WASHINGTON — “Players Weekend” is a thing that MLB decided should exist, for better or worse. Essentially, players are allowed to wear jerseys with their nicknames on the back for three days.
Why three days? Nobody really seems to know and the consensus seems to be one day would be perfectly sufficient, but here we are.
Anyway, said weekend comes Aug. 25-27, when the Nationals will play four games (Sunday doubleheader) against the New York Mets, in Washington. So if you’re dying to see the home team rock nickname jerseys, you’ll theoretically have four chances to do so.
Or, you could just buy one now for the low low price of $200! Seems a bit excessive, but again, here we are.
Anyway, let’s talk about some of these nicknames. Some are really great.
Sean Doolittle, having been recently acquired to take over the closer’s role, might be the most beloved player in a Nationals jersey right now, whether it reads “Doolittle” or “Doooooooo” — that’s apparently his nickname! It’s really too bad Nike doesn’t make the team jerseys, otherwise there’s a great built-in sponsorship there: Just Doooooooo It. (Please, hold your applause until the end.)
Brian Goodwin has also made his way into Nationals fans’ hearts recently, though not nearly to the level of the heralded reliever. His nickname is fairly obvious, but it’s fairly great: B. Good.
Nicknames can win points for creativity — Kevin Durant’s “Slim Reaper” nickname comes to mind — but they can also be winners by hitting on the obvious angle. B. Good falls into the latter category, and that’s perfectly fine.
Shawn Kelley’s nickname is Bak-Pak, apparently. I don’t know. I think I like it, though.
Bryce Harper has three nicknames listed on his Baseball-Reference page: Bam-Bam, Mondo and Harp. So naturally the nickname on the back of his jersey on Players Weekend is … Big Kid?
Huh. Sounds like it’d be more fitting for Pablo “Secret Weapon” Sanchez than the six-year MLB veteran with 150 home runs under his belt, but that’s just me.
The “Other Names”
There are most likely stories behind all of these nicknames. I don’t know those stories, and this is one of those rare times where ignorance really is bliss, so stick with me.
Enny Romero’s nickname is apparently “Hernandez.” Adam Lind’s nickname is evidently “Donnie.” Ryan Rayburn will don the pseudonym “Bobby.”
Gio Gonzalez is having a better season than just about everybody expected; similarly, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody six months ago who expected Edwin Jackson to start a game for the Nationals in 2017. Perhaps it’s only fate that the pair of them combine for an outstanding one-two punch of nickname power.
Behold: E. Jax and Double G.
They’re predictable and more descriptive of the players’ actual names than anything else, and when you say them individually, they’re both fine. But put them together, and you have a fear-inducing twosome the likes of which has never been seen.
This is not how nicknames work. I don’t know who to send a message to — Howie Kendrick? The Nationals? MLBPA? Rob Manfred? — but this is a travesty.
Howie Kendrick’s nickname is Kendrick.
That’s the nickname equivalent of using the word in the definition.
Anyway, the $200 jerseys are available at the Nationals team store. There are plenty of others not mentioned above, including Trea “Triple T” Turner, Stephen “Dirt” Drew (?), Max “Blue Eye Scherzer” and others.