It's long been a pet peeve of mine. In fact, it's why I try so hard to coin better nicknames for players over at TCB.â†µ
Simply put, the Astros have had a nickname problem for over 15 years. Steve Campbell runs through it here, but the gist is ever since Bagwell and Biggio roamed the Astrodome, Houston players were dubbed with a simple nickname. Take their name, shorten it and add "ey" or "ie." Baggy, Cammy, Dalgy, Millsie, Bogey, Downsie, Wally, etc.
Not exactly "Death To Flying Things," is it?â†µ
Sure, there is the random El Caballo or Big Puma, but those are few and far between. Plus, my favorite nickname for Carlos Lee happens to be El Bufalo, because he ran around in left field like a water buffalo, taking out any unfortunate shortstop who happened to get in his way.â†µ
We tried "Mark the Shark" for Melancon, but now he's in Boston. I suspect the nicknames for the new guys won't be very creative. I bet J.D. Martinez and Jed Lowrie won't even have some, as they'll just be J.D. and Jed in shorthand.â†µ
That's unacceptable, isn't it? We need better nicknames. Let it begin with Jose Altuve. He's perfect for a nickname, because he's sure to be a fan favorite. Let's try some on and come up with something good. Do you like Campbell's "Jose Can You See Me?" It's catchy but a bit long. What about "El Bate." Jose The Bat. Too simple? Not earned yet?â†µ
We've got some time before spring training to get these things worked out, but I really feel the Astros need at least two good new nicknames before opening day.â†µ