NEW YORK (AP) — A franchise known for the Babe, the Boss and the Iron Horse has a new set of nicknames.
Clown face is in left, Bow and arrow competes for time in center and Male judge is stationed in right.
These monikers are all bestowed by the New York Yankees’ Didi Gregorius. After wins, the shortstop tweets highlights and praise using emojis for teammates in his own digital hieroglyphs.
“Just spur of the moment,” he said. “Whatever comes into mind, what I think will fit in best, and that’s what I do.”
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Snarky sobriquets have given a cool edge to a usually staid-looking group known for puritanical pinstripes.
Man in tuxedo starts at third — Todd Frazier, a.k.a. The Toddfather. Glowing star (Starlin Castro) mans second and Squid (Gary Sanchez) is behind the plate. There’s a compound emoticon — Flexed biceps and Pouting face for first baseman Chase Headley.
Oh, that Clown face: Brett Gardner. Jacoby Ellsbury is Bow and arrow and, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Aaron Judge is Male judge.
“I think that’s just maybe the impression that I give off sometimes just in my facial expressions,” Headley said. “Certainly not how I feel, but I think maybe when I’m playing I’m focused or whatever and I look like that.”
Stopwatch (Masahiro Tanaka) is on a rotation that also includes Baby — Luis Severino. Fire (Aroldis Chapman) finishes close wins.
“Some of them laugh about it,” Gregorius said. “I don’t think everybody knows that I’m doing it.”
His emoticons keep gaining in prominence. The Yankees’ tweeted their batting order with emoticons on June 22 and a TweetLikeDidi hashtag has gained traction. The team’s YES Network analyzes Gregorius’ tweets in the manner of Jean-Francois Champollion deciphering Egyptian artifacts in the 19th century.
Todd Frazier, acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago White Sox, feels honored by Gregorius’ pick for him.
“I’m looking sharp, man, because that’s probably the opposite of what I dress like,” he said. “It’s got like the Mafiosa kind of scene in there.”
Rookie Clint Frazier quickly earned a triple emoji: Boxing glove, Carrot and Top with upwards arrow above.
“I wanted the lion emoji, because it had the big red mane,” explained Frazier, who was forced to trim his long locks by the Yankees during spring training. “I…