Yet More Nicknames From T Plush
Tony Plush spoke at the ESPN Zone this afternoon, where he basked in the adoring "play-the-game-the-right-way" crowd. I'm not sure who decides what the right way is to play, but since every question this afternoon was prefaced by "thank you for playing the game the right way," clearly Plush's way is correct. He also received, by my count, six ovations from the crowd. He needs to create a blog and start selling official Plush t-shirts immediately.
(Speaking of which, one gent at today's event had brought with him a Plush t-shirt, pictured here. "That's the first time I've seen that right there," Nyjer Morgan said. "They've got to get them in the team store soon.")
By the time the event ended, Plush had donned a Caps hat and was flexing for fans who wanted photos. There were a lot of those. In between ovations, Plus also answered a few questions, and revealed a few more of his patented nicknames.
"Basically the nicknames come from just understanding personalities and it took me a solid month to understand most of the guys' personalities," he explained.
"So then I started coming up with some nicknames, like Willie Harris, we call him Sweet Ricky Plum. Then Elijah Dukes, he thinks he knows everything, so we call him Charlie Chirplin. And then we've got Ryan Zimmerman, who's definitely Peter Franchise, and then we've got Adam Dunn, we're trying to get rid of the Big Dunnkey because I'm not really feeling that, so we call him Freddie Physical because he puts a hurting on the ball. Josh Willingham is the Judge, Judge Wapner, becasue he lays down the gavel. Still working on a few other guys."
(Reader Cal Silcox has already started making Tony Plush Brand Baseball cards, two of which are pictured above.)
I didn't ask any questions, but there were plenty of questions I might have asked that he wound up answering. For example:
Why doesn't Josh Willingham leap with the other, less pale outfielders?
"Aw man, I don't know why he doesn't want to get in on that," Morgan said. "We always bug him about it, but he just doesn't want to get in on it, so it's like, 'All right, cool, whatever." We'll give him a little flavor, that's what it is, he needs more flavor."
Will he root for the Caps?
Unclear. He said he would. He also said he's a "diehard Sharks fan--don't hate me." But he also said "one of my good friends is actually with the Pittsburgh Penguins, so I'm kind of a Penguins fan too. Whuh-oh." And it turns out he was at the Igloo during the Game 6 overtime classic this spring. He was rooting for the home team.
By the end, though, a representative of the Caps Road Crew had outfitted Morgan with a Caps hat, pictured here. He then ditched the Calvin Klein photo, pictured above.
Does his defense revolve around the hitter?
"Most definitely," he said. "Usually before a series I'll sit in with the pitchers and catchers to understand how they're pitching hitters. The game kind of dictates what you're gonna do out there."
Can he still play hockey?
"Believe that," he said. "I can still skate. I've still got it. My hands are rusty, but I've still got it."
He was asked whether the Nats would mind some offseason games; "what they don't know won't hurt them," he said.
Will he give up the headfirst slide into second so he doesn't fly past the bag?
"Nah, not happening," he said. "When I slide headfirst, I just feel like you get dirty a lot quicker....I think it's the dirt. I call it Turbo-Dirt. I'll have so much momentum going in, it's kind of tough to stop. I've been called out a few times by sliding over past the bag. I really don't know. I think a parachute, though, [might help]. But I just feel like I've got so much speed coming in that I have to go in hard and I like getting dirty a lot quicker."
(See, that's the whole fan favorite thing. Speaking of which, if you tried to order a Morgan jersey from MLB.com, this was the image that greeted you.)
What does he think about Stephen Strasburg?
"You know, my take is glad he got the money," Morgan said, "but hopefully he can do what he's proclaimed to do, and bring that Nolan Ryan heat. Basically I'm happy to have him as a teammate."
Would he like to provide a hokey quote about playing hard and being in Washington?
"I like to just go out there and impress and make sure that if you're coming out to a game for the first time and you see me play or see the Nats play, you're going to enjoy it," he said. "I just want to keep doing it for hopefully many years as the red white and blue shine bright on me."
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