Longest Name of the Year Contenders


April’s over, so it’s time to take a look at the longest-name-of-the-year standings and see who’s shaping up to be a top contender.  As of April 30:

1. Jarrod Saltalamacchia | 14

2T. Al Alburquerque | 12

2T. Will Middlebrooks | 12

4T. Chad Billingsley | 11

4T. Joba Chamberlain | 11

4T. Edwin Encarnacion | 11

4T. Paul Goldschmidt | 11

4T. Adeiny Hechavarria | 11

4T. Bobby LaFramboise | 11

4T. Steve Lombardozzi | 11

4T. Darin Mastroianni | 11

4T. Kirk Nieuwenhuis | 11

4T. Brett Oberholtzer | 11

4T. Tyler Pastornicky | 11

4T. Marc Rzepczynski | 11

4T. Nate Schierholtz | 11

Quite a race, as you can see.  Saltalamacchia once again seems to be in the lead, although given that it’s only the end of April, we do have to watch out for small sample size.  Billingsley’s injury probably takes him out of contention for the rest of the year — it seems unlikely he’ll be able to get back in time to make up two whole letters, even if the rehab goes well.  

Bobby LaFramboise is a surprise contender — his name just doesn’t look that long until you start counting the letters!  That’s a hidden skill that his team will hopefully take advantage of.  Once again, Jeff Samardzija shows promise, but misses out on the leaderboard when you really start adding up those characters.  Like we always say here at long-name-central headquarters, it’s not about how hard it is to pronounce, it’s about the actual count.  So no extra points for Rzepczynski or Nieuwenhuis. Their letters count just the same as the ones in Goldschmidt.  

Smart money is on Saltalamacchia holding off the contenders, especially with this early-season lead.  Always have to watch for someone like Hechavarria adding some consonants in the midseason heat, or someone getting married and deciding to hyphenate, but for right now, these are the standings.  We’ll check back in a couple of months and see if anything’s changed.

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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The Over-Murdered
The Over-Murdered

Some might argue that these extra letters are more style than substance, considering the competing viewpoints http://www.fangraphs.com/not/china-employs-secret-market-inefficiency/. Still the debate on whether an extra consonant or two is more glitz and glamour or more grit and intangibles will likely rage on, akin to the Saber vs scouting debate.

Just my take, but this type of stat is useful to look at retrospectively to tell us “what happened”, but I think it lends little predictive value. Similar to WPA.