Friday, August 5, 2011

Breaking down Moniker Madness

Minors Moniker Madness is back! The fifth annual March Madness-like tournament where throws up 64 of the best named Minor League players in a head-to-head, four bracket showdown, has kicked off the voting. Who will take this year’s honors?

Minors Moniker Madness Winners
2011 - ???
2010 – Rowdy Hardy
2009 – Dusty Napoleon
2008 – Will Startup
2007 – Houston Summers

On a local note, last year’s runner-up ,and Lowell Spinners outfielder, Seth Schwindenhammer returns with a #1 seed in the Icicle Reader Bracket. Last season “The Hammer” stunned the masses when he reached the finals as a 15th seed before eventually losing out to Rowdy Hardy. Can he make a run back to the Championship this season?

Tom Saucke and myself took some time to look over the brackets and we both have strong, albeit differing, opinions on how this year’s tourney will shake up. Here are a look at our astute observations.

Tom’s Thoughts:
The Farmer Works bracket is without question the most intriguing in MiLB’s Moniker Madness. It’s hard to imagine Shooter Hunt not upsetting his way to the Final Four. The former Tulane Green Wave standout should have no issue advancing past the overseeded Rougned Odor (too elementary in the hilarity) after dismantling Kevin Hamburger (chicken > beef). Kevin Quackenbush, the number 3 seed, is the clear cut Mark Prior of the group. Tremendous last name but his parents would have been better served naming him Donald.

The Razor Shines moniker collection packs a lot of punch. I’ve already got my popcorn ready for Dock Doyle v Junior Lake in the Sweet 16. Doyle is the classic 11 seed: an underappreciated mid-major with Cinderella potential.

Icicle Reader is by far the softest region, gifting Seth Schwindenhammer a 2010-esque Duke pathway to the Final Four. Xavier Avery’s insistence that his teammates refer to him as Professor X is a bit is intimidating on paper. Schwindenhammer has the syllables on his side, though, and Avery is sure to sink more dramatically than the Titanic.

Former fan favorite Boof Bonser should contend in Natty Nattress although Maverick Lasker appears to be his stiffest eventual competition. Lasker likens himself to a young James Garner and this haughtiness will be his undoing.

Tom’s Final Four:
Shooter Hunt – Farmer Works Bracket
Seth Schwindenhammer – Icicle Reader Bracket
Dock Doyle – Razor Shines Bracket
Boof Bonser – Natty Nattress Bracket

I like Doyle vs. Hunt in the finals and Shooter Hunt takes it with 57% of the vote. Book it.

Craig’s Thoughts
After looking at Tom’s rundown, I can warn you in advance that we pretty much don’t agree on any of this! As far as “The Hammer” is concerned, I don’t think he will be capable of running to the end again this year without a major push by the organization…but I guess if any team can push a guy through, it would be the Spinners.

Some of my favorite sleepers around the tourney include Tobi Stoner, Balbino Fuenmayor, Jetsy Extrano and Luis Domoromo. I don’t think Stoner will do any damage, but I’ve always been a fan. Extrano and Fuenmayor have solid first and last names helping their cause, but both have tough paths ahead of them. And I could say the word "Domoromo" all night long without batting an eye…I even have my dad sold on Luis!

I was also looking towards old friend Stolmy Pimentel as a sentimental favorite because I thought this might be the only thing he could win all season long. However the one-time Portland Sea Dogs pitcher picked up his first victory of the season on Wednesday night (against 12 losses), so he no longer needs my blessing.

Craig’s Final Four:
Angelbirth Montilla – Icicle Reader Bracket
Rougned Odor – Farmer Works Bracket
Skyler Stromsmoe – Natty Nattress Bracket
Xander Boegarts – Razor Shines Bracket

I’m predicting an Angelbirth/Boegarts finale, and if I were a gambling man I would put my money on Angelbirth Montilla for the win. What the hell is Angelbirth anyways? I mean, it just doesn’t sound right at all…it’s a can’t lose!

In the long run, we implore you to cast your votes for the local players early and often so that we can keep this thing entertaining throughout. Here is a list of those players who reside on New England based teams…go help them out!

Local Flavor:
Seth Schwindenhammer – Lowell Spinners
Yangervis Solarte – New Britain Rock Cats
Callix Crabbe – New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Click here to vote and let us know who you think might take this year’s Wonderful Terrific Monds III Award.


  1. I'll give you Montilla as a legitimate contender here that I erroneously overlooked.

    I would, however, be willing to put adult beverages on Odor busting out of this bracket.

  2. I got 2 adult beverages on Odor making the Final Four!

  3. I'll take that and put 2 on this year's golden boy: Shooter Hunt.

  4. Not good when your winner goes out in the first round! This thing is fixed!