It stands to reason that a fair number of Batter's Box readers are at least nominally familiar with the world of online communications -- after all, this is a Web site and you are reading this, ergo, you know a little something about the online world.
I have to admit, I thought it would be pretty simple to put together a Hall of Names team based on this theme, but once you get past the fine young RHSP Brandon Webb with the D-Backs and stretch to include borderline HOF 3B Graig Nettles, the cupboard is pretty bare. We have a Hacker and a Dell, but the guy who opens the door to filling out a complete roster, believe it or not, is former PIT and CIN All-Star LHSP John Smiley ...
... for as you surely know, the world of online communications relies entirely too much on emoticons (emotion + icons), commonly referred to as smileys, in honor of the granddaddy of them all, this one -- :-)
But before we open that door, let's also crack open the window of using initials ... have you ever burned a CD? That could "net" us an All-Star 1B like Carlos Delgado, while another All-Star 1B/OF, Phil Cavaretta (the 1945 NL MVP), initially appears as a "PC" user. If you're hunting for an IP address online, the only real option is RHSP Ike Pearson who was just 13-50 from 1939-48, but who is also one of only two IPs in MLB history, and the only one to play more than one game.
Anyway, you get the idea. So before we dive into initials, here are some computer terms that provide some options for this team.
Well, George Archie was a 3B/1B for three team just before and after WWII ... C/OF Wes Blogg hit .147 in nine games for the 1883 Pittsburgh Alleghenys ... We have an All-Star backstop if we stretch to include Baudilio "Bo" Diaz ... Security experts will point out that we have our choice of former All-Star infielders named Cookie in five-time All-Star Lavagetto and six-time All-Star Rojas ... And those who know about Web metrics will reload on Roy Hitt, who was a LHSP who was 6-10 for the 1907 Reds ... The starting 3B for the 1947 NL champ Dodgers was Spider Jorgensen (ironically replacing Lavagetto, the '46 regular), but then Billy Cox came along and where Jorgensen had 441 AB in '47, he accumulated just 314 more through his final season in 1951 ...
Gene Host was a LHRP who was 0-2 for the 1956 DET and 1957 KCA ... Sam Perlozzo's long career as a coach might cause you to think he had more of a career than his 12 games as a .269-hitting 2B with MIN and SDP in the late 1970s ... Sure, it's a nickname, but Ping Bodie was a fine .275-hitting OF for nine seasons between 1911 and 1921 ... If we don't like Diaz, we have another All-Star catching option in Darrell Porter ... Fred Link was 5-7 in one season (1910) with CLE and SLB ... All-Star CF Ken LANdreaux sort of fits, though his name is a hybrid taking us to the discussion of initials and acronyms ... Same goes for the Hall of Fame OF WANer boys and All-Star OF Wally MOOn, not to mention MUDcat Grant (or MUDdy Ruel).
Speaking of initials and acronyms, remember we mentioned our pal John Smiley? And abbreviations? Well, online communications has bred a whole new shorthand for written language, filled with both emoticons and TLAs ("three letter acronyms" -- irony rules).
Here are just a few of the most common TLAs, listed alphabetically with the phrase spelled out and the best player with those (all three) initials -- eliminating by rule those rare special cases where those three letters spell out a player's last name in full -- though we'd love to have Mel OTT on board.
Some of the following are acronyms from the world of computer developers, while most are the shorthand of the sleep-deprived netizen. We sure do wish someone had nicknamed William Robert Singer "Billy Bob" so we'd have a BBS entry for that particular All-Star RHSP.
AFK Away from the Keyboard (LHRP Alphonse Francis Kamp)
AOL America Online (RHRP Axel Olaf Lindstrom)
ASP Active Server Page (1B/OF Alonzo Sidney Powell)
ATM At the Moment (RHRP Albert Thomas Moran)
BPS Bits/Bytes Per Second (3B/1B/C Bill P. Sudakis)
BRB Be Right Back (2B Bret Robert Boone)
BTW By the Way (ironically, RHSP Brandon T. Webb)
CSS Cascading Style Sheets (OF Charles Sylvester "Chick" Stahl)
DNS Domain Name Server (RHRP David Noel Shipanoff)
DOS Desktop Operating System (OF Davis Orvis Short)
DSL Digital Subscriber Line (OF Donald Scott Lydy)
FTP File Transfer Protocol (C/OF Frederick Thomas Payne)
IMO In My Opinion (SS/2B Ivan Massie Olson)
IT Information Technology (C Ira Thomas)
KIT Keep in Touch (OF/1B/3B/C Kit Pellow)
LAN Local Area Network (Landreaux or Louis Alexander Novikoff)
RSS Real Simple Syndication (3B Richard Spencer Schu)
WAN Wide Area Network (The Waners or OF William Alex "Billy" North)
WRT With Regard To (CF William Robert Tuttle)
WWW World Wide Web (SS Walter William Weiss)
Okay, it's a long, but frankly uninspiring list. Many options to choose from, so let's at least see if we can write a full program -- er, fill out a complete roster -- that won't embarrass anyone. That said, it's time to meet ...
THE ONLINE PROTOCOLS
** indicates Hall of Famer
* indicates All-Star
MGR: Connie Mack**
C Darrell Porter*
1B Carlos Delgado*
2B Bret Robert Boone*
SS Walter William Weiss*
3B Mike Schmidt**
LF Phil Cavarretta*
CF Ken LANdreaux*
RF Paul WANer**
DH Graig Nettles*
C Baudilio "Bo" Diaz*
MID IF Cookie Lavagetto*
COR IF Bill P. Sudakis
OF William Robert "Bill" Tuttle
OF Ping Bodie
PH/UTIL Wally MOOn
LHSP Herb Pennock**
RHSP MUDcat Grant*
LHSP John Smiley
RHSP Brandon Webb
5SP-RH Wheezer Dell
CL-LH Joe Page*
LHRP Keith Comstock
RHRP David Noel Shipanoff
LHRP Alphonse Francis "Ike" Kamp
RHRP-LONG Warren Hacker
The great thing about the closer is when you have Joe close out games that #4 starter Brandon begand, you have an entire contest dedicated to preventing Webb/Page hits.
Still, there seems to be a good chance that we can make this team better ... even though Warren Hacker is around, at least we avoided the need for 1940s PHA 2B/SS Crash Davis!