What’s in a Name? Talking Rockies and weekend betting

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) pitches in the eighth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the deal with German Márquez?

I’m not talking about his lights out pitching. I’m talking about his name. His pitching has been great with a stunningly low 1.89 ERA and 2-1 record under his (non broken) belt. But his name, through no fault of his own, is a nightly disaster because no one covering the games can say it correctly.

So how do you pronounce his damn name?

Don’t look to the broadcasts for any help. For most non-native Spanish speakers who’ve taken even a little bit Spanish in high school or beyond, it’s pretty simple. Herr-mon MAR-kez. If you have never taken a lick of Spanish and you live somewhere where the closest thing to Mexican food available is from Appelbees, you may stumble over the first name, but that last name is pretty common and most shouldn’t have too much trouble with it.

But the Rockies broadcasters sure have trouble with it and I’m absolutely stunned every time I listen to a Rockies game to find out they’re still fumbling over it.

Last season, Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schimmel would trade off mis-pronouncing his name. It was “Herman Marcus” in the first inning and then someone would lob in a “Air-mon Mar-kiss” for good measure in the second. It also changed from pitch to pitch too and if you’re like me, it was frustrating to listen to. Corrigan still says it like he’s throwing darts on a Spanish name vision board.

The TV broadcast mostly gets it right. The other night as Márquez pitched his way to nine strikeouts and a nice win, Drew Goodman went with more of a “Mar-kess” pronunciation which I think is mostly correct. And he stuck to it for the whole game which the one radio guy can’t seem to do.

I brought in an expert. I asked my friend Luis, born and raised in El Salvador to weigh in. Before I said the name, I wrote it on a white board: Márquez in big red letters. To my surprise, what I first thought he said was “marcus” but what he was really saying sounded more like “mar-kess.” I explained to him how the announcers say “marcus”, wrote it out on the board and he said that wasn’t right. As we talked about it more and as I listened to him say it, “Mar-kase” seemed to float to the top.

My guess is that when German was asked by media people how he pronounced his name, his Venezuelan accent probably sounded to them at first blush like “marcus.” But that is not how it’s pronounced and only how a non-Spanish speaker would misinterpret a Spanish speaker saying it. Don’t forget, the radio crew were the ones who, while bending over backwards to pronounce Márquez’s name in every possible way, couldn’t be bothered to say Victor Robles’s name correctly when the Nationals were in town and kept calling him “Roblus.” Folks, that may sound like a game your kid plays, but that is not the right way to say that man’s name.

So it’s kind of unprofessional that the Rockies radio announcer 1) can’t pronounce Márquez’s and other Latino players’ names correctly and 2) it changes from inning to inning like a speech coach enters the booth in the middle half to give them a pep talk and tell them what they’re doing wrong. I’m going with “Mar-kase” (with the accent on the first syllable) for my pronunciation and I think the announcers should too. Real pros would have this down by now.

Am I too concerned with how announcers pronounce names? Probably. But it is their job to do it right and disregarding or mispronouncing someone’s name is unprofessional. And so is trying way too hard to phonate a name to the point that it changes every time with a new variation. We’re stuck with the announcers for an entire baseball game, so we have to listen to them and evaluate their every word, call and gaffe. Just the other night an errant pitch nearly floated up and out to Blake street and Drew Goodman said cooly, “that’s high.” Yeah Drew, we know. A throwaway line for him becomes a good joke on Twitter for ten minutes. Our relationship with the announcers, whether they know it or not, goes far beyond just relaying information within the game and every bit is scrutinized. Also I can remember my dad complaining about college football announcers from a young age so it’s in my blood. Sports stars have a great weight of expectations put upon them by everyone, so it’s only fair the people calling the games should have the expectation of getting their names right.

Now for a few betting options for our local teams this weekend:

8/7

Rockies v Mariners

Senza on the mound against the spotty M’s. Could be high scoring but I don’t think T-Moblie park is a hitter’s park. Check the O/U and if it’s low, tap that over.

 

8/8

Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche

The Avs can’t keep winning can they? I’d select the under on this game if it’s anywhere near 6 or higher.

 

8/8

Utah v Nuggets

I don’t know, we buried the Nuggets after its first loss to the Heat and they’ve been nothing but resilient since then – even still without a full roster of players. This will be a statement game, letting their little brother in the west know what time it is: The Dawning of the Age of Jokic

Look for ridiculous bets but that have crazy value. Draftkings will offer some wild stuff that pays big if it hits. I got the Denver Nuggets, Kansas City Royals and Winnipeg Jets all to win at +2000. One dollar would win me $21. Another one was the White Sox, Cubs and Phillies all to win at +615. Total longshots, but you never know. And besides, fun as hell sweating those out if they get close to hitting.

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