No more boring nicknames! Woo! And we have the lovable Hatte to thank for this.
He's also serving as a mentor of sorts to Johnson, who is so full of questions that it makes Hatteberg laugh. He calls Johnson "Band Camp'' for his non-stop chatter.
"I pick Scott's brain all the time, I ask him all sorts of stuff, whether it's about hitting or crossword puzzles,'' Johnson said. "Half the time he finally has to tell me to shut up.''
Hilarious. But there's more:
"My first trip (in the big leagues) to Cleveland, I got out of the taxi at the stadium and the fans waiting there were like, 'Hey, Hatteberg! Hey, Hatteberg!' '' Johnson said. "It happens all the time. I just hope I look that good when I'm 10 years older.''
I love this team.
There's more about how Hatte might not be back next year, but I don't want to think about that right now. Or ever. <sob>
Now, the team heads to Texas for three games at a park where they've won five of six games this season, a stadium known for its friendliness toward hitters. Then it's on to Cleveland, which is leading the AL wild-card race, 11/2 games ahead of Oakland, before four games at AL East-leading Boston. It's a potentially make-or-break trip, and Texas is a spot where lineups can get on a roll.
"It doesn't matter where we go,'' catcher Jason Kendall said. "We have to start doing something. Our pitching is impressive, but we have to support them and get going -- now.''
Yes, now would be a good time.