PHILADELPHIA -- J.C. Romero, J.A. Happ and R.J. Swindle will keep their punctuation. Period, end of discussion. Hearing that the Brewers' Carsten Charles Sabathia, a pitcher previously known as C.C., was removing the dots from his initialed first name, Romero barely raised an eyebrow.
"It doesn't matter for him," Romero said. "Every time you say his name, you don't say, 'C period, C period Sabathia.' So this is really the same thing." J.C. -- no one calls him "J period, C period," by the way -- Romero prefers Juan Carlos, as he's called by his mother and childhood friends. "It's just J.C., to make it easy," Romero said. "My name is Juan Carlos Romero, or John Charles for [Americans]. I've never thought about taking out the periods. I won't think about it now, either." Ditto for Phillies lefty reliever Swindle, who has more problems dealing with an easily mocked last name (Swindler, Cheater, etc.). Robert Joseph said he was always Robert growing up, until he worked up the courage to ask teachers to call him R.J. With roughly a week of Major League service time, Swindle isn't about to do anything drastic, especially when he made it here with periods. "It's a necessary period," Swindle said. Swindle is more confused by the plight of lockermate James Anthony Happ, who goes by "Jay." Occasionally, Happ will correct people on that point. As the lefty sees it, he doesn't want to lose his J.A. identity, but prefers the nickname. Happ, who was sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Thursday, won't be following CC's lead, nor will he drop the periods and simply add a "Y." "Then you wouldn't get the James Anthony, and you need that," Happ said. "I don't mind J.A., but if people want to call me Jay, that's cool, too. But I'll keep the periods. I'm not on CC's level." Some players gave thought to adding periods for effect. How about J.C. (James Calvin) Rollins, P.B. (Patrick Brian) Burrell, or, in an unwitting tribute to Sabathia, C.C. (Chase Cameron) Utley? Closer Brad Lidge was the most intrigued by the idea, but said his middle initial for Thomas wouldn't fit. B.T. Lidge? "Doesn't work," Lidge said. "But if it was Brad Lidge Thomas, I'd definitely go with B.L.T."
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.