Chicago Cubs: Some memorable player names and some ironic ones
A lot of players, including some Chicago Cubs, have had some ironic names.
With all the heaviness of a pandemic and arguments between MLB and the MLBPA weighing on us, I thought Cubs fans would enjoy a lighter read this time. These are actual names of players. No nickname stuff here. We’ll start with a Chicago Cubs player most of us remember and would like to forget.
Chicago Cubs: Milton Bradley
Milton Bradley‘s career was anything but fun or funny. He never spent more than three years with any one team, was traded usually for roster filler, and in his one season with the Cubs was memorable for his throwing a ball to a fan with two outs. That allowed a run to score, and the runner on first to advance from first to third. Not funny.
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Bradley slashed an outstanding .321/.436/.563 and .999 OPS with the Texas Rangers the year before. So when Cubs manager Lou Piniella demanded more left-handed bats in the lineup, Hendry went out and signed the switch-hitting Bradley to his biggest free agent deal ever, three years and $30 million in 2009.
The problem was Bradley was much better from the right side of the plate. That explains his far more pedestrian slash with the Cubs: 257/.378/.397 and .775 OPS. The next year Hendry traded Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for right-hander Carlos Silva and cash in a bad contract for bad contract move.
If Bradley was a Milton Bradley game, it would be Trouble.
Chicago Cubs: RHP Eric Plunk
OK, now that’s a great name for a pitcher. A reliever, Eric Plunk didn’t plunk many players. Only 32 in his 14 years in the Show. Wild Thing he was not, with a1.67 SO/W ratio. But can you imagine what hitters thought when he was announced?
Plunk spent all but two of his 14 years in the American League and pitched in the postseason for the Oakland Athletics and Cleveland Indians. He’s not going to Cooperstown but he was a respectable enough pitcher as a reliever. He appeared in his last game for the Milwaukee Brewers at age 35. His claim to fame? He was twice traded for Ricky Henderson.
Chicago Cubs: Shortstop Bucky “you know what” Dent
Boston Red Sox fans recall Bucky Dent with profane anger…even incorporated it into his name when he did this to them and Sox skipper Don Zimmer angrily commented after the game.
Dent barely dented anything called a baseball. With just 40 career home runs over 12 years in the Show, he wallopped a career .618 OPS and 74 OPS. Those are Darwin Barney numbers.
But that one home run by the most improbable home run hitter was pure little league heroics.
Outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
Like the bike, Ichiro Suzuki could move. In his rookie year, Ichiro stole a whopping 56 bases and was caught just 14 times. He stole 40 bases at age 37 and over his 19-year career, he would swipe 509 bases, and as a result, scored 1,420 runs.
Ichiro holds the MLB record for most hits in a single-season at 262 (2004) and had over 200 hits in ten consecutive seasons (2001-2010), the longest such streak in MLB history.
Defensively Suzuki won ten consecutive Gold Gloves (2001-2010) and played all three outfield positions throughout his career.
More than all that Ichiro is beloved by fans on both sides of the Pacific. He presented a positive face and brand of play that helped baseball through the dark times of the PED era revelations.
That’s it for now but I’m sure you have some names that could make the list. I’d love to hear yours and hope you enjoyed the article.