During an interview this week, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez announced that Burke Badenhop was no longer “Hopper,” and that the team is now referring to him as “The Dragon.” Ross Gload actually came up with the nickname a while back, but it didn’t really stick until Badenhop’s ejection and subsequent suspension last week.
I get that the team thinks “Hopper” just doesn’t conjure enough intimidation and fear from opponents, but HLD&S takes issue with this new nickname, for several reasons:
1) Although I’m definitely a fan of dragons (I mean, who the heck isn’t?), I just have to ask, why mess with a good thing? “Hopper” has served Burke well so far this season as he’s pitched scoreless inning after scoreless inning in relief, and put in a very nice performance in his one start against the Phillies. We need to change that why?
2) Every story I’ve ever read that involved a dragon also involved its violent demise. Sure, they breathe fire and scare the living crap out of people, but in the end, they’re all slayed by a dude about 1/100 their size, who sports a measly sword and a suit of armor. (That, or they turn into a needy/insecure/life-sucking girlfriend as we all saw in Shrek. Neither option works, in my opinion.)
The point is, things don’t typically end well for dragons, and I have yet to see anybody trying to slay a Hopper. All I’m saying is that as Badenhop makes his second start of the season tonight against the Cubs, if things don’t go well for him on the mound, HLD&S will place all blame directly on the newfound clubhouse nickname.
But what do I know? I think Burke said it best:
“I kind of like Hopper. It’s definitely better than Ross’ nickname. I’m a skinny white guy with no tattoos and a pretty unsuspecting guy to be called Dragon.”
Hopper has spoken, people. Enough of this “Dragon” business. Although the eyebrows do fit. And Burke “the Burninator” does have a nice ring to it. Hmmm…