CHICAGO — Nicknames in baseball can be more entertaining if they aren’t obvious. Fortunately, there are several Cubs players who got particularly creative for Player’s Weekend this year.
The best monikers come from the pitchers; here is a sampling, with their explanations for the nicknames they chose.
Jesse Chavez is “Dado”: “It’s because of my daughters. One day they were like, ‘Hey, Dado, and hey, Mamo.’ It’s a thing at home. Last year, I was ‘Flaco’. It means skinny. When I was drafted, I was skinnier than [Carl] Edwards over there. This time it’s Dado.”
Carl Edwards Jr. is “Stringbean Slinger”: “I was with the Spokane Indians in like 2011. I’m doing pretty good. And they asked if they could call me the ‘Stringbean Slinger’ and put a string bean throwing a baseball on the JumboTron while [I’m] pitching.’ At first I was like, ‘What?’ But then I liked it. Last year was ‘Carl’s Jr.,’ but I figured I would bring the ‘Stringbean Slinger’ back.”
Randy Rosario is “Pelo Fino”: “‘Pelo Fino’ is like goo hair. My hair is no good, so that’s why my friends call me ‘Pelo Fino.’ They always ask, ‘Why are you touching your hair? You have bad hair.’ There’s no gel in it. It just stands up on its own.”
Steve Cishek is “Speedpass”: “I had a job as a Mobil gas station attendant. I was pumping some lady’s gas and one of my high school friends screamed ‘Speedpass!’ out of a window passing by. That was the birth of my high school nickname.”
Brandon Kintzler is “Salt”: “In Triple-A in 2016 — I don’t think anyone is happy to be in Triple-A — so I guess I was a little salty. And so one guy called me ‘Salt’ and another guy called me ‘Morton,’ like Morton’s salt. So when I got called up by the Twins, it just became my attitude. It gave me my edge. Kind of stuck with me, having a chip on my shoulder.
“So when I get to Washington, someone heard ‘Salt,’ and one of the guys was like, ‘Who’s Salt?’ And someone said, ‘Kintzler.’ And they were like, ‘Oh my god, that makes so much sense.’
“I didn’t do it last year; I thought it was stupid. But this year, they talked me into it. It hasn’t come out here, but now it is. I think I pitch better when I have that attitude.”
Cole Hamels is “Hollywood”: “Ryan Howard gave that to me in Single-A. I showed up in shorts and sandals. I guess you can’t do that in Single-A, so now I’m ‘Hollywood.'”