Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett‘s real first name is Ryan and his middle name is Joseph. So how did a professional athlete get the nickname “Scooter”?
In April, before Gennett was a household name for hitting four home runs in a game, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer provided the story behind the nickname. As Gennett tells it, he was a fan of The Muppets and Muppet Babies and his favorite character was Scooter. One day, as a rebellious little kid, he refused to keep his seat belt on in the back seat while his mom was driving. After repeated attempts to get Gennett to keep his seat belt on, she drove to the police station to have an officer talk to him about car safety. The officer asked him for his name and he said “Scooter” instead of his real name because he thought he’d get arrested. The nickname stuck ever since.
The Twitter account for the Lebanon Division of Police in Ohio responded to Rosecrans’ story:
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.