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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