Introducing the CFBBQ Best Name Bracket presented by Baseball-Reference

>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE BRACKET <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 1 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 2 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR SWEET 16 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ELITE EIGHT RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR FINAL FOUR RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS <<<

Names are a fantastic part of baseball. There are so many of them! Here are a few: Jim. Mike. Tom. Astyanax.

Way back on Episode 14 of the Barbecast, a scattered conversation with Jason Wojciechowski eventually led to the discovery of Pretzels Getzien, a right-hander who pitched in the late 19th century whose name we simply couldn’t get over. Within minutes of finding Pretzels, we fell headfirst into the old-timey baseball rabbit hole that baseball-reference.com provides. Our eyes were opened to the careers of players with memorable monikers such as Puddin’ Head Jones, Boileryard Clarke, and Chicken Wolf. Naturally, we wanted more. And so, the B-Ref Battle was born, a segment on the Barbecast where we each present our favorite baseball names that we found over the previous week. As our list of ridiculous names grew (our official list is approaching 400 names), we started having discussions — heated debates, even — over which of one these remarkable names was definitively the best. To attempt to answer this, we’ve compiled a March-Madness style bracket to allow you, the people, to determine who is indeed the best name in baseball history.

We’re proud to present the Best Name in Baseball History Bracket presented by Baseball-Reference.

(click image to enlarge)

 

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You probably notice that there are a few notable baseball names missing from our bracket. “Where’s Rusty Kuntz?”, you wonder out loud, as the woman behind you in line at Starbucks throws you a perplexed look. “How did they miss Rougned Odor?”, you plea to your history professor as you exit class. With the aforementioned 19th century flamethrower Pretzels Getzein being our inspiration for this whole thing, we’ve almost exclusively limited our B-Ref Battle names to players from the pre-war era. This is not because we don’t appreciate the countless amazing names scattered throughout affiliated rosters over the past 70 years. Look no further than our 2015 team previews, which listed the best names in each organization’s minor leagues. But the spirit of the B-Ref Battle has always had a historic tilt. Thus, no player born after September 2nd, 1945, the official end of WWII, was permitted onto our bracket.

A few other rules and regulations:

  • For a name to be eligible, it must be the one prominently displayed on his baseball-reference page, not just a nickname listed in parentheses (Example: Puddin’ Head Jones is listed as Willie Jones; Chicken Wolf is listed as Chicken Wolf)
  • While baseball-reference does have managerial pages, we kept this bracket to players-only. Sorry, Kid Fears and Jew Hellman.
  • If you’ve scavenged minor league rosters from the pre-war era, you’ve more than likely come across incomplete pages that list a mere word as the player’s name. So while names like”Beer“, “Book“, “Ping“, “Plant“, and “Sphere” are certainly amusing, names of such ilk were ineligible for bracket selection.
  • Seeding and selection was based on us each picking our 32 favorite names out of our comprehensive list of 350+ that have appeared on the B-Ref Battle podcast segment. We regrettably had to leave out at least 50 that were worthy of this bracket.
  • VOTING: You may only vote once per match-up.

We are also excited to announce that the official sponsor of our Best Name Bracket is — you guessed it! — baseball-reference.com! Right now, you can head over to http://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/bbq.shtml and use the coupon code “bbq” to get $6 off a one-year subscription to the Play Index, an invaluable tool for answering all your ridiculously specific statistical queries about baseball history. In addition, our weekly B-Ref Battle podcast segment will also be brought to you by baseball-reference — you’ll hear us talk more about the Play Index on our next episode, Barbecast 81.

Use the hashtag #BBQBestNameBracket when campaigning for your favorite surname to win it all — especially all you Yam Yaryan die-hards. If you’re feeling particularly confident, you can print and fill out a bracket (click here for PDF) and send us a picture of your picks. We’ll retweet any lunatic who has Milo Trpkosh in the Final Four. And if you somehow manage a perfect bracket, we’ll totally give you a billion dollars.

>>> CLICK HERE FOR THE BRACKET <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 1 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 2 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR SWEET 16 RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR ELITE EIGHT RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR FINAL FOUR RESULTS <<<

>>> CLICK HERE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS <<<

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The Mysterious Case of Bobblehead Yuni

Yesterday, former major league shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt turned 33. While I am certainly not the only fan who maintains a love-hate relationship with Yuni, I like to think I’ve kept it up longer than most, for better or for worse (definitely for worse). My affinity for Yuni stems from his three-plus years as my beloved Mariners’ starting shortstop. As some of you know, we like to have fun with the @Mariners over on the Twitter machine. It’s pretty clearly the best MLB team Twitter account, and we enjoy interacting with them from time to time. However, I quickly learned the hard way that @Mariners can troll with the best of them.

In November of 2013, I purchased a 2008 Seattle Mariners Yuniesky Betancourt bobblehead on eBay. It was a ridiculous purchase, but my the desk in my dorm room was in need of another member; Cobra Bubbles and Count Chocula needed another running mate. And so, Bobblehead Yuni joined them.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsThat “crazy shit” turned out to be signing that Robinson Cano guy to a lot of years for a lot of money. That was pretty exciting! I began to trust Bobblehead Yuni to emotionally guide me through the dangerous hot stove season with that confident smile of his. For a while, this coping strategy worked like a charm. When the Mariners traded my irrationally beloved Carter Capps to Miami, Bobblehead Yuni was there for me. When the Mariners gave Corey Hart’s knees $6 million, Bobblehead Yuni was there for me. When the Mariners gave Willie Bloomquist a two-year deal, you’re god damn right Bobblehead Yuni was there for me. Suddenly, disaster struck. At some point over the first few weeks of my spring semester, Bobblehead Yuni mysteriously disappeared. I was horrified. What transpired over the next several months cannot be explained with words…but it can be explained with tweets. In honor of his birthday, here it is: the mysterious case of Bobblehead Yuni.

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“Bonds on Bonds” Revisited

The only thing worse than days without baseball during the regular season are days without baseball during the playoffs. As usual, the best remedy for baseball-less boredom is actually just more baseball; often in the form of Baseball-Reference Play Indexing and ridiculous Barry Bonds stats. As if I haven’t written about Bonds enough, I decided to turn (mostly) away from the statistical side of Barry Bonds and look back into the person he was in his playing days. One of the more interesting looks into Bonds’ life was the short-lived ESPN reality series, “Bonds on Bonds”, which aired during the latter half of the 2006 season, Bonds’ penultimate season in San Francisco. This series is certainly hard to track down, but some unclear portion of it is indeed on YouTube (embedded above) for your viewing pleasure/displeasure. While I definitely recommend watching the whole thing, here are some of the highlights:

1) At 17:30 – Bonds on his defense:

“There was always a cardinal rule: if I ain’t gettin’ no hits, you ain’t gettin’ no hits.”

I very much doubt Bonds was the first one to employ this mantra, but he carried it out better than most, especially over the first half of his career. For example:

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2) At 19:21 – Bonds on his time at Arizona State University:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js“I always tell everybody my major was MLB. That’s what I mastered at. I think the rest of it was just a waste of time…but I did major in criminal justice and um…I never went that far.”

There is a very, VERY small part of me that wishes Bonds pursued his major further and became some sort of state trooper or prison warden.

3) At 24:17 – Bonds on the value of his home run balls at that stage of his career:

“A home run has become a lottery ticket. You have the opportunity to better somebody’s life by hitting a home run. To me, that’s satisfying. ‘Thank you Barry Bonds, goodbye!’ You are welcome *laughs*.”

Bonds was at the point in his career where every home run he hit was worth serious money. Sure, the bundled-up fans sitting in their canoes in McCovey Cove looked crazy but they were simply waiting for a legitimately lucrative baseball to come falling from the sky into the freezing waters beneath them. I can’t totally blame them. It’s also pretty awesome how much Bonds enjoyed hitting those magical lottery tickets.

4) At 37:00 – Jimmy Rollins on Barry Bonds:

“I remember how I felt when I was younger just seeing the name ‘Bonds’ across his back. And I was like, ‘Bonds’…that’s one hell of a name.”

Same.

5) At 38:47 – Bonds on chasing records:

“I didn’t have to hit the home runs. I didn’t have to do a lot of things I do. I didn’t have to. I had that choice. But I chose that I wanted to be like Willie [Mays], and I wanted to be like Hank Aaron, and I wanted to be like Babe Ruth.”

Sure, Bonds had more natural baseball talent than 98% of the players that came before, during, and after his time. But it’s easy to point to countless immensely talented players that never really produced the way we hoped they could. From premier prospects that flamed out before even reaching the big leagues to decent major leaguers that never quite turned into the superstars that we expected, there are so many examples of raw talent failing to reach its full potential. Bonds understood the talent he possessed and did everything in his power to assure it was not wasted. As former manager Jim Leyland said, despite already being the best, Bonds worked harder than anyone to get the most out of his natural abilities. He was fully committed to becoming the best player he could be, which turned out to one of, if not the greatest player of all time.

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My 25 Favorite Barry Bonds Facts

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(This was originally published on July 24, 2014. In honor of the Giants retiring Bonds’ #25, all stats have been updated through August 11, 2018. Congratulations, Barry!)

About six months ago, I wrote a piece for Michael Clair’s annual blogathon to raise money for Doctors Without Borders titled “25 Greatest Barry Bonds Facts”. To this day, it remains my favorite thing I’ve written, and it’s a collection of statistical absurdities that I’m very proud of.

Today is Barry Lamar Bonds’ 50th birthday. In honor of this special day, I’ve updated all the statistics in my original list and brought it back here to CFBBQ. As many of you know, we here at the BBQ absolutely love everything that Bonds did for baseball. He is quite clearly the greatest hitter in the history of the game, and still remains remarkably under-appreciated a mere seven years after his final season with the Giants.

I’d like to think I’ve played a tiny, tiny part in the slow progression towards a full-blown mainstream appreciation for the incredible things that Bonds did on the baseball field. There have been sporadic “Barry Bonds Crazy Fun Facts” posts over the years, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. Barry’s birthday has already spawned a few more of these wonderful collections earlier today, most notably Tim Marchman’s over at Deadspin.

Certain Bonds facts resonate more with certain people, for whatever reasons. These 25 have remained my favorite, but there is a decent chance I’ll have 25 new favorites by this time next year. The career of Barry Bonds is an infinite gold mine of mind-blowing statistical miracles; there’s a favorite Bonds fact for each and every one of us.

Without further ado, here they are. My 25 favorite Barry Bonds facts.

25. For his career, Barry Bonds was 0-3 with 3 K’s against Rick Ankiel

…and it was all in one game. June 20th, 2000. In his first plate appearance against the then 20-YEAR-OLD Ankiel, Bonds worked Ankiel to a full count before striking out swinging. In his second plate appearance, Ankiel struck him out swinging on three pitches. In his third and final plate appearance against, again, RICK ANKIEL, Barry Bonds struck out looking on three pitches. They would never face each other again. Rick Ankiel is one of two pitchers to have faced Barry Bonds four times or less and strike him out three times. The other one is Bartolo Colon. Bonds also only faced Bartolo for one game; June 12th, 2003 against the White Sox. First AB: strikeout swinging. Second AB: strikeout swinging. Third AB: strikeout swinging. Fourth AB: home run to take the lead in the top of the ninth inning.

24. Craig Biggio drove in 1,175 runs in his 20 year career. Barry Bonds’ home runs alone drove in 1,174 runs.

It’s almost like Barry Bonds hit a lot of home runs or something.

23. 2001-2004 fWAR (FanGraphs’ version of WAR):

  • Barry Bonds: 46.6 fWAR
  • New York Mets: 46.6 fWAR
  • Milwaukee Brewers: 45.3 fWAR
  • Kansas City Royals: 31.0 fWAR
  • Detroit Tigers: 30.9 fWAR
  • Montreal Expos: 30.7 fWAR

2001-2004 was a fun time for Mr. Bonds, and this list makes that very clear. The level at which he was dominating baseball will probably never be seen again. Barry Bonds drew 120 intentional walks in 2004 alone. Speaking of intentional walks…

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Organizational Lineups: The Best Names In the Minor Leagues (AL West)

If it wasn’t obvious already, we absolutely love ridiculous names. For each 2014 team preview, we included a list of the best names in the organization. Because it’s summer, I’m gonna take it one step further. I have assembled a starting lineup and starting rotation of the most spectacular names for every team in baseball using solely players in their respective minor league systems. You will read some of these names and question their legitimacy but a quick Google search will confirm each and every one these as 100% real. As a rule, each position must be played by a player that is actually listed at that position. For example, the Giants have five different shortstops with unbelievable names but I could only choose two (SS and DH). Every team has a DH, and the DH could be any position player. Each team also has a five man rotation. Rotations were certainly difficult to determine because OH MY GOD THESE PITCHER NAMES ARE UNREAL. Okay. TO THE SQUADS.

Click here for Part 1 (NL East).

Click here for Part 2 (AL East). 

Click here for Part 3 (NL Central).

Click here for Part 4 (AL Central).

Click here for Part 5 (NL West).

AL WEST

Houston Astros

Houston Astros

  • C Jobduan Morales
  • 1B Bobby Borchering
  • 2B Parker Hipp
  • 3B Arturo Michelena
  • SS Chan Moon
  • OF Ydarqui Marte
  • OF Brauly Mejia
  • OF Teoscar Hernandez
  • DH Kristian Trompiz
  1. RHP Rayderson Chevelier
  2. LHP Geronimo Franzua
  3. RHP Yonquelys Martinez
  4. LHP Starlyng Sanchez
  5. LHP Pat Urckfitz

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

  • C Anthony Bemboom
  • 1B Wade Hinkle
  • 2B Kirby Pellant
  • 3B Danny Richiez
  • SS Goldny Mills
  • OF Ranyelmy Mendoza
  • OF Michael Fish
  • OF Exicardo Cayones
  • DH Abel Baker
  1. RHP Orangel Arenas
  2. LHP Engerberg Rosales
  3. RHP Spencer Trygg
  4. LHP Eswarlin Jimines
  5. RHP Crusito Mieses

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Organizational Lineups: The Best Names In the Minor Leagues (NL West)

If it wasn’t obvious already, we absolutely love ridiculous names. For each 2014 team preview, we included a list of the best names in the organization. Because it’s summer, I’m gonna take it one step further. I have assembled a starting lineup and starting rotation of the most spectacular names for every team in baseball using solely players in their respective minor league systems. You will read some of these names and question their legitimacy but a quick Google search will confirm each and every one these as 100% real. As a rule, each position must be played by a player that is actually listed at that position. For example, the Giants have five different shortstops with unbelievable names but I could only choose two (SS and DH). Every team has a DH, and the DH could be any position player. Each team also has a five man rotation. Rotations were certainly difficult to determine because OH MY GOD THESE PITCHER NAMES ARE UNREAL. Okay. TO THE SQUADS.

Click here for Part 1 (NL East).

Click here for Part 2 (AL East). 

Click here for Part 3 (NL Central).

Click here for Part 4 (AL Central).

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • C Raywilly Gomez
  • 1B Phildrick Llewellyn
  • 2B Fernery Ozuna
  • 3B Vicson Graciano
  • SS Josue Herrera
  • OF Socrates Brito
  • OF Frankies Alcantara
  • OF Yogey Perez-Ramos
  • DH Stryker Trahan
  1. RHP Silvino Bracho
  2. LHP Jose Jose
  3. RHP Merkis Montero
  4. RHP Wellinton Felix
  5. RHP Johnny Shuttlesworth

Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies

  • C Hamlet Marte
  • 1B Kiel Roling
  • 2B Taylor Featherston
  • 3B Jayson Langfels
  • SS Trevor Story
  • OF Delta Cleary Jr.
  • OF Omar Carrizales
  • OF Kyle Von TungeIn
  • DH Correlle Prime
  1. RHP Johendi Jiminian
  2. LHP Yoely Bello
  3. RHP Salvador Justo
  4. RHP Huascar Brazoban
  5. RHP Joey Payamps

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Organizational Lineups: The Best Names In the Minor Leagues (AL Central)

If it wasn’t obvious already, we absolutely love ridiculous names. For each 2014 team preview, we included a list of the best names in the organization. Because it’s summer, I’m gonna take it one step further. I have assembled a starting lineup and starting rotation of the most spectacular names for every team in baseball using solely players in their respective minor league systems. You will read some of these names and question their legitimacy but a quick Google search will confirm each and every one these as 100% real. As a rule, each position must be played by a player that is actually listed at that position. For example, the Giants have five different shortstops with unbelievable names but I could only choose two (SS and DH). Every team has a DH, and the DH could be any position player. Each team also has a five man rotation. Rotations were certainly difficult to determine because OH MY GOD THESE PITCHER NAMES ARE UNREAL. Okay. TO THE SQUADS.

Click here for Part 1 (NL East).

Click here for Part 2 (AL East). 

Click here for Part 3 (NL Central).

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox

  • C Ylexander Villaroel
  • 1B Rangel Ravelo
  • 2B Yolberth Gideon
  • 3B Joxelier Garcia
  • SS Cleuluis Rondon
  • OF Hanleth Otano
  • OF Gorkys Hernandez
  • OF Micker Zapata
  • DH Kale Kiser
  1. RHP Storm Throne
  2. LHP Jhoan Quijada
  3. RHP Eriberto Percel
  4. RHP Diogenes Rosario
  5. RHP Henry Mabee

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians

  • C Sicnarf Loopstok
  • 1B Jerrud Sabourin
  • 2B Yhoxian Medina
  • 3B Paddy Matera
  • SS Dorssys Paulino
  • OF Silento Sayles
  • OF Yosmar Mujica
  • OF D’vone Mujica
  • DH Giovanny Urshela
  1. RHP Michael Peoples
  2. RHP Duke von Schamann
  3. RHP Kieran Lovegrove
  4. RHP Rodolfo Villasmil
  5. RHP Dace Kime

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