Jesse said that we need more FanPosts to stimulate discussion. Fine! Here's a FanPost! Talk about Twins nicknames! Or something!
Everyone loves a good nickname - whether you're a fan who is tired of trying to spell "Mientkiewicz" or a short bald guy who just thinks it would be cool to be called "T-Bone", nicknames are a staple of our society. Baseball has always been a great place for nicknames - guys like "Pee Wee", "Babe", and "Three Finger" are icons in baseball history. I feel we should bring that spirit to the modern era for this year's Twins.
The key, as I see it, is for a nickname to be memorable without being forced or uncomfortable. It's a tricky business - puns are great, for example, but if you take them too far, it's a problem. For example, I have always despised the oft-used (at least here) "Pavstache". It doesn't work as a pun, doesn't make any sort of joke, and it's not especially creative. I died a little inside just making myself type it. If we could have dubbed him something like "Handlebar", that would have been much, much better. Openly derisive nicknames are also tricky - they need to be funny and/or good-natured enough to overcome whatever uneasiness you feel about using them to make fun of the guy.
Anyway, on to the real business here - my list of known 2012 Twins nicknames and suggestions for new or replacement nicknames. You are completely free to disregard these and go straight to the discussion in the comments (there WILL be discussion in the comments!) if you so choose, but you do so at your own risk (note: there is no actual risk; it's not like I know where any of you live or have any capacity for violence). On to the nicknames!
Joe Mauer: Mauer is often referred to as "Baby Jesus", which I don't care much for. I don't mind that it's arguably sacrilegious; I just see it as derisive and not particularly funny. Quite frankly, I think the best possible nickname for Joe Mauer is "Joe Mauer".
Justin Morneau: Often referred to as "The Mountie", because he's Canadian and that's apparently what you call a large Canadian man. I think we need to work more Canadian stereotypes into the conversation, like "Back Bacon", although that would work better if he had back problems instead of head problems. Maybe "Big Lumber", which works as a nod to the Canadian lumber industry, with bonus points for the slight double entendre?
Josh Willingham: "Hammer". "Willinghammer". Not at all creative, but effective, especially since the guy can mash.
Alexi Casilla: Probably gets "Sexi Lexi" the most, which is unspectacular but acceptable. As he drains a little of my life each time I see him play, much like kryptonite, I would suggest "Lexi Luthor" as an alternative. My personal favorite: "Luis Rivas".
Jamey Carroll: I have no ideas. "Old Man"? Also, it's really weird that a 38-year-old man spells his name "Jamey", isn't it?
Danny Valencia: "Hide Your Daughters" is not a nickname; it's what you say when he comes to the plate. You could do something like "Dan the Man", which is so creative that the first time I heard it I almost fell off my dinosaur. His name doesn't lend itself well to puns, either. I suppose we could go down the route of his Italian-sounding last name and call him "Olive Garden", or take that a step further and call him "The Best Third Baseman in Grand Forks", although we're getting way down the rabbit hole of references on that one.
Denard Span: Much like "Hide Your Daughters", "Let's Get Denarded" is not a nickname, although it's just ridiculous enough that I find it acceptable in the proper context. I would argue that a man named Denard Span needs no nickname, but if you insist, call him by his given first name, "Keiunta".
Trevor Plouffe: Time for our first venture into open mockery! I would humbly suggest "E-6". Also, anything's better than having to repeatedly say "Plouffe", which is impossible to do without feeling silly.
Chris Parmelee: Big debate between "Veal" and "Eggplant" in another thread (as in veal or eggplant parmigiana). I find both acceptable. Is Romano generally considered a better or worse cheese than Parmesan? If it's worse, we can call him "Romanelee" if he struggles, although that is probably pushing it. Frankly, I'm not even willing to consider suggestions that don't reference cheese.
Ryan Doumit: The pun-based nicknames are pretty awful - we're talking stuff like "Catcher's Doumit" or "Doumit Romney" or "MetroDoumit". I am open to suggestions on this one.
Clete Thomas: If you think you can come up with a better name than "Clete", our conversation here is done.
Luke Hughes: Aussie stereotypes! Just pick one! It's not like he plays that much anyway!
Sean Burroughs: You could try a play on words with his last name and "burrows", although I don't know how you make that into a decent nickname. You could also make a Little League World Series reference, but "Little League World Series" is an awfully long set of words for a nickname.
Ben Revere: Yeah, he's in the minors now, but it's not like he'll be there permanently. I think playing off Paul Revere might be the way to go - maybe something like "The Midnight Rider". You could also reference his speed, but "Speedy"-based nicknames are not exactly the pinnacle of creativity.
Carl Pavano: NO MUSTACHE REFERENCES UNTIL HE SHAVES THE BEARD PART OF THE GOATEE. Until then, he seems like a guy who doesn't need a nickname.
Liam Hendriks: More Aussie stereotypes! We could also try for Liam Neeson references, but calling him "Qui-Gon" seems like a bit of stretch unless he grows an awesome beard.
Francisco Liriano: With a nod to Bill Simmons, I dub him "Francisco Liriano's Expiring Contract".
Jason Marquis: "De Sade". Seriously, it's a no-brainer, no matter how nice a guy he is. As a bonus, it works whether he's playing well or poorly, simply modifying the recipients of his torture.
Nick Blackburn: "Blackie" seems too easy, although simple and effective enough. "The Blackburninator" is a slightly obscure reference, but it gets my vote. Blackburn's probably an easy target for a mocking nickname, if we want to go that route.
Anthony Swarzak: Whatever it is, I won't use it, because I like saying "Swarzak". Swarzak Swarzak Swarzak.
Glen Perkins: Something involving the restaurant, maybe? I think of it as serving breakfast and catering to old people. My daughter loves the honey mustard they serve with chicken strips. If nothing works on that vein, "Perk" is woefully uncreative but simple and not terrible, although it barely qualifies as a nickname.
Matt Capps: "Crapps" when he struggles; it's funny, apt, and just mean enough. You could go with something like "Capp Gun" or "Bottle Capps" when he's really on, if that were to actually occur at some point.
Brian Duensing: When he struggles, "Duens Cap" is an easy pick. I lack a similar idea for when he's good.
Jeff Gray: With a nod to Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy, the guy who got credit for the Twins' first two wins on three combined pitches shall be nicknamed "Winning Pitcher".
Jared Burton, that Maloney guy, anyone else who might happen to be in the bullpen right now that I'm forgetting: Seriously, this post has gone long enough. Also, I know literally nothing about these guys other than their names; in fact, I didn't even know they had a pitcher named "Maloney" in camp until I saw him on the Opening Day roster and figured that maybe Jeff Manship had pulled a Giancarlo Stanton with his last name.
That's it! I'm sure I forgot someone important, but that's why we have a comment section. Fire away!