Players’ Weekend is one of the rare good marketing ideas that baseball has had in a while. For one weekend in August, everybody goes back to their days as a youngin’ playing the game they love, and can express themselves in any way they want. So basically, for one weekend, the game of baseball allows you to do what baseball purists hate seeing for the other 158 games a year.
The main draw (and uh, focu$) of the weekend are the brightly coloured jerseys that players wear, as well as the nicknames that they give themselves. Let’s just ignore the monstrosity that is giving yourself a nickname for a minute because it’s fun to see players like Kyle “Corey’s Brother” Seager get creative for something hilarious. For some, like Joey Bats and Bringer of Rain last year, the choice is obvious. For others, due to trademarking issues (like Pillar and Superman), or other reasons, we get a few boring nicknames that probably won’t sell well.
Either way, here are some cool Blue Jays nickname jerseys that I think work.
Kevin Pillar – C. Kent
Even though Clark Kent is trademarked, I wonder if Pillar could go with C. Kent or CK instead of the KP he’s going with. Pillar was known for his high flying defensive act the past few seasons, but now that looks all but gone. The eye test will tell you that the center fielder hasn’t been as good as we’re accustomed to and the numbers will tell you it’s worse than that. Pillar’s 2018 Defensive Runs Saved sits at -1 after 856 innings, which would be the lowest of his career, lower than both the 2013 (4) and 2014 (3) seasons that saw him play less than 600 combined innings between the two years.
Ryan Borucki – Papa Jr.
Blue Jays fans can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy inside when seeing a soft tossing lefty wearing number 56 shine on the bump. Through his first eight starts in the show, Ryan Borucki is slowly becoming a fan favourite, throwing 48 innings of 2.81 ERA baseball, while only giving up a single home run.
Who was the Illinois-born’s favourite player growing up? None other than Mark Buehrle.
Teoscar Hernandez – Te?
If Brad Boxberger can go with the box and burger emojis, then “Teo” Hernandez can use the emoji that symbolizes what he does best for this Blue Jays squad. The 25-year-old has had some struggles both at the plate and in the field, but there’s no denying the power he possesses. He made quite the first impression in 2017 when he hit 8 home runs in 26 games as a September call up and kept it going in 2018, with 18 bombs in 95 games.
Tyler Clippard – Clip Art
Late 80s-early 90s babies: Do you remember when you first discovered clip art at school and used it excessively in all of your work, even when you shouldn’t have? Well, that’s what manager John Gibbons has done in the ninth inning with Tyler Clippard, and disaster has often followed. Clippard has a 4.67 earned run average in the ninth inning this season, only converting 7 of 13 save opportunities.
Randal Grichuk – The Grich
Did we forget this catch already? Total Gri(n)ch move, bro.
Marco Estrada – Magic Marco
Even though Estrada has fallen off a cliff and may be making his final starts as a Blue Jay, no fan will forget the work that he did in both the playoff years in 2015 and 2016. Estrada’s fastball-changeup mix made it look like he was throwing triple digits as major league hitters often had difficulty squaring up to his fastball that topped out at 91.
Then, when playoff time came around, Magic Marco took it to the next level. He made six starts over those two runs and only allowed ten earned runs (2.16 ERA) with a total of just two walks in 41.2 innings. Blue Jays fans will forever have fond memories of Marco Estrada because of those two years. Not bad for somebody that doesn’t light up the gun.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr – the Baby Impaler
Could we really talk about the Toronto Blue Jays without mentioning the next franchise icon? I think not. Even though Vlad Jr. still looks like that, he hits some grown man bombs.
This isn’t a bad alternate, though:
They gonna sell these between opening day and late April next year? pic.twitter.com/hFiEuhu58U
— Ricky Hart (@EricHartman) August 8, 2018
Take a look at the names that the Blue Jays decided to go with here.