From: Gonzalez, John

To: Fox, Ashley; Salisbury, James T.

Subject: The name game

Where has Antonio Bastardo been all our lives? Not only does he throw in the mid-90s, but he has the best name since Inigo Montoya.

After smacking the Padres around, Tony B. has his second major-league start this evening against the Dodgers. You guys jumping on the bandwagon? I'm driving.

From: Salisbury, James T.

To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John

Subject: The name game

Followers of the Phillies system have known about this kid since he went 9-0 at Lakewood in '07. Hats off to him for a great debut, and speaking of great names, congrats to scout Sal Agostinelli - they call him El Tigre in Latin America - for finding him. In reality, though, Bastardo beat a bad team the other night, and thanks to a big lead was able to load up on fastballs. Tonight will be a better test.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Gonzalez, John; Salisbury, James

Subject: The name game

Before answering, Jimmy, I would suggest a couple of things for your Talkin' survival. Throw in at least one inappropriate reference to a female. Insult John. Don't try to really answer the question. And under no circumstances let it be known what your nickname is.

Now, begin . . .

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Fox, Ashley; Salisbury, James T.

Subject: The name game

Leave it to James T. (Not-Kirk) to ruin the fun. Jimmy, buddy, are you telling me that Bastardo isn't going to win the Cy Young this year?

Because I was just working on a column imagining what Tony B.'s acceptance speech would be like. Here's a preview:

"I'd like to thank all the people who made it possible for me to be here....." Cohen killed the rest of it. Gutless.

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Gonzalez, John; Salisbury, James

Subject: The name game

See what I mean?

From: Salisbury, James T.

To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John

Subject: The name game

I'd like to thank all the people who made it possible for me to be here - Phil.

From: Gonzalez, John

To: Fox, Ashley; Salisbury, James T.

Subject: The name game

Hey, don't forget Ford. If not for his 15 weeks of vacation, you wouldn't be ruining your stellar reputation by getting into bed with Talkin'.

And if Ford is Buttons, I'm calling James T. "Captain" from now on. I think that makes Ashley our "Spock."

From: Fox, Ashley

To: Gonzalez, John; Salisbury, James

Subject: The name game

See, Jimmy, isn't this fun? You give an intelligent, insightful answer about Bastardo and this devolves into a stream about bad nicknames. It's no wonder Sheridan opted out.

From: Salisbury, James T.

To: Fox, Ashley; Gonzalez, John

Subject: The name game

That leaves Cohen as the Klingon.