Thursday, February 24, 2011

SORIA: NO MORE “MEXICUTIONER” NICKNAME, PLEASE

What’s in a name? Kansas City Royals closer Joakim Soria thinks there’s enough negativity to his nickname of “The Mexicutioner” that he’d like it to stop being used.

The All-Star reliever spent a lot of time in Mexico during the winter, and what he saw was enough for him to want the jettison the tag. “I’ve never paid much attention to nicknames,” Soria said at the Royals training camp in Surprise, Arizona, “but this one is quite negative, especially when you consider what is happening in Mexico right now…I do not want to contribute to the negativity in my country when we are looking for positive things.”

A native of Monclova, the 26-year-old Soria has become one of the top relief pitchers in baseball despite laboring for one of its weakest teams. In the process, he gained the “Mexicutioner” nickname and even featured it prominently on his Twitter homepage, but it has been dropped. “How about if we change my nickname to something positive?” he tweeted, “In support to Mexico to stop all the violence!!!”

The Mexican government has said that over 34,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in the past four years. “It’s very bad what is going on there,” said Soria, who spent the offseason in Monclova.

Soria enters the final year of his contract with 132 saves and a 2.01 ERA in four seasons with the Royals.