“It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.” – Yogi Berra
What is happening in Pittsburg? On Tuesday night, the Pirates managed to keep their dream season alive by defeating the Cincinnati Reds 6-2, and now move on to the NLCS to face the St. Louis Cardinals. The Bucs were led by the new “BFD”, Francisco Liriano, who dominated over seven innings by allowing only one earned run and four hits. The victory was the first playoff game for Pittsburg in twenty-one years.
Can Liriano keep it up against St. Louis? There is no question that Liriano has “the stuff”, and it appears the former top prospect has finally found a mental special place while out on the mound. Minnesota knows the deal. For years, Liriano teased Twinkie fans with inconsistent performances, and was eventually traded to the Chicago White Sox last season. The Dominican pitcher disappointed fans of the Southside with a 5.40 E.R.A. over eleven starts, and the career of Frankie Liriano appeared to be coming to an end.
On December 21st of last year, Francisco Liriano inked a two-year deal with Pittsburgh, but was quickly voided after an injury. “The New Deal” as it is now known (or not) was reached on February 8th, and the rest is almost history. Pittsburgh rolled to a 94-68 record, which was good enough for second in the NL Central, and Liriano went 16-8 with a 3.02 E.R.A.
What does all of this mean for Francisco Liriano? I’ll tell you what it means: a playoff nickname. Yes, the playoffs of Major League Baseball are a time when fans lose their minds, and the players are equally idiosyncratic.
I was brainstorming for Pittsburgh fans, and came up with several outstanding playoff nicknames for their ace. Don’t be alarmed P-Town – I don’t believe the powerful nature of the anagrams are enough to throw Frankie Liriano off his game, but you never know. Please use the names with caution.
Casino Rain Frolic (Shortened Version: Casino Rain)
Casino Rain is the perfect nickname for the financial aspect of the playoffs. This is a nickname that Pittsburgh can get behind, and merchandise sales will skyrocket. Baseball purists will have a difficult time embracing Casino Rain because it’s not about the money, it’s about the love of the game. The modern business man will accept this model because it’s “Moneyball.”
Sacrificial No Nor (Shortened Version: Sacrificial No-No)
Sacrificial No-No has a primordial warrior vibe that will frighten opposing teams and their fans. When 50,000 fans are chanting “Sacrificial No-No” at PNC Park, the energy will be off the charts, and some will cry, unfortunately. That is the sacrifice one makes with new age nicknames. Of course the “no-no” will excite the common Pittsburgh fan, and when the no-no does indeed happen, one will shrug their shoulders and laugh at opposing fans by saying, “Sacrificial No-No.”
Ironical Arc Infos (Shortened Version: Ironical Arc)
Stay with me, Pittsburgh. I’ve already provided two excellent choices. Ironical Arc is a less flashy nickname, but has a personal feel given the character arc of Francisco Liriano. The irony is that teams like the Minnesota Twins gave up on Liriano, who is now breaking necks and cashing checks in P-Town. The nickname may apply better with the involvement of teammate Justin Morneau, who was traded to Pittsburgh by Minnesota one month ago.
“Hey, Liriano threw a shutout and Morneau blasted two homers. Ironical Arc.”
Infrasonic Arc Oil (Shortened Version: Infra-Oil or Sonic Oil)
Sonic Oil is perhaps the catchiest and most marketable of all the nicknames. The “Oil” will remind the baseball fan of former Boston Red Sox pitcher, “Oil Can” Boyd. Pittsburgh has a chance to expand on the historic nickname with a modern edge by incorporating “Sonic.” Sonic Oil. Say that to yourself three times, Pittsburgh, and Francisco “Sonic Oil” Liriano will appear to cause nightmares for opposing teams.
“It’s fun; baseball’s fun.” – Yogi Berra
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