If you are relatively new to Athletics Nation, welcome! You've made a fantastic decision to visit this website, and it will probably change your life forever (maybe even in a good way). However, I'll warn you now that our community is very tight-knit and our conversations are littered with inside jokes. Reading an AN comments section is often like watching a Season 3 episode of Arrested Development -- if you didn't read the last few years of comments leading up to it, then you might not know what's going on or get a lot of the humor. I'm not going to give everything away, for the same reason that In N Out doesn't post its secret menu on the wall. It's more fun to figure it out for yourself.
However, we also use a lot of nicknames for players in our comments. If you don't know who we're talking about when we reference, say, the Bringer of Rain, then the conversation will go from cryptic to completely unfollowable. Here is a list of some prominent nicknames used on AN.
Players who currently have nicknames or alternate names
Sonny Gray - Oxymoron. When your actual given name is Sonny, you don't really need a nickname. That's already awesome enough, and most of us just refer to him by that name. However, rarely does a person's real name represent such an obvious oxymoron. If you see reference to that word in relation to a player, than we're probably talking about Sonny.
Tommy Milone - Vampire. This nickname derives from the fact that Milone seemed to statistically pitch better in night games than in day games in 2012 (5.12 day ERA vs. 3.14 night ERA). Never mind that this trend did not continue in 2013, as he was actually better during the day than at night last year (3.91 vs. 4.25); nicknames don't have to make sense in order to endure. If you want to stretch to further the analogy, he is quite a bit better at home than on the road, and vampires traditionally cannot enter a house without being invited. Perhaps he just hasn't been asking permission before taking the hill in opposing parks? This nickname will usually be written as Vampire Milone, but any mentions of vampires are probably referring to him. He also has a Jekyll & Hyde thing going, with Home Milone and Road Milone being two very distinct pitchers who inspire varying levels of confidence in A's fans.
Ryan Cook - Cookie. This is what his teammates seem to call him, and you probably could have guessed who it was without me telling you. But now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
Sean Doolittle - Doo. Same as with Cook. Also, his twitter handle is @whatwouldDOOdo, so that probably plays into it a little bit.
Evan Scribner - Scribbles. Nothing to this one except that it sounds funny. Scribner is not a particularly well-known name among casual fans, so even if we wrote his real name you may not know who we're talking about.
Derek Norris - Lumberjack, DeNo, D-No. The lumberjack references are usually specifically aimed at his home runs, which are known as Lumber Jacks. Because he looks like a lumberjack. Because he has a big beard and a stocky build.
Stephen Vogt - various puns about voting (the "g" is silent). He doesn't necessarily have a nickname, but anytime he is involved in anything ever, you can expect at least one joke about Rocking The Vogt or Getting My Vogt. I am not saying that this is a bad thing. Just be glad that Miles Head hasn't reached the majors yet.
John Jaso - John Jaso Jingleheimerschmidt, or variations thereof. He's rarely called that, but it comes up now and then. You probably could have figured it out yourself, but a glossary doesn't just assume that you know stuff. You may also see him referred to as Jason, because people's phones auto-correct his name quite frequently.
Brandon Moss - Mossome. This can either be used as a name, or as an adjective to describe something good that he's done.
Eric Sogard - Elf, Keebler Elf, Keebs, Elf Magic, various jokes about CPA's and accounting. Sogard wears glasses and looks vaguely elven in appearance. He's also a relatively little guy for pro sports, and you wouldn't use the word "mighty" to describe anything he does on the field (exception: it seems mighty unlikely that Keebs will hit a homer here.) Due to these facts, he is referred to almost exclusively using references to elves. The joke goes further by anointing him as a Keebler Elf (Keebs for short) and making various quips about baking cookies for the clubhouse (the true source of Bartolo Colon's power). Finally, the gaps between elf jokes are filled in with nerd jokes, such as "he may have struck out but at least he saved me $100 on my taxes." Really, he's kind of a nickname hog. Hey, wait, what if other players with glasses have to go to Sogwarts University for Nerdy Athletes? Jackpot!
Josh Donaldson - Bringer of Rain, Rainmaker, JD. Donaldson's twitter handle is @BringerOfRain20. I have no idea why. I'm not sure that he has any idea why. Seems like kind of a goofy dude who just wrote down the first words that came to mind. It's brilliant, though, and there's no reason to address him by anything else. Even better, he came up with it before he was good, so if you squint you could say that it was an accurate prediction of his ascension to stardom. If Donaldson comes up in a key situation, you may see statements that clouds are forming or a storm is brewing. This isn't really happening in real life, because we're in California and it doesn't rain here. It's metaphorical, because Donaldson is about to bring the rain.
Alberto Callaspo - Hot dog. Umm, I'll let Eric Stephen explain this one. It involves Erick Aybar and nudity.
Nate Freiman - Six Eight Nate. Because he's 6'8, making him the tallest position player in MLB history.
Covelli Crisp - Coco. Duh.
Yoenis Cespedes - La Potencia, Demigod, Cuban Missile, Yo, Cespy. Where to begin with Cespedes? Potencia is Spanish for "power," and he's a power hitter, so he picked up that name somewhere along the line. (It's also Spanish for "potential," and in Cuba he was always seen as a really promising player; the name is some combination of those two things.) When he was signed out of Cuba by the A's, it was reported that he would supplant Coco in center field; Coco responded to this suggestion by claiming that "Unless he's a demigod come down from the heavens, no one is going to outshine me in center field." Fans immediately clung to that nickname for their new player, and it stuck despite the fact that Coco turned out to be right. Cespy wasn't a demigod on defense and Coco returned to center midseason. The Cuban Missile is really Aroldis Chapman, who earned that name with his triple-digit fastballs before Cespedes was even in the majors (it's listed on Chapman's B-R page, and that's pretty official). However, that doesn't stop us from referring to Cespy's biggest bombs by that moniker.
Josh Reddick - Shreddick, Spiderman. You're smart, you could have figured Shreddick out. That one doesn't get used a lot, though. Any mentions of Spiderman also refer to him, based on his Spidey-like catch from 2012 and his walk-off celebration from the same year.
Craig Gentry - Kitten Face. This name was acquired from Texas fans, leading to the obvious question of whether or not trading for players who already have fun nicknames is the next undervalued commodity in baseball (it's not). As I understand it, the name comes from some combination of Gentry's gentle facial features and his cat-like reflexes on defense. There's even a picture of him wearing a Kitten Face t-shirt, although this pic is a bit more fun.
Players who don't have nicknames yet
Jarrod Parker - He's been on the team for two years, but he's one of those goes-about-his-business types who stays out of the spotlight. The list of things that I know about Jarrod Parker: he's right-handed, he always has a big wad of something in his lip, and he can't really grow a mustache. Not much to work with.
A.J. Griffin - It's a bit more surprising that Griffin doesn't have a nickname yet. Between the wavy hair, the goofy glasses and the sketchy mustache, there is plenty of flair to go around. Community suggestion: Lion Heart, in reference to the fact that he seems to perform beyond his physical abilities while also sporting a gigantic mane of blond hair.
Dan Straily - His smile is reminiscent of David Letterman? That's all I've got.
Jesse Chavez - He used to be referred to as "gascan" a lot, but then he became good at pitching.
Jed Lowrie - Jedediah? That doesn't really count. "Meowrie" continues the cat-themed names.
Daric Barton - He's often referred to as DarBar, but it's best just not to talk about him around here unless it's absolutely necessary.
New players who haven't suited up for the A's yet
Scott Kazmir - Hopefully, any future nicknames will be related to his excellent pitching rather than his brittle arm. Community suggestion: Skeeter, due to his time with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Independent League in 2012.
Drew Pomeranz - He's "Pom" for now.
Jim Johnson - Sometimes referred to as JJ, for now.
Luke Gregerson - I expect a Star Wars-related nickname at some point this season.
Fernando Abad - So much pun potential, such as, "He had Abad outing" or "That wasn't Abad performance."
Nick Punto - I predict that he'll have a nickname within five minutes of taking the field for the A's.