.
    SP’s and big bats are more like fancy tech toys. A great couch in a cheap house looks ugly and stands out (Hanley Ramirez & FLA). Some really nice homes have a horrible couch – but you don’t care too much because the other stuff is so nice (Tejada & SF).

    A $45 couch – that’s a journeyman infielder.
    You’re in a dump of a home, trying to make improvements. No one starts by locking down an elite second baseman. You start with pitching and great bats (which are usually the corner guys). Then maybe down the road you finally throw out the couch and put in something nicer. Sometimes you shift the couch around because you don’t really want to get rid of it but can’t justify keeping it in the middle of the room. Utility/Journeyman infielder all the way!

    So, $45 couch types:
    Craig Counsell
    Miguel Cairo
    Jamey Carroll (he came up as an Expo, so he’s the $45 Chesterfield)

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    • steex says:

      Your description reaffirms my vote for Willie Harris (even though he now tends to see more OF time).

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    • Melkman says:

      “Sometimes you shift the couch around because you don’t really want to get rid of it but can’t justify keeping it in the middle of the room”

      Plus! Somebody always wants him, is initially happy to have him, uses the crap out of him, then realizes they can do way better and he’s kind of an eyesore, then he sits in the garage waiting for the next team to come get him.

      Mark Kotsay!! Altho he inexplicably keeps ending up in the middle of the room (batting order).

      Like when Braun missed some games, not only did Kotsay play LF, he batted in Braun’s 3 hole ahead of Hart (1), Weeks (5), Fielder (4)

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  28. Jose says:

    Cody Ransom
    Chad Gaudin
    Bret Tomko

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  29. jason says:

    Ty Wigginton

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  30. Erik Archer says:

    it HAS to be Edwin Jackson

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  31. ettin says:

    Mike Scioscia’s obsession with Jeff Mathis. Close the thread we are done.

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    • Yirmiyahu says:

      No. Jeff Mathis is more like the security blanket that Scioscia’s been carrying around 10 years after he should’ve outgrown it.

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  32. bcarsley22 says:

    Jonny Gomes

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  33. matt51306 says:

    Russell Branyan

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  34. TheGrandSlamwich says:

    I love this nickname series.

    Matt Stairs was the first to come to my mind and I’ll stand by that. He was always functionable and usefull piece of furniture, but never a permanent fixture.

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  35. Padman Jones says:

    Aubrey Huff

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  36. Tommy Lasordas Pasta says:

    Gotta be Edwin Jackson. Dude gets passed around MLB like a $45 Dollar Couch.

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  37. topper009 says:

    The thing about a couch is that it is hard to sell/get rid of because you need to sell it to someone who has a truck and has buddies who can help move it. In my view this must also imply a big bad contract that is difficult to do away with. And I think its funnier to give this nickname to someone who looks like a couch, so I vote Carlos Lee.

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  38. Del B. Vista says:

    Matt Stairs got DFA’d Wednesday in the Gomes trade aftermath. He might be the $45 Couch sitting by the curb waiting to go to the landfill.

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  39. Devil's Advocate says:

    It’s got to be Carlos Lee. He even wears #45.

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  40. Hamjeesh says:

    Nick Punto.

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  41. Theo says:

    Willie Bloomquist: the definition of replaceable, and yet somehow someone’s always finding a reason to keep him around. There’s no reason for it, since he’s not doing anything that you can’t have somebody else do, but damn it if you’re going to let someone else do it instead of him. He’s right on the boundary of major leaguer and minor leaguer, but always on the right side of that boundary, always, somehow, usable.

    He may not look quite like a couch, but it’s not like he doesn’t not look like a couch, is it?

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  42. Greg W says:

    If a hitter, Matt Stairs.

    If a pitcher, Octavio Dotel. Dotel still looks like he can do all those things he could do when he was new, but it turns out that the springs are all shot on one side of him. And, somehow, he got packaged up with some newer, nicer furniture just this week, for Grandpa Larussa to try out. Dotel has had 12 owners, in 12 years.

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  43. MJM says:

    Are you all unaware of the masterful work of one Francisco Cervelli? He is most couch-like while in full squat!

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