There’s this professional athlete who is called A. Bastardo. Antonio Bastardo. I’m not going to say which sport he plays because I don’t want to defame him or anything. Apparently he’s a great guy. He’s a solid player and he throws hard, low 90s, which is decent for a relief pitcher. Ok, it’s baseball. My point is not to debase Bastardo for having un nombre desafortunado. Instead, I want to prove his name isn’t all that unfortunate and furthermore that baseball fans enjoy giving their favorite players endearing appellations when they perform well, like they would their children or their pets. Growing up, I cheered that way for Mike Piazza, the greatest New York Mets catcher of all-time. I used to call him “the pizza man.” When he hit a homerun, he had “delivered a pizza,” or “the pizza man delivered.” You get the point. Baseball players have weird names. Rollie Fingers, Mookie Wilson, Chipper Jones, Wade Boggs, Coco Crisp, Gaylord Perry, just off the top of my head. If you want to try Google, you might be a little shocked. It gets bad pretty quick, and by bad I mean nasty. Just pertaining to genitals: Randy Johnson (top 10 pitchers of all time), Randy Bush, Rusty Kuntz, Johnny Dickshot, Dick Hoover, Dick Littlefield, Dick Burns, Dick Green, Dick Cox, Dick Wantz, Dick Pole, Dick Hunt, Dick Manville, Dick Coffman, Dickie Flowers, Pete LaCock, and that’s just what Google wants you to know. I love the name Heinie Manush. It makes me want to rename my own body parts.
So, Bastardo, I just want you to realize how normal your name is, juxtaposed with some other names in baseball history. Unfortunately, Antonio Bastardo plays for the Phillies, and I’m a diehard Mets fan. But rest assured, if he were a Met, and he pitched well, he would always be My Little Bastard.