A guide to 2018 White Sox Players Weekend nicknames

Without Mike Pelfrey, there aren't a whole lot of standouts

Major League Baseball’s Players Weekend is ostensibly a labor-friendly fundraiser and revenue generator, but it’s biggest accomplishment is making me miss Mike Pelfrey.

The league released the nicknames players will wear on the backs of their jerseys for the second annual Players Weekend, and none of them match the je ne sais quoi of “Big Pelf.”

(“Je ne sais quoi” is French for “slamming an open bag of flour on a waterbed.”)

The second year of Players Weekend jerseys shows just how hard it is to get an ideal name, at least if it isn’t widely known or intensely personal. Most of them are bland or formulaic, and most of the ones that aren’t carry the weight of trying to explain an inside joke to a crowd that doesn’t understand why you’re laughing.

Brad Boxberger’s comes off as effortlessly memorable…

… but most fall well short, including the White Sox’ roster. “Big Pelf” was fun to see, say and spell. None of the remainders have all three going for them.


  • Avi (Avisail Garcia)
  • Mal Tiempo (Jose Abreu)
  • Yo Yo (Yoan Moncada)
  • Los (Carlos Rodon)
  • El De Piñonal (Yolmer Sanchez)
  • Juego G (James Shields)
  • Matty D (Matt Davidson)
  • Narvy (Omar Narvaez)

Roster turnover accounts for a good chunk of the jersey turnover, but there are also a lot of incumbents who took their name plates in a different direction in Year 2.

That said, Abreu’s “Mal Tiempo,” which was the best of the bunch in the inaugural edition when filtering out irony, still reigns. It gives Abreu a menace that is befitting of his production, if not his personality. I’ve seen fans wearing this jersey in the Sox games I’ve attended in Chicago and Seattle this year, and there’s reason for it to exist. That’s not something that can be said for all spinoffs.

“Yo Yo” doesn’t look bad either in the stands, and it doubles as an evaluation of Moncada’s season. And with all respect for Sanchez’s upbringing, he could’ve capitalized on his most memorable and marketable moment with “LINE DRY ONLY.”

No nickname

  • Tyler Danish
  • Ryan LaMarre

Perhaps they were recalled too late to meet deadline, because both would seem to have possibilities. Imagine if LaMarre went with “It’s Hedley.” Imagine the roars of delight.

Standard clubhouse nicknames

  • Avi (Luis Avilan)
  • DP (Daniel Palka)
  • Cove (Dylan Covey)
  • D-Fark (Danny Farquhar)
  • Leo (Leury Garcia)*
  • Rey (Reynaldo Lopez)
  • TA7 (Tim Anderson)
  • X (Xavier Cedeno)

The nickname based on initials and/or rudimentary name shortening encounters its first crisis: The Sox will have two players sporting “Avi.” Monitor the situation for a matching-prom-dress standoff.

Anderson went with “BMoss” last year in honor of his slain friend, but this year he joins this grouping. The “7” is redundant. Palka’s jersey is bad baseball karma, but it seems like it could be popular among those who wore University of South Carolina caps in high school.

The one that works the best out of this group is Cedeno’s, because “X” looks like a Shoeless Joe Jackson jersey in practice.

(*Renteria actually goes with “Leroy” for Leury Garcia, and I’ve heard Anderson use it as well.)

Real/non-derivative nicknames

  • Big Foot (Lucas Giolito)
  • Bulldog (Hector Santiago)
  • Foo (Jace Fry)
  • Janko (Jeanmar Gomez)
  • Man of Steal (Adam Engel)
  • Pup (Nicky Delmonico)

The only one that I was aware of before Thursday was Engel’s. He used “Clarke” last year in a nod to his newborn daughter, but he’s branded himself as “Man of Steal” on his social media accounts (wonder if it would’ve been “Keant” for a son). One might question whether a guy on pace for just 17 bags warrants the title, but robbing two homers from the Yankees earlier this week buys him some time.

Santiago was “Bulldoze” last year, so “Bulldog” doesn’t appear to be a thing. There isn’t proof of the others, not to say they don’t exist. Fry is setting himself up for a pitying.


  • Nate’s Nation (Nate Jones)
  • Webby (Kevan Smith)

“Nate’s Nation” is a shoutout to Jones’ family and friends in Kentucky, who showed up hundreds strong when the Sox played Cincinnati this year. Smith, who went with “Szmydth” last year in a nod to Polish heritage, honored his late friend and former Sox pitcher Daniel Webb. Smith also named his son after him.


  • Juanito (Juan Minaya)
  • El Mariachi (Miguel Gonzalez)
  • Négs (Thyago Vieira)

Gonzalez switched his up from saluting his birthplace (El Jaliscience) to his musical interests, which is an upgrade. That’s nothing against Jalisco, but “El Mariachi” seems to most embody the spirit of this exercise. “Mal Tiempo” still looks better on a jersey.

With “Négs,” Vieira wins this year’s award for “Name I’m Not Sure I’m Allowed To Say,” after Leury Garcia won it last year. If somebody with knowledge of Portuguese/Spanish shorthand or Brazilian culture can fill me in, by all means. Google doesn’t help, because the first several pages of results are dedicated to pickup artists.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Shingos Cheeseburgers

So is Nicky into Canadian indie-punk or…?

Alex Gaspar

If This 11 Game, West Coast Road Trip Doesn’t Kill You, I Will

Josh Nelson

Great stuff, Jim. I had a good belly laugh reading this blurb:

Palka’s jersey is bad baseball karma, but it seems like it could be popular among those who wore University of South Carolina caps in high school.


Seconded. I really look forward to Jim’s articles that don’t actually relate to the playing of games, because nearly every single one has a random line that just kills me.


That explains the strange looks I’ve been getting every time I use that phrase.  Huh. Who knew?

Alex Gaspar

Regarding Tim’s nickname, I wasn’t aware that Ricky had given it out. I’ve noticed on Instagram that Tim had been referring to himself/hash tagging most posts with “TA7” even before this season began. I figured he had come up with it himself because it seems like more of a branding attempt than just a clubhouse nickname. I could be off but Ricky doesn’t seem like the type of guy to add a number in a nickname. 


Is Vieira’s nickname Spanish or Portugese? Either way, I don’t recognize it.


Any article with a blazing saddles reference gets a thumbs up from me.

LaMarre missed an opportunity. 

Greg Nix

I guess El Mariachi being a musical reference makes sense in an Occam’s razor way, but I initially assumed El Mariachi is a reference to the Robert Rodriguez movie/Mexican vigilante. 


Fry is setting himself up for a pitying.

Oh lord too good. But the mystery is still what it means. And shame for Palka not being “Smash”

Josh Nelson


Well that explains that. And seems for some of the other names too.

Josh Nelson

In Cincinnati Reds transaction news (Old friend alert)

Right Size Wrong Shape

Reportedly he did an awkward somersault when he got the news.