Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Girl Talk: Daniel “Dirty Dan?” Descalso

This week the gals are dishing about Cardinal newby Daniel Descalso.  What do we think of him so far?  How do we predict he will do in 2011?  And what about those nicknames?!?

Erika says:  When Daniel Descalso made the Opening Day roster with the Cardinals, I had high hopes this Baby Bird would get enough playing time to impress both Tony La Russa and fans alike.  I was not disappointed.  Daniel has split his service between 2B and 3B, f lashing the leather with enough finesse to *almost* make me forget about a certain spinning shortstop.  While not a sure thing at the plate, he has contributed some timely hitting, including extra bases.  My predictions tend toward “realistic optimism.” So, for Dan Descalso’s 2011, I am hoping for a slight improvement through the year in batting average (currently .226) with more comfort and exposure to learning big league pitchers.  Perhaps .260 isn’t too much to hope for?  Already impressive with the glove, I expect more chills and web gem opportunities while Descalso has opportunities at the hotcorner during David Freese’ absence.

As far as nicknames, let the record show that I am a definite fan of creative player handles.  The fact that Mr. Descalso has already garnered a slew of fan-approved alter-ego titles is evidence enough for me that Cardinal Nation has eagerly adopted one of my favorite Baby Birds.  Early in the season, it was mentioned on a game broadcast that Daniel’s grandmother didn’t approve of the nickname Danny.  *sigh*… I was partial to Danny Boy.  However since then, new choices have popped up all over.  DD, Dirty Dan and Disco, to name a few.  While Dirty Dan certainly captures the scrappy, it’s a guy’s guy kind of name.  Apologies to grandma, but Danny (Danny D, Danny Boy) still has a nice ring to it.  And then there’s Disco… that cracks me up! (h/t @El_Maquino)

Honestly, if Descalso keeps playing like he has, I’ll call him whatever he wants.  😉

Emily: I don’t have a lot of knowledge or feelings regarding Daniel Descalso, but I think we are all about to learn a lot more about him. The injury to David Freese (waaaah) likely means a lot more time at third for Danny D, so I assume I will grow to know him. Currently, I only know that he’s had some clutch RBI, made a few sharp defensive plays, and looks like a young John Mabry as he steps up to bat. Offensively, I’m not sure I see him even remotely making up for the loss of Freese, but it will be interesting to see how he grows and (hopefully) improves with more regular playing time. I think that he has the potential to be a true Cardinal favorite (that’s right — scrappy. I’ll just go ahead and say it!), but it’s too soon for me to tell how much I like him or how good he could be.

Cadence: Daniel Descalso. Where do I begin? I have been obsessing over Daniel since I met him at Spring Training. Mostly, I think it is because of how much he reminds me of John Mabry. If you follow me on twitter and haven’t realized this by now, then you just don’t pay enough attention. 😉 I love Triple D. Yes, that is my favorite nickname. I know everyone seems to enjoy Dirty D, but I prefer Triple D – Daniel Descalso Defense. I’m going with that after he snagged that ball at 3B on Saturday. He has made a couple plays like that, but that one in particular is when I decided I like that name. Besides, if people are gonna call Eduardo Sanchez’s pitches “dirty” can you really have 2 guys with the “dirty” nickname?  I predict a good year for Mr. Descalso if he just keeps playing his game. Now that David Freese is on the DL…again…he’ll likely get more playing time at third. Even though he only has a .226 avg so far, he has had some big timely hits and some great games and I think he can continue to do that if he knows his role is more important. Good luck Daniel, not Danny – Grandma Descalso might get upset – I am rooting for you!

Angela: Dirty. Danny. D. Oh come on, how could you not fall in love with a nickname like that? It just sounds like a ballplayer – and not one from this day and age of “first letter of first name dash last few letters of last name” type nicknames (K-Mac, A-Rod, heck I even say K-Lo stitched into Lohse’s glove last night!), but a real ballplayer nickname that you would have seen running around in the mud back in the 30’s and 40’s. Dirty Danny D would have fit in nicely with the likes of Pepper “Wild Horse of the Osage” Martin or Frankie “Fordham Flash” Frisch.

In terms of what we can expect from Dirty Danny D? Honestly, so far with the bat he hasn’t been impressive, but I don’t particularly need him to be over the moon impressive there. Heck, Holliday and Berkman are still hitting over .400 after 29 games! What I do want to see from Descalso is solid D. He’s been filling in a lot at second with Skip Schumaker on the shelf, and while he hasn’t had out of this world defense, he’s made some pretty nice plays, and he’s made all the plays he’s supposed to. This isn’t a knock on Skip, this is just saying what we all know – Skip isn’t a great second baseman. Dirty Danny D has the skills to play an adequate to above average second base. That’s what I want… for now.

I mean, eventually you gotta do something with a nickname like Dirty Danny D… right?


2 responses to “Girl Talk: Daniel “Dirty Dan?” Descalso

  1. Linda May 3, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    Jon Jay talked about rooming with The D in his early spring training blog. I had a great time watching him play at spring training and was happy when I heard he made the team. It has been fun rooting for the new guys and watching their improvement with more playing time. He hasn’t made me forget BR but thats another story. #LBFanClub #TheD2FanClub?

  2. Rose August 2, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    I know Daniel’s grandmother quite well. I have never heard her call him Danny.

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