June 16, 2009
Lest we ever label big league clubhouses as the place where fantastic pop culture references go to die, let's take a look at a rare case where Major Leaguers prove to be just as clever, hilarious and relevant as those of us on the Internet.
Yes, within the confines of the Dodgers clubhouse, dugout and team charter, first baseman James Loney(notes) is known as "Geoffrey," a nickname that nods at the Toys 'R Us giraffe who introduces the nation's children to the wonderful world of materialism — in a fun way, of course — and Loney's awkward movements.
The evidence as collected by Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:
"Loney's teammates talk about how his indecisiveness on some defensive plays — break to the ball or to the bag? — can result in awkward movements that make them chuckle.
"'We joke that there should be a James Loney cam,' (Russell) Martin says. 'Just on him, all the time.'
"Crazy legs and crazy eyes,' (Randy) Wolf says. 'He's like a baby giraffe.'
"That led to Loney being nicknamed 'Geoffrey' after the Toys 'R Us mascot."
Go ahead and read the rest of Dylan's article, because it's a great look at Loney and the rest of the Dodgers who've largely been ignored since Manny Ramirez(notes) has been suspended, even though they're playing lights-out ball. Joe Torre calls Loney "dumb like a fox" and while that still makes absolutely no sense to me, I feel as if we now know Loney well enough to ask him for leads on the hottest toys this Christmas.