Nickname Seeks Player: “Gargoyle O’Boyle”

Our ongoing quest, in the manner of a noble knight-errant, is to assign cool nicknames to players rather than indulge in the tired, lamewad paradigm of assigning cool players nicknames. Last time out? Jeff Mathis laid authoritative claim to the nickname “Hot Lettuce.” So Mr. Mathis has been added to our Hall of Honouur, which is so stately, so regal, so much itself a celebration of the Norman Conquest, that an extra British-English unstressed “u” is required for proper spelling …

Bad Miracle” – Wily Mo Peña
Captain Black Tobacco” – John Danks
$45 Couch” – Yuniesky Betancourt
Liván Hernández” – Liván Hernández
Frog in the Pot” – Carlos Zambrano
Aqua Velva Man” – Chase Utley
Victorian Sex Rebel” – John Axford
Good, Round Friend” – Prince Fielder
I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass” – Kyle Farnsworth
Interrobang” – Adrián Beltré
Turbaconducken” – Ty Wigginton
Hot Lettuce” – Jeff Mathis

And the nickname now available for purchase? It’s “Gargoyle O’Boyle”!

Denotations, Connotations, Implications, Intimations, and Incriminations:

The nickname “Gargoyle O’Boyle” should evoke for you the late-19th-century and early-20th-century base ball-ist — a man of that blessed time when batting averages and infant-mortality rates kept close numerical quarters. It is a name that suggests a murderous intensity on the part of the base ball-ist, as well as offseasons spent working in the coal mine or astride the blast furnace. It suggests a man for whom base ball is an incurable disease. It suggests bunts, spikes-high stolen bases, games of pinochle played in the dining car, and a grim history of throttled elevator attendants. It suggests a man, full of bale and harm, who will die of too much corn liquor or perhaps a lung complaint. That is to say: It suggests beauty.

Or perhaps, for you, it suggests something else entirely. Whatever.

Prototypes from Baseball’s Gauzy Past:

Ty Cobb is the obvious model for all who would aspire to be Gargoyle O’Boyle. Tony Phillips is a worthy, more recent example, as is Lenny Dykstra. Of course, “Gargoyle O’Boyle” need not be a small-ball fetishist. Are you suggesting Eddie Murray couldn’t have played for John McGraw? Because I’m suggesting no such thing. Woe betide the man who does suggest something like that!

Guiding, Determinative Query:

What current major-league player should be nicknamed “Gargoyle O’Boyle”?

The convention floor, which is filled with actual, palpable misery, is open for nominations …

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43 Responses to “Nickname Seeks Player: “Gargoyle O’Boyle””

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  1. doug says:

    Either Michael Young or Jason Varitek.

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  2. ichabod says:

    Chone Figgins: Funny name needs funny nickname, and there is no one who exemplifies the idea of beating balls into the dirt better.

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  3. Resolution says:

    Jim Leyland

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  4. nubillybaroo says:

    Dustin Pedroia, ’nuff said.

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  5. Sociology Degreeer says:

    Brooks Conrad

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  6. Peculiarly Peculiar says:

    Jason Kendall

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  7. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Daniel Day-Lewis

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  8. Max says:

    If we’re going by sheer ugly, Casey McGhee

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  9. sporkless says:

    Definitely Pedroia.

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  10. Matt says:

    For some reason, I thought of Jonathan Broxton.

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  11. Kyle says:

    Carlos Lee, because of the way his face looks.

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  12. Bryan Curley says:

    For a hitter, Vladimir Guerrero
    For a pitcher, CC Sabathia

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  13. noel says:

    Russell Branyan or Travis Hafner

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  14. Steve says:

    Second on Conrad

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  15. phoenix2042 says:

    john axford for the stache!

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  16. GoldenFrank says:

    Seth McClung.

    Irish immigrant name.
    Probably actually does work in a coal mine in the off-season.

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  17. Chris says:

    Matt LaPorta, ugly off and on the field.

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  18. Elizardo says:

    Will Ohman

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  19. Hamjeesh says:

    Chipper Jones

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  20. ettin says:

    I say give it to the always-grim A.J. Pierzynski

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  21. Kevin says:

    I’m gonna have to second Vlad Guerrero.

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  22. Your Ex-Girlfriend says:


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  23. SAmmy says:

    Sean O’Sullivan!?

    Would have given this to Jeff Blauser if we was still playing at 50+

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  24. Table says:

    I like the fist two suggestions Michael Young, Jason Varitek

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  25. Bryan Curley says:

    Wanted to add Josh Beckett too for his mound intensity, tendency to rely on fastballs and newly discovered passion for pounding clubhouse brewskis.

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  26. Dave S says:

    Ryan Roberts. Also liked Pedroia suggestion.

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  27. John Merrick says:

    Eric Stults, because he is as ugly as a Gargoyle.

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  28. Daniel says:

    I want Joba for this one. Maybe Skip Schumaker but no one cares about that guy. Joba it is. He looks like a cartoon Irish cop pretending to be a 19th century baseball player.

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  29. Daniel says:

    Having said that about Joba, I think CC is a fantastic suggestion. You know if anyone’s gonna really feel comfortable as G O’B, it’s the big guy.

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  30. matt w says:

    Jeff Karstens

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  31. Cardinals645 says:

    When I hear “Gargoyle O’Boyle”, I think “horrible hideousness”, and when I think “horrible hideousness”, I think “Ezequiel Astacio”. I apologize for suggesting an inactive player, but he fits the bill too well to go unmentioned.

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  32. jcxy says:

    i nominate mark bellhorn. as a three true outcome guy, i can totally see him finding a way onto a 20s/30s team because of his “ugly” power, but then have his skills go underappreciated. he also seems like he’d know (or be!) the team’s go-to blind tiger, jerking suds on the side.

    having said that…CC’s size and matching joie de vivre are tough to argue with.

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  33. Toasty says:

    Luke Scott, for the blatant racism of the good old days.

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  34. beachykeen says:

    Placido Polanco

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  35. therood says:

    Sean Burroughs

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  36. Jimmy Dahmer says:

    For the coal miner reference, I think that should be someone who spent a fair amount of time in the minors. Ryan Roberts fits that description. As for bunts and high-spikes stolen bases, Nyjer Morgan comes to mind (also spent plenty of time in the minors).

    Nyjer Morgan has my vote!

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    • Jimmy Dahmer says:

      Too bad Morgan doesn’t play for the ‘Stros. I can see him perched on the center-field flag-pole like a gargoyle, ready to strike at any flyballs hit his way.

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