Friday, April 8, 2016
Nicknames aren't as big in baseball as they used to be. But when you hit upon a good one, it sticks, and it spreads like wildfire.
Some are just abbreviations, and those only work for a bit. Tulo, J-Bats, HanRam, J.Low. Those are cute, but when you get an ORIGINAL one...oh my gosh, it's a miracle.
Adam Dunn was The Big Donkey, which is a pretty nice one, as well as outlandishly original one. Travis Hafner was Pronk, or Project Donkey, which begs me to wonder what MLB's obsession with nicknames involving donkeys. You get some truly terrific ones like Carl "The Perfect Storm" Crawford, or Nelson "Boomstick" Cruz, or Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval.
I could go on, but I wanna talk about my favorite in baseball right now. And that would be Noah Syndergaard, whom the fans affectionately refer to as the Mighty Thor.
THAT...is friggin' amazing. Not only do you get nicknamed after a bonafide superhero, but it's not a fun one like Superman, or Spiderman, or Wolverine. Oh, no. Noah Syndergaard is named after the NORSE GOD OF THUNDER, for crying out loud. The big, strong, muscular, long-haired dude who bashes his enemies with a gigantic hammer. THAT is the kind of guy you wanna be named after. That's the kind of guy you want people to think of when they hear your name. Oh, the Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard? Oh, you mean Thor?
I got so see this in full force when I saw him pitch last year. He gets up to the mound, and the Thor chants begin. I had no idea people called him this prior to that. Every time he got a strikeout that night, which was several because the guy had a no-no through 7 if I remember correctly, the screen would flash with lightning, and a picture of Syndergaard as Thor would light up the screen. It was fantastic. And it fit so well. Syndergaard is pretty ferocious on the mound, and his fastballs are deadly, as they were that night to the San Diego offense.
Best part is he's not even the best pitcher in Queens. Harvey, Thor, DeGrom and Matz (as well as Bartolo "BigSexy" Colon), make up the most dominating, fearsome pitching staff in baseball right now. Hell...you might even call those guys the Avengers. Because there was definitely someone on both of those named Thor.
Here's hoping the good luck continues for Thor and the Mets.
Coming Tomorrow- He was the best pitcher in baseball, and then a few crappy seasons later he returned, rejuvenated. Now he's back, leading his team back to the top in some very treacherous territory.