It was exciting to glance at Bob Dutton's recap of the Royals' come-from-behind win Tuesday night and see the name "Zeus." Finally, a Royal with a cool nickname!
But then, upon closer reading, it became evident that "Zeus" had not been assigned to a player who, say, has white flecks in his beard. It's simply a truncated form of DeJesus, as in David.
The Royals are an improved ballclub, and it's high time the players and coaches put more thought into the names they use for each other (at least in public). Listen to manager Trey Hillman. Bench coach John Gibbons is "Gibby." Catcher John Buck is "Bucky." Pitching coach Bob McClure is "Mac." Pitcher Brian Bannister? Yep, "Banny."
Good nicknames are in such short supply that dermatologist/blogger/radio host/superfan Rany Jazayerli has had to lend his sizable brain power to the cause. Last year, Jazayerli started the Nickname Project in an effort to break the Royals of their habit of referring to each other in diminutives. The project takes credit for grafting the nickname "Mexicutioner" onto closer Joakim Soria. Kansas City Star baseball writer Sam Mellinger has also made commendable efforts.