The MLB Players Weekend isn’t until Aug. 25-27, but some of the nicknames players will be wearing on their jerseys for those games have started making the rounds.
Among the Texas Rangers’ nicknames are “Porterhouse” (Mike Napoli), “Sweet Lettuce” (A.J. Griffin), “El Comando” (Elvis Andrus) and “Tokki 1” (Shin-Soo Choo).
Wait. Sweet Lettuce?
“If we go back into the archives, I used to listen to the Jim Rome Show, and one of the words for hair on the show, in the Clone vernacular, is lettuce,” said Griffin, who submitted “Lebowski” as his nickname but was told no. “But then we fast-forward to today, Jon Daniels calls me sweet lettuce all the time.”
Choo said that he was planning to go with “Choo Choo Train” until former Cincinnati Reds teammate Joey Votto called him. Votto reminded Choo of the monikers they gave each other in 2013, when Votto explained to Choo that he was like the rabbit at the dog track and Votto was always trying to chase him.
Rabbit in Korean is tokki, and Tokki 1 and Tokki 2 were born. They’ve been born again.
“I told him, ‘That sounds stupid,’” Choo said of the recent conversation. “He said, ‘No, it sounds good.’ I said, ‘Do you really want to do it?’ He said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’”
Napoli said there was no special story behind Porterhouse, the nicknamed Adrian Beltre bestowed upon him in 2001. Andrus said that his brother, Erold, ordained him as El Comando upon signing his first professional contract.
“Comando in Venezuela is like, general, like a military [rank],” Andrus said. “That’s what he’s been calling me the last 10 years. The nickname that I had when I was kid made no sense here. I think ‘El Comando’ fits better.”