Anagrams have been used as a fun way to uncover true, unusual, or funny characteristics about a person or event (for example Clint Eastwood = Old West Action). Last week, More Hardball featured the shining stars of the season thus far. What truths can be divined from the names of today's top talent?
Evan Longoria = Regional Nova
Longoria started generating buzz in Tampa Bay almost immediately after his debut last season, but his star has only brightened this season. Last year, he belted in 27 homeruns; so far this year, he has hit 12. His current batting average is an impressive .326 with an equally impressive OPB of .398 and a whopping .630 slugging percentage. Longoria is a formidable player, and is positioned to help the Rays out of their 4 game deficit behind the Red Sox, Yankees, and Blue Jays.
Chase Utley = Uh, Ace Style
Despite being laid up with hip surgery, and a recent injury to his foot, Utley has managed to belt 11 home runs and a .289 batting average for the first quarter of the season. Utley is a natural athlete, and every movement appears effortless. He is an ace hitter, a strong second baseman, and the man's got style (and an exceedingly hot wife). At 30, he has only improved with age.
Raul Ibanez = Ablaze, I run
This man is on fire! There is no other way of putting it. Ibanez is having the season of his life, after 13 seasons in the major leagues. Twice voted as an MVP contender (coming in 21st in '06, and 20th in '08), Ibanez's candidacy will be harder to ignore this season. So far he has earned an outstanding .339 batting average (.001 behind the current league leader), and he leads the National League in home runs with 17. He also has knocked in 44 runs, and .707 slugging percentage, and a 1.109 OPS. Absolutely amazing!
Zack Greinke = Eek! Czar, King!
Greinke has exploded into the national consciousness this season with a truly magisterial arm. This royal of Royals, Czar of sliders and curve balls, is currently the league leader in ERA (0.84) and WHIP (0.88). He also has eight wins, five complete games, and two shut outs under his belt.
88 Fingers Louie - I Won