Leading Off

Leading Off: Let’s end baseball’s forced nicknames

The best thing about the end of baseball season? No more forced nicknames.

What’s with this trend of squeezing a name anyway?

It’s not Giants manager Bruce Bochy, it’s “Boch.” It’s not general manager Brian Sabean, it’s “Sabes.” It’s not pitchers Tim Hudson or Ryan Vogelsong. It’s “Huddy” and “Vogey.”

Everyone’s guilty of it. Players and coaches like condensed names – can we even call them nicknames? – and so do fans, and that’s fine.

But when media members gush the shortened names on TV or radio as if they’re on the team payroll or in uniform, it comes across as homerism in a field that should be showing objectivity.

Even the media tend to cram in a name reduction.

It’s not Mark Kreidler, co-host of the “Rise Guys” on ESPN 1320. It’s “Kreids,” though Mark doesn’t call himself that, nor does his family. No one calls his co-host, Whitey Gleason, “Whites” or “Gleas,” so how about we just stick with “Kreidler?”

“G-Man” – Gary Gerould, the radio voice of the Kings – does have a nice ring. Otherwise, if the nickname isn’t original, leave it be.

Another good rule of thumb: If you’re too old to be in a parade at a PTA meeting or wear a jersey to church, stop using the nicknames.

In the meantime, listen to ESPN 1320 as “Kreids” and “Whites” interview “Sabes” and “Boch” about the value of “Vogey” and “Huddy” and the joy of winning another ’ship.

– Joe Davidson


What to watch

NBA, Kings at Phoenix,

6 p.m., CSNCA: Can point guard Isaiah Thomas and the chip on his shoulder slow the surprising Kings, who have won four games in a row?

Today’s poll

Thursday’s results

How many games will the Kings win this season?

▪ 28 or fewer: 3%

▪ 29-34: 13%

▪ 35-40: 45%

▪ 41 or more: 37%

Total votes: 482

Breaking news alerts

Sign up for email alerts for breaking sports stories: www.sacbee.com/email