Lutz Blog

Bob Lutz: The new Nasty Boys in Kansas City?

Cincinnati Reds relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Randy Myers and Rob Dibble celebrate after the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1990 National League Championship Series. The Reds went on to sweep the Oakland A’s in the World Series.
Cincinnati Reds relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Randy Myers and Rob Dibble celebrate after the Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1990 National League Championship Series. The Reds went on to sweep the Oakland A’s in the World Series. Associated Press

In 1990, the Cincinnati Reds, with their Nasty Boys in the bullpen, won the World Series in a 4-0 sweep over the Oakland A’s and their Bash Brothers, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco.

The first thing I want to know is why there are no longer great nicknames like those in baseball? Nasty Boys? Bash Brothers? Awesome.

Secondly, why has no cool nickname been developed for Kansas City relievers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland? They form the most dynamic bullpen in baseball – maybe ever – and could well be the No. 1 reason why the Royals win a world championship in 2014. Game 3 of the World Series is tonight in San Francisco with Kansas City and the Giants tied at 1-1.

Are these the Nasty Boys 2?

The original Nasty Boys in Cincy were Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble and Randy Myers.

In 1990, they combined for 44 saves and were usually unhittable.

Charlton actually moved into the starting rotation in late July of the 1990 season, but was back in the bullpen for the postseason.

All three of Kansas City’s dominant relievers are right-handed. Charlton and Myers are lefties. But the thing all six pitchers have in common is how hard they throw and how nasty they are.

Myers had 31 saves and a 2.08 ERA in 1990, when he allowed only 59 hits in 86.2 innings and struck out 98.

Dibble was even more dominant, allowing 62 hits and striking out 136 in 98 innings.

Charlton had a 3.02 ERA in 50.2 innings of relief during the 1990 regular season, but was even better as a starter during the season’s final 11 weeks.

The Royals’ relievers – Herrera, Davis and Holland – allowed only 129 hits in 204.1 innings this season, with 258 strikeouts.

In 1990, the Reds’ threesome pitched 235.1 innings in relief, allowing 169 hits and striking out 291.

In 10 postseason games so far, here’s the pitching line for the Kansas City trio: 29.1 IP, 15 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 11 BB, 36 K, 0.92 ERA.

And in 10 postseason games in 1990, here’s how the Reds’ relievers stacked up: 24.1 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 8 BB, 27 K, 0.37 ERA.

They’re strikingly similar except that the Kansas City group is missing a cool nickname like the Reds group had.

That’s a shame. So I’m imploring readers to come up with something that might stick. These guys deserve a great nickname because of how dominant they’ve been all season long.

Nasty Boys 2 is just something to get the ball rolling, but it’s not original. So it doesn’t work for this group. But surely there’s a nickname that does. Let’s come up with something.

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