Jerome Williams let the Giants call him “Jeremy” for two years

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Jerome Williams returning to the majors with the Angels for the first time since 2007 is a pretty interesting story, but Sam Miller of the Orange County Register investigated something about the one-time Giants prospect that’s even more interesting.

Apparently when Williams first arrived in the big leagues as a 21-year-old rookie in 2003 the Giants coaching staff and various teammates thought his name was Jeremy. And when they repeatedly called him by the wrong name Jerome didn’t correct them … for two years.

Miller broached the topic with Williams yesterday, leading to a highly amusing exchange. Here’s an excerpt:

“Yeah. They called me Jeremy. I just rolled with it.”

They just called you Jeremy? Were you called Jerome growing up?

“Yes.”

So.

“I don’t know. In the minors, they didn’t call me Jeremy. When I got to the big leagues they called me Jeremy for two years.”

Were they screwing with you?

“No, they just called me that. I just rolled with it. I was a rookie and I didn’t want to tell anybody cause I was scared.”

You mean that whole time, (pitching coach Dave) Righetti was calling you Jeremy?

“Everybody was.”

(Manager) Felipe Alou?

“Felipe never really called me by my name. He was just like ‘hey guy come here guy.’ Every time I was ‘guy.’ But yeah, some – most — of the guys did call me that.”

The conversation between Miller and Williams got so absurd that Trevor Bell started cracking up in the next locker over. And how did it finally end?

“I just told Righetti one day. I’m doing a bucket, and I’m like Rags, we need to talk about something. He’s like, ‘What?’ Ummmm. What’s my name? He’s like, ‘Jeremy.’ Ummmm. No. It’s not, actually.  It’s actually Jerome. He’s like, ‘so for a couple years I’ve been calling you Jeremy and it’s not even your name? Why didn’t you correct me?’ I told him the same: I was scared. ‘What were you scared about?’ I don’t know. And he slapped me.

Sounds about right.

Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.