Let the Kids Play.
Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that the annual Players' Weekend would be back for a third consecutive year.
The weekend, which features an opportunity for players' to show off a little bit of their personality and take a break from the monotony of the marathon 162-game regular season commences on Aug. 23 thru the 25th.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be home that weekend, hosting the New York Yankees. That means fans will have a chance to see all the fun nicknames and accessories, in-person at Dodger Stadium, but will be denied the chance to watch the longtime rivals square off in their traditional uniforms.
Instead of pinstripes and the "Dodgers" across the chest with the red numbers, both teams will wear white and black monochromatic uniforms. This is a stark change from the previous colorful uniforms of the previous two years that honestly looked more like little league uniforms than professional jerseys.
According to MLB, the home team will be able to decide which color they want to wear over the weekend. The Dodgers have already opted to wear white. The starting pitcher for the Dodgers during the three-game weekend series will have to wear a black hat to ensure umpires and batters have clear visibility of each pitch he throws.
In addition to the different uniforms with players nicknames on the back, the players will also be allowed to wear custom equipment throughout the game including, socks, cleats, batting gloves, bats, arm bands, pads, and catcher's gear.
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One dramatic difference during this year's Players' Weekend compared to years previous is that MLB has announced they will be more relaxed with their strict mobile device policy.
This is a tremendous upside for the players, who will now be able to use their phones and tablets on the field or in the dugout before the game.
MLB also announced that each team will select an ambassador from the team for the Players' Weekend. The Dodgers chose Cody Bellinger.
Speaking of Bellinger, the MVP candidate will stick with his longtime nickname of "Belli" this year. Many other Dodger players are doing the same, Kershaw is sticking with "Kersh," Kenley Jansen "Kenleyfornia," Corey Seager "Seags," and Enrique Hernandez "Kiké."
There are a few surprises and changes this year: Walker Buehler for example, has gone by the nickname "Ferris," in the past two machinations of Players' Weekend. This year, the first-time All-Star chose "Buetane" as his nickname.
Arguably the greatest nickname in Players' Weekend history, Rich Hill's infamous "Dick Mountain," from 2018 is gone, and will be replaced with the name of his newly established charity, "Field of Genes."
Among some of the other notable nickname choices on the Dodgers: relief pitcher Joe Kelly will pay homage to the Los Angeles area code he grew up in with the nickname "909," and newly acquired Kristopher Negron went with the creative "Negron James," (like LeBron James) we can hear the infamous video in our ears now.
In addition to some outstanding nicknames, there were of course some missed opportunities as well. Will Smith, known throughout the Southland as the "Fresh Prince of LA," opted for "Smitty," instead of the "Fresh Prince."
Joc Pederson known by his teammates as "Yung Joc," decided on just a crown emoji on the back of his jersey.
Matt Beaty, who is a man of many nicknames including "Gone, Beaty Gone,"Beaty, Beaty, Bom, Bom," and "Darth Bader," opted for the more mild "Baters Taters," a nickname he says people have called him since High School. However, Beaty and teammate Kyle Garlick—who both have bald heads—go by the nicknames "Beans and Potatoes," and we would have loved for them both to chose that instead.
Finally, Dodgers top pitching prospect, Dustin May—who made his MLB debut last week—has been given the nickname "Gingergaard" in reference to his resemblance to New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard." Despite being fine with the nickname, May refused to breathe life into it, choosing "Big Red," the nickname given to him by Triple-A Oklahoma City teammate Gavin Lux instead.
All of the Dodger players nicknames are listed in their entirety below and as they do every year, MLB will auction off the Players' Weekend jerseys with all the proceeds going towards the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.
Dodgers complete list of nicknames :
Pedro Baez: “LA MULA”
Matt Beaty: “BATERS TATERS”
Cody Bellinger: “BELLI”
Walker Buehler: “BUETANE”
JT Chargois: “SHAG”
David Freese: “DAVEHUMAN”
Yimi Garcia: “VILLA TRINA”
Tony Gonsolin: “GOOOOSE”
Jedd Gyorko: “JERK-STORE”
Enrique Hernandez: “KIKÉ"
Rich Hill: “FIELD OF GENES”
Kenley Jansen: “KENLEYFORNIA”
Joe Kelly: “909"
Clayton Kershaw: “KERSH”
Adam Kolarek: “AK”
Kenta Maeda: “MAEKEN”
Dustin May: “BIG RED”
Russell Martin: “EL (MUSCLE EMOJI)”
Max Muncy: “FUNKY MUNCY”
Kristopher Negron: “NEGRON JAMES”
Joc Pederson: "(CROWN EMOJI)”
A.J. Pollock: “POLLO”
Hyun-Jin Ryu: "류현진"
Casey Sadler: “SADS”
Corey Seager: “SEAGS”
Will Smith: “SMITTY”
Ross Stripling: “CHICKEN STRIP”
Chris Taylor: “CT3"
Justin Turner: “REDTURN2"
Julio Urias: “EL CULICHI”
Alex Verdugo: “DUGIE”
Tyler White: “WHITEY"