Maine Needs Better Names
Indiana Faithfull, come back to Maine. All is forgiven.
We no longer care that you’re Australian.
We’re over our hurt that you played this past season for a school located elsewhere.
We don’t even mind that you’re named after another state.
The fact is, we need you here, right now. Because Maine has fallen seriously off the pace in producing athletes with funny names.
Sorry, that’s politically incorrect. What I meant was team members with oddball monikers.
Still no good?
Offbeat? Weird? Inspired by your parents’ alien abduction?
OK, let’s settle for unusual. However you put it, we’re trailing the rest of the nation. While other states are churning out minor-league baseball players the likes of Beamer Weems, Ben Tootle and Cameron Greathouse, Maine has lost Faithfull, a former high school basketball standout at Cheverus in Portland, to some fancy-schmancy prep school. The closest we’ve come to a replacement is when Stolmy Pimentel played for the Portland Sea Dogs.
Unfortunately, Pimentel, a right-handed pitcher, was shipped off earlier this season because he couldn’t get anybody out. He also couldn’t cut it in the official Minor League Baseball “Moniker Madness” competition, getting bounced in the second round by somebody named Brett Butts.
The funny-name contest (let’s be honest about it, that’s what it really is) is an annual event, and to the best of my knowledge, no Mainer has ever won. That’s embarrassing, considering Portland was just honored as the fifth-best minor-league sports market in the country by the Sports Business Journal. The fifth-best market should at least have some names in the “Moniker Madness” semifinals. But we got shut out.
It got so bad, I was rooting for freakishly named players on other teams who had only played in Portland as occasional visitors. “Go, Deik Scram!” I shouted, only to watch him defeated by Forrest Snow.
Forrest Snow? That isn’t even mildly humorous. Get real.
Tuffy Gosewisch made the semis, but I don’t like his chances against the aforementioned Beamer Weems. And I can’t get really excited about either of them, because their offbeat first names aren’t real. They’re nicknames. Anyone can get one of those just by behaving eccentrically. It’s a wonder the entire Sea Dogs lineup isn’t filled with guys claiming to be “Doofus” Tejada, “Slowfoot” Dent and “ERA Worse Than John Lackey’s” Gonzalez.
No, I demand guys who got their ill-considered labels directly from their boneheaded parents. I’m referring to players like Callix Crabbe, Bob Stumpo and my personal choice for most hilarious name of this season – somebody who ranks with the legendary sports figures of all time, such as Icicle Reader and Farmer Works (both of whom are honored with “Moniker Madness” brackets named after them). I’m referring to:
With that tag, you can understand why the guy gets in fights.
Anyway, I’m sure this whole silly discussion had something to do with Maine when it began and wasn’t simply a ploy whereby I could waste half my space engaging in my pointless hobby of finding people with unusual names and making fun of them. As evidence of my innocence, I’d just like to point out that I didn’t make one stinkin’ joke at Rougned Odor’s expense.
Well, on to other things.
In Waterville this past week, Republican candidate for mayor Andrew “Beam Me Up Scotty” Roy announced he was dropping out of the race because he was having too much trouble gathering signatures. Also, he might have been taking a little flack for having posted a Facebook photo (since removed) of himself dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit and standing in front of a Confederate flag.
That was just a joke, “Beamer” Roy told the Morning Sentinel. A day later, he added to his comedy routine by announcing his withdrawal from the race was also a joke. He also claimed he faked dropping out, “so I could have some good news printed on what I would like to see.”
Makes at least as much sense as naming your kid “Rougned.”
Speaking of displays of good sense, consider the case of Jesse “Something Doesn’t Smell Right” Grinnell of Lincolnville. Police say Grinnell stole a credit card out of a parked car in Camden recently and used it to buy $165 worth of odds and ends at a convenience store in Belfast. During that transaction, he was filmed by the store’s video surveillance camera. The cops later looked at the images, but couldn’t identify Grinnell, although one detective thought he bore a striking resemblance to Deik Scram. But Scram could prove he was elsewhere playing baseball, so it appeared the case wouldn’t be solved easily.
Except that Grinnell is apparently one of those folks who doesn’t like to overspend. So, according to the police, he phoned the bank that issued the credit card to see how much he could still borrow on it without going over his limit.
The bank’s system automatically recorded the call as well as taking note of the number from which it originated. Which happened to be Grinnell’s home number. The law was notified, Grinnell was arrested, and everyone learned an important lesson, which is: There are worse things that can happen to you in life than exceeding your credit limit.
For instance, your parents could have named you Rougned Odor.
Finally, in real estate news, we have a too-good-to-pass-up deal for you. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (nickname: “Tuffy”) is selling the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery for one dollar. I’m told the aging span is in poor condition and must be moved in short order to make way for a new bridge, which will be named after the Granite State resident with the funniest name. This historic structure (the longest bridge of its kind this side of Callix Crabbe) would make a great lawn ornament, assuming you have a lot of lawn with a sizable gully in the middle of it. It’s also suitable for drying beaver pelts and for letting your kids play on the world’s most dangerous jungle gym.
There are probably dozens of other potential uses. Be creative. You’ll have to be if you don’t want to end up with the nickname “The Idiot Who Bought That Bridge.”
Al Diamon sends regards to people with odd names everywhere. They can reply by emailing him at email@example.com.