Sunday, April 22, 2007
Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe mentioned in today's Red Sox Notebook that while Japanese stars Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui have powerful nicknames (he actually used "the Monster" for Matsuzaka, which is surprising), Sox reliever Hideki Okajima has been given nothing by the mainstream media.
Thankfully, Sox fans are all over it - Edes mentions "a reader (and baseball blogger) named Peter Naboicheck", who began referring to Okajima as "Darkman" awhile back, after the pitcher made some comments about being perfectly willing to play in Matsuzaka's shadow. (Fortunately, Edes doesn't actually mention the name of Peter's blog - you know, it's not like anyone might actually like to read any of his work or anything. Why would we want to do that? Thank God for Google.)
Now that Okajima is actually pitching very well, which makes it that much easier for Terry Francona to limit his use of Jonathan Papelbon (anyone else notice that the Sox have very quietly reinstituted the old "closer-by-committee" model? And that it's working?), he needs a good nickname, and "Darkman" fits the bill perfectly. It's easy to say, easy to type, and (if I remember correctly), the dude in the movie was a badass. Three-for-three.
Edes dismisses the nickname about three seconds after using it to make his point, but I think it's got long-term potential. If nothing else, it's going on my list of original Red Sox nicknames. Thanks, Peter.
If you'd like to see the source of Peter's inspiration for the nickname, you can go here or here. The first one is short, but it's in German (which somehow makes it better). The second is almost 2 1/2 minutes, but at least it's in English.
(Sorry if the three Red Sox posts in a row bothers anyone. I'll try to do better tomorrow...um, later today.)