Bellyscratcher was the first one I ever heard call Brandon Claussen “pickle,” and it was in this comment on one of our smack talk entries:
I guess Pickle Boy is more relish than Dill, eh?
She immediately apologized for the lameness of the pun, but the name stuck, and now he’s either “Pickle Man” or just “The Pickle” to me. It’s a great nickname, because it works regardless of whether he’s pitching well.
For example, after striking out the side, one might say, “Ha! I guess The Pickle left a pretty sour taste in their mouths!”
Or after walking yet another batter to load the bases, one could retort, “Dammit, Pickle Man, you’re in another…pickle.”
OK, now I’m the one who should be apologizing.
Brandon Allen Falker Claussen was born May 1, 1979 in Rapid City, South Dakota. He graduated from Goddard High School in Roswell New Mexico in 1997 and was drafted the next year by the New York Yankees. In 1999, he graduated from Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas.
Claussen is a man of faith. He told Pastor Curtus Moak “I always pray a bold prayer: Lord, use me as you will.” before speaking to kids at the Hamilton Christian Center. Hopefully, the Lord wants to use him for some Reds’ victories.
Claussen found his faith after a burst blood vessel in the brain killed his step-father at age 43. While in the hospital, Claussen met Kelli, the woman he’d marry less than a year later.
You know, I’m glad that Claussen has overcome adversity, found something to believe in, and discovered true love, but there’s just nothing funny about this story, so let’s change directions, huh?
JD at Red Reporter tells me that Mrs. Reporter makes fun of Claussen’s haircut every time he plays. At least he’s got hair, I say.
Ooh, here’s something: Claussen’s page on Baseball-Reference.com is sponsored by Paperbacknovel.com with this comment:
Would love to have Brandon on the Yankees pitching staff now. A good pitcher now; a future top-of-the-rotation starter. And the future might be 2006.
I thought some Harlequinner must have the love for Claussen, but the site doesn’t appear to be about novels at all. So, if you are a romance novelist, and think his page really ought to be about thinly veiled euphemisms (he is The Pickle, after all), you’ll be glad to know his page will again be available to sponsor in 2007.
Brandon Claussen is a left-handed starting pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. His fastball tops out in the low 90s, and his “slurve” pitch is constantly talked about by Reds’ television broadcaster Chris Welsh. Claussen came to the Reds from the New York Yankees in 2003 as part of a trade for Aaron Boone.
Claussen blew out a ligament in his left elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2002. But really, who hasn’t?
Claussen’s wrap is that he can’t put hitters away. He gets a couple strikes on a guy, nibbles around, and ends up walking him. His pitch counts get high and he’s out of the game in the sixth inning.
Still, he had a respectable year in 2005 compared to the likes of Eric Milton and Ram´n Ortiz, and after a decent spring, he ended up the Reds’ number three pitcher going into the 2006 season.
That was pretty light on info, huh? Better go get the rest of the story from his Better Know a Red feature.