It is a basic property of mathematics, as first described by the three-year-old son of Aristaeus the Elder, Aristaeus the Third*, that a trilogy must contain a third (i.e., 3rd, a.k.a. IIIerd) part lest it be a duology, which is a very rare word that nobody wants to use because it is so easily confused with Diwaligy, which, as you know from watching Season 3 (i.e., Three, a.k.a. Robert Griffin) of The Office, is the study of the Hindu Festival of Lights, signifying the victory of light over darkness, hope over despair and the number 3 over the number 2 in a battle of which is more.
*Only later did Aristaeus the Elder, a.k.a. “Pops,” realize that his son should’ve been named Aristaeus the Younger, or “Corky.”
In the all-important first part of this trilogy, I wrote that one thing we all have in common is that somebody gave us the names we go by, and that unless we are Vin Diesel – in which case Hi, Mr. Diesel! Et cetera! – we still identify ourselves by those names in signed threats to Vlad III, a.k.a. “Scooter.” And given the Law of Totally Legit Equivalence – that is, “Major League Baseball players . . . they’re just like us!” – it remains abundantly clear that unless those players are Roberto Hernandez – in which case Hi, Fausto Carmona! Love your work! – they are likewise the lifelong bearers of the names their guardians gave them.
But why, in a land of liberty where Eny Cabreja can become Wandy Rodriguez, should players so steadfastly abide by the names on their baseball cards? Sure, there are practical concerns to consider – the endorsing of very large checks; the autographing of very valuable baseballs; the answering of calls from very secret mistresses – but again, this is a land where a Lady Gaga can supplant a Boy George in the realm of people whose names just occurred to an author who once wrote under a spectacular if unnecessary pseudonym.
So let’s take this thing to its logical conclusion by renaming some big-league ballplayers. As with the ballparks and teams of Parts I and II, name them whatever you want. Name them Juice Newton. Name them Newt Juiceton.
OK? Since I’m already here, I’ll start.
Mike Trout: Saint Sublime of Doubleday
Adam Dunn: Bunyan McProbably Done
Andrelton Simmons: Prince Fielder
Prince Fielder: Whopper Jr.
Bryce Harper: Wall-E
Dan Uggla: Dan Ukkla
Kendrys Morales: Kendry Morales
Hunter Pence: The Wild Man of San Francisco County
Carlos Santana: Eddie Van Halen
Coco Crisp: Count Chocula
J.J. Hardy: Nancy Drew
Stephen Drew: J.J. Hardy
Buster Posey: Gerald Dempsey Petunia
Ichiro Suzuki: Harley Davidson
Kyle Lohse: Kyle Loshe
Mike Napoli: Jim Rome
Jose Carlos Oviedo: “Leo Nunez”
Alejandro De Aza: Alexander Of Aza
Max Scherzer: Mac Sherzer
Austin Jackson: Round Rock-Cedar Park-Pflugerville Jackson
Madison Bumgarner: Madison Hoboget
Jean Segura: Pant Safe
Chris Sale: Ichabod Discount
Matt Kemp: D.L. Habitué
Neil Walker: Genuflect Pedestrian
Dillon Gee: Dylan Shucks
Chase Headley: That’s Headley
Grant Balfour: Bestow Baseonballs
Jose Bautista: Joey Bats Duh
Jayson Werth: Jason Worth
Joe Smith: Cornelius T. DeBeaumarchais, 5th Viscount of the Duchy of Fleur de Honorifigue in the Province of Sobriquet sur Mer, 90210
Daniel Murphy: Nonot David Murphy
C.J. Wilson: Christophe Jean Dilettante
Chase Utley: Hunter Cooper Dylan Colton Parker Connor Utley
Clayton Kershaw: Rich Mann
Joe Nathan: Nathan, Joe
Giancarlo Stanton: Mike + The Mechanics
Mat Latos: Tat Latos
Derek Jeter: Captain N. Tennille
Jeff Samardzija: Jeff Samarz Samarj Samarzj Smarjd Dammit!
A.J. Pierzynski: Anthony John Pierzynski
Andrew McCutchen: Aristeaus the Cooler
Ryan Dempster: Harry Caray II
Derek Holland: Harry Caray III
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.