Nickname Seeks Player: “Captain Black Tobacco”

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

Last (and first) time out, Wily Mo Peña fought off Milton Bradley and others (with his fists!), scored a narrow plurality and earned the nickname “Bad Miracle.”

The nickname up for grabs in this episode? It’s “Captain Black Tobacco”!

First, let us acknowledge the inspiration for the nickname “Captain Black Tobacco” …

Sufficiently inspired? Most excellent. Now let us probe the deeper meanings of “Captain Black Tobacco”!

Denotations, Connotations, Implications, Intimations, and Incriminations:

It sounds evil, so it could be a player who’s simply a nefarious character. Or it could be a player whose manner, bearing, carriage, menu of skills, virility, and large muscular muscles make him an intimidating presence on the field of play. Or, as the “Tobacco” part of the formulation might imply, it could be a player who was a famous prisoner to his vices. Or it could be delivered with a Wicker Park/Williamsburg resident’s sense of irony: i.e., the player nicknamed “Captain Black Tobacco” is a God-fearing paladin wholly above such a moniker. Hence the comedy gold.

Prototypes from Baseball’s Gauzy Past:

Nefarious character? Talk about wandering into a cornucopia … Carl Mays was a huge asshole and also killed a man on the diamond. Or Hal Chase. Or Ty Cobb. Intimidating presence on the field of play? Frank Thomas was large, muscular and very good. Bo Diaz, to my child’s eyes, looked vaguely murderous. Famous prisoner to his vices? Talk about wandering into a cornucopia … Mickey Mantle drank more than Kinsley Amis with nothing left to lose. And Pete Alexander drank more than that. Al Martin had as many wives (at the same time!) as the Phillies have championships. Babe Ruth did everything all the time and surely had the clap. Sense of irony? Dan Quisenberry was the opposite of evil and menacing. Despite phonetic temptations, “Quisling” would also not fit him in the least. Hence the comedy gold.

Guiding, Determinative Query: What current major-league player should be nicknamed “Captain Black Tobacco”?

The floor, gorgeous surgeons, is open for nominations …




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Handsome Dayn Perry can be found making love to the reader at CBSSports.com's Eye on Baseball. He is available for all your Twitter needs.

20 Responses to “Nickname Seeks Player: “Captain Black Tobacco””

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  1. Let’s just get to the point: This is about whitie exploiting the native americans for the good stuff. Thus, is there any organization that better represents the White Man than the Boston Red Sox? Is there any player that represents the warrior spirit more than Jacoby Ellsbury? I will also accept Johnny Damon.

    Oh, and you’ve gotta edit that “Bad Miracle” part at the bottom.

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  2. bgrosnick says:

    I vote for Livan Hernandez. Geographically, he’s from Cuba, and he pitches relatively close to the famous tobacco-growing region of the US. More importantly, you KNOW Livan Hernandez is bad for you. In fact, you’d probably be better off without him. But, I mean, he’s a workhorse. He’s stood beside you through thick and thin. Every year, you know you can rely on him to show up. And there are no frills with him. You think that his time is up, that there’s so much information telling you that, yes, you really should NOT have anything to do with Livan Hernandez. Livaning used to be cool a few years ago, but you’re older and wiser now. But still, you just can’t give him up.

    That, to me, screams Captain Black Tobacco.

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  3. fjrobinson44 says:

    Even though he is quite white, Dan Uggla does have bulging biceps and a menacing scowl, while typically holding a cheekful of tobacco to boot! Since he is heating up, I’m also hoping to change his nickname from strUggla to something a bit more endearing.

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  4. Resolution says:

    I would like to nominate myself. Unorthodox? Perhaps. But let me just say, if you knew me, it would all make sense.

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  5. stan says:

    Lastings Milledge. i have no reason.

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  6. Adam says:

    Carlos Zambrano. Google “baseball anger management,” and the first active player you see is the Big Z.

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  7. The Only Nolan says:

    My first thought was Wally Backman because of his propensity to smoke his favorite pipe after crushing Keith Hernandez but if we must choose an active player, Arthur Rhodes gets my vote. He just looks like a tough old bastard and I think I read a story about him trying to quit the dip not too long ago.

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  8. Dayn Perry says:

    I’m going to jump in and nominate Jeff Francoeur under the “ironic” category.

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    • The Only Nolan says:

      I think Jeff Francoeur AKA “Captain Black Tobacco” would become the new definition of the word irony.

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  9. Adam K. says:

    Pablo Sandoval, mostly because he dips at least a tin and a half per game

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  10. Dave Petterson says:

    I know he already has a nickname, but Lenny Dykstra is so clearly “Captain Black Tobacco” that I can’t believe he hasn’t already been put forward.

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  11. Yirmiyahu says:

    If this weren’t limited to current players, Dick Allen would be a shoo-in, right?

    http://90feetofperfection.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/dick-allen.jpg
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_75Xi1RTxG3k/Sa2KJKU4tHI/AAAAAAAABuc/fXL8g0VmHng/s400/DAsmoke.jpg

    Cameron Maybin? He’s a black dude from tobacco country. But he’s not intimidating enough for the nickname.

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  12. gu03alum says:

    Paul O’Neill was pure evil.

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  13. Johnnymac says:

    I nominate Darwin Barney for the ironic option. He’s got one of the goofiest names in the game currently, he’s about 5 foot nothing, he is very much not dark, and best of all, at the beginning of the season, tons of Cubs fans complained because he always had his mouth filled with bubblegum and blew bubbles constantly. I can think of noone less likely to have the nickname Captain Black Tobacco, and as such, he deserves it completely.

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  14. Dayn Perry says:

    Just to, um, clarify, the “Black” in “Captain Black Tobacco” in no way refers to skin color. All white dudes welcome to apply!

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  15. Bronnt says:

    My first thought was, honestly, Ugueth Urbina.

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  16. Naveed says:

    Pat Burrell has a large wad of tobacco in his mouth, he hits the ball hard, and his lechery is well-known.

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  17. MikeS says:

    John Danks.

    First of all, a pic:

    http://blog.prorumors.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/John-Danks.jpg

    If that doesn’t scream “Captain Black Tobacco” I don’t know what does.

    More importantly, Danks did a stint on the DL last year with a circulation problem in his left index finger that was caused by…wait for it…chewing tobacco. That’s right, a finger on his throwing hand turned black becuase of tobacco. How much more appropriate can you get?

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