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Regarding Frank Viola’s Friends


As a white male, I am no stranger to the world of people who have been given stupid nicknames. The majority of these encounters occurred while in college, where I knew people with nicknames such as Detox, Hot Rachael, Ogre, Boob, Gay Dan, Hot Lindsey, Fathead, Pubehead, and Fahqueef. (Full disclosure: those girls were hot, and Boob was a guy.)

Much like my baseline blood-alcohol content, my interactions with people who had dumb nicknames subsided after I left college. This may be a game of percentages, however, since my interaction with any people took a drastic dive after college, once I realized that people were, in general, vile and terrifying creatures. My wife is involved in roller derby — a sport that requires participants to take on nicknames of sorts — so I do know people who are addressed by odd monikers, but as these names are forced and often self-appointed, it doesn’t really count for me. So as I stand, I really have no acquaintances with nicknames, save for the people at work who I call names behind their backs. As a grown man, I have not noticed this to be abnormal.

Former baseballer Frank Viola is no normal man, however. Despite sharing a name with by far the worst instrument in the orchestra, Viola persevered and became a very good baseball pitcher, at least until his arm metaphorically fell off. His successes have allowed him a deal of free time to play (what I assume to be, based on previous tweets) golf with friends new and/or old. These friends are, assumingly, grown men. Grown men with nicknames.

When I see things like this, I often wonder what set of circumstances cause a person to be nicknamed “Big-Time”, “Meat”, or “Jeff.” There has to be a story behind every nickname, right? Why is Meat called that? Does it have something to do with a culinary feat? And Big-Time? What the Hell did he do that makes him so special? I want to know the stories behind these names, and Viola is denying me.

I know Dmitri Young was referred to as Da Meat Hook at times, and Tim Lincecum has been called Big Time Timmy Jims for some stupid reason, but these can’t be Viola’s golfing partners, can they? If they can, where can I get the picture?

My punctuation indicates I have many questions. What I want is answers.