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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

April 3, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Gearing up for Opening Day with name game

What a sporting week awaits us — baseball openers, starting Sunday night in Boston and continuing in full force Monday, including the Mariners at Oakland; a compelling NCAA title game on Monday between Butler and Duke; and Tiger Wood’s return at the Masters.

So here’s something a little different to bide the time. A few weeks ago, while doing some google searching — I can’t even remember what for — I ran across a feature story on Bill James (our spring condo visitor) from 2003. Included within was a mention of a game James likes to play, in which he takes players’ surnames and comes up with descriptive acronyms, using each letter of the player’s last name. Some examples from the story:

Joe Randa: “Runs average, nice defensive asset.”

Jason Grimsley: “Good reliever in many situations, loses every year.”

Sean Lowe: “Leads off with elbow.”

Raul Ibanez: “Individual batting average never establishes zip.”

I tucked the article away, knowing full well that some day I would come back and try my own hand at the game. And the time has come. So here are a few acronyms I came up with tonight while watching the Final Four games (but first an aside: I remember when game threads first started to come into vogue a few years back. I predicted they would never last, because no one wanted to watch games and be on their computer at the same time. What a monumental miscalculation that was. Like most people, I rarely watch a game without a computer on my lap.)

Anyway, here goes (and, yes, I know Ichiro is not his surname, but as usual, he’s the exception to the rule):

Ichiro: Idiosyncratic clothes, hits infield rollers obsessively

Stephen Strasburg: Simply terrific rookie, All Star baby, ungodly radar gun

David Aardsma: Almost always really dominant, sometimes more adventurous

Albert Pujols: Pure unadulterated joy; optimistically, lacks steroids

Milton Bradley: Burns Radically Aggressive, doesn’t like enervating yahoos

A-Rod: Alas, relied on drugs

Ken Griffey Jr.: Glorious retrospective, is fueled for ending year

Derek Jeter: Just embraces the end result

Dave Niehaus: Names inevitably escape him, and unmatchable still

Mike Sweeney: Spring whiz exudes energy, niceness every year

Joe Mauer: Merely an unsurpassed, electric receiver

Cliff Lee: Late entry excruciating

I’ll keep working on more. I’d love to see what you can come up with.


Jack Zduriencik: Zealously develops unproven rookies, improbably embraces new concepts in knowledge


Don Wakamatsu: Wily, always knows about mood around the Safeco underground



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