You haven't arrived until you end up as an answer to a trivia question -- and, hopefully, not one akin to "this was the man who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo and was passed among the breeding males for 16 days."
The San Francisco Giants (all but assuredly) won't arrive in the postseason this year, but they have arrived via trivial fame. Contestants on the NPR quiz show Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me every week must sift through three utterly implausible scenarios and choose which one is actually a real news story. On this week's show, the following jaw-dropping tales were offered for selection:
- Pro figure skater Brian Christie and his fans are petitioning that sport's governing body to allow him to bring his six-foot python into skating venues, as he is totally unable to skate when it is not present;
- Jockey Mark Anthony Delaru is an up-and-comer in the sport despite being so allergic to horses he must seal himself in bubble wrap prior to mounting his steed;
- Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Jerome Williams was called "Jeremy" by his teammates for two full years before he said anything about it.
These questions are hard! But since local Giants fans may recall the team's radio and TV announcers pronouncing Williams' name "Jerome" throughout his nearly three seasons
on the club, it couldn't be that one, could it?
Huh. It could indeed
Williams confided to the Orange County Register
that all of his Giants teammates mispronounced his name from 2003 to 2005. Except manager Felipe Alou, who just called him "Hey, guy."
When asked to explain how this could happen, Williams said, "I just rolled with it. I was a rookie and I didn't want to tell anybody 'cause I was scared." After two years -- during which time, Williams went 17-12 for the Giants and was hailed as a possible star -- he finally worked up the gumption to tell pitching coach Dave Righetti what his real name was. Per the O.C. Register:
"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
Williams is currently enjoying something of a career renaissance with the Los Angeles Angels after four years of toiling in the minor leagues. He's 3-0 for a team only 2.5 games off the division lead. If he pitches well and puts his team in the postseason, you never know -- he could make a name for himself.
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