Nickname Seeks Player: “Science or Bravery?”

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? Joba Chamberlain was rebranded as “Gargoyle O’Boyle.” So Mr. Chamberlain 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
Gargoyle O’Boyle” – Joba Chamberlain

And the nickname now hanging in the balance? It’s “Science or Bravery?”!

Denotations, Connotations, Implications, Intimations, and Incriminations:

Via this thread over at BTF comes this tale of Germany Schaefer and his maximum nobility:

One day Schaefer saved the day with a one-handed catch of a line drive over first. Amidst the cheers Schaefer demanded, “Was that science or bravery?”

“Bravery, of course, Germany, bravery,” answered a leather lunged fan.

“Then salute your hero,” demanded Herman. Instantly, as one, the bleachers crowd arose, doffing their hats.

So, as you may have surmised, the player who shall be nicknamed “Science or Bravery?” is one whose unthinkable, impossible exploits prompt you to ask of yourself, your subjects or the heavens above: “Was that science or bravery?”

Prototypes from Baseball’s Gauzy Past:

Anyone generous with base-and-ball miracles certainly qualifies. Babe Ruth, Rickey Henderson, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Mike Laga. It can be someone who is very good at baseball and thus, by dint of science or bravery, leaves the appreciator in a state of constant guffaw. It can be someone who is not great in the least but nonetheless offers up, on a shockingly regular basis, small moments of abracadabra. “Science,” you might say of him. “All of this is owing to science.”

“No,” someone else might say of him. “‘Tis bravery.”

Guiding, Determinative Query:

What current major-league player should be nicknamed “Science or Bravery?”?

The convention floor, which is filled with quite a lot of science but decidedly little bravery, is open for nominations …

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50 Responses to “Nickname Seeks Player: “Science or Bravery?””

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  1. Bryz says:

    Jim Edmonds for all his crazy catches in the outfield.

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  2. doug says:

    omar visquel

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  3. Yirmiyahu says:

    It would be Adrian Beltre, for his eye-popping defense and utter disregard for his physical safety… except for the fact that he’s already been nicknamed.

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  4. Eric says:

    While the Joey Bats nomination is strong, in the spirit of not that great but has his moments, I must nominate Sam Fuld.

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  5. André says:

    Edwin Encarnacion, because the occasional spectacular play baffles the viewer accustomed to his throwing errors and missteps.

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  6. Yirmiyahu says:

    I may end up voting for Bautista, but to throw in two more names: Ichiro Suzuki and Pablo Sandoval.

    Ichiro for eeking out 300 infield singles a year and playing brilliant defense, despite being 112 pounds and 42 years old. How does he do it? Is it science or bravery?

    Kung Fu Panda for somehow being an awesome slugger and an inexplicably good defender despite being rotund, going undrafted, and never registering on anyone’s prospect rankings. How does he do it? Is it science or bravery?

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  7. David says:

    I’m thinking this needs to be a defensive whiz outfielder (hitting is a bonus, but not required). Not only a wicked speed demon who runs everything down and always reads the ball perfectly off the bat (“science”), but also one who plays with reckless abandon and is clearly applying “bravery” often enough that we never know which was the driver behind any given play.

    I’m struggling for a name off the top of my head tho. Stuck on Edmonds and I don’t think he’s active, or at least not active enough to count.

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  8. noel says:

    Ryan Braun

    Science = PED, or Bravery = Gritty, Hard-nosed Baseball Talent

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  9. ettin says:

    Peter Bourjos, hands down without a doubt.

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    • DD says:

      Rick Ankiel. check out his throws from deep CF, not to mention his bravery to come back as a OFer after failing at pitching.

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  10. ElJosharino says:

    Justin Masterson:
    Brave enough to throw mostly fastballs at folks who are good at hitting fastballs, but due to science they don’t hit that many fastballs off of him after all.

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    • ElJosharino says:

      Actually, I kinda want to throw Greinke out there for similar reasons. Goes out in front of many thousands of folks despite being terrified to do so, and succeeds. Bravery! Also a saber-nerd. Science!

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  11. olethros says:

    How is David Freese not the sole possessor of this nickname?

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  12. olethros says:

    Alternatively, Ron Washington, for letting the fucking pitcher hit with the bases loaded in the latter innings of fucking Game Six of the fucking World Series.

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  13. DD says:

    Joe Maddon count?

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  14. MikeS says:

    Has Barry Bonds officially retired? If not and he is techically eligible then I nominate him for obvious reasons.

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  15. D says:

    Curtis Granderson.

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  16. Mac says:

    Miracles on the baseball diamond most often come in the form of stupendous catches and booming home runs. Who best delivers excellence in both these areas?

    Asdrubal “Web Gem” Cabrera. His defense alone would not cut it, but a breakout power year seals the deal for me.

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  17. Ben says:

    Carlos Quentin–getting hit by that many pitches has to be science or bravery.

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  18. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Ryan Zimmerman.
    Defense = bravery
    8 walk-off home runs in just over 5 years = science

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  19. Nathan says:

    Clete Thomas

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  20. Joel says:

    Aaron Rowand, for his countless acts of catching a ball over the shoulder with complete disregard for his face (c.f. that time he broke his nose/face when he was on the Phillies).

    Calculating precise trajectory of ball with complete precision = science
    Realizing that trajectory of ball dictates face plant, and going ahead with said face plant = bravery

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  21. Darien says:

    Troy Tulowitzki. He’s an amazing shortstop, but it always looks like he’s doing everything with sheer, unmitigated gall rather than meticulous planning and calculation.

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  22. Wes says:

    Super Sam Fuld

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  23. Yirmiyahu says:

    Craig Breslow.

    Science: the dude is a literal scientist. He graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He got accepted to medical school, but chose baseball instead.

    Bravery: despite getting released by the Brewers after flaming out in A ball (and unable to find another organization willing to sign him), he chose to play in the indie leagues rather than go to medical school.

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  24. mockawaffle says:

    Easily Bronson Arroyo for taking every supplement he can find despite none of them being approved by the MLB.

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  25. Ed says:

    Reed Johnson or anyone else that makes amazing but dangerous playes. Or vlad for his hitting style

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  26. Garrett says:

    I have to go with Sam Fuld on this. Diabetic. Stanford grad. Plays like his hair’s on fire. How can he not be “Science or Bravery?”

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  27. SAmmy says:

    The title reminds me of G. Maddux, though no longer eligible.

    After having seen J. Bautista’s name, it’ll be hard to vote for someone else. The argument for I. Suzuki is compelling as well.

    And, to throw out a name, for throwing out a name’s sake, lets go to to a man with a doctorate in being platooned, Reed Johnson, who will be lucky to garner a fraction of a percentage point.

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  28. nubillybaroo says:

    Josh Hamilton

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  29. nubillybaroo says:

    Love Craig Breslow call! Scientist & Brave for fighting with his Strike3 foundatiin.. Google it!

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  30. Greg W says:

    Matt Cain, for his ability to confound fangraphs and FIP.

    Mark Buehrle, for his unspectacular pitching, wonderful fileding, and better-than-they-should-be-results. He never shakes off his catcher. And his catcher is A.J. Pierzynski.

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  31. Daniel says:

    Shelley Duncan v/s Rangers Ballpark’s left field wall

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  32. Erik Archer says:

    Dustin Pedroia seems like the obvious choice

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