It was during spring training and after Pokey Reese decided that he had more important things to do than play for the Marlins. I was on the phone with Wiggins and he asked me how to pronounce the name Uggla. At the time I thought this was strange since Wiggins, as part of his chosen profession, knows all about languages and pronunciations.
I sheepishly answered: I would assume it is OOh-gla. Wiggins started bringing up the point that would be technically correct to the names original pronunciation but was I sure it hadn't been "Americanized".
Finally I said: whatever Rich Waltz calls him on opening day we are going with that. Wiggins went on to say that Rich may not be a professional linguist. To this day, I have no idea why he was asking me. I can barely pronounce my own name - and Craig ain't that hard of a name to pronounce.
Getting people to pronounce his last name properly has been the larger challenge.
Fans. Teammates. Visiting broadcasters. All of them seem to trip on the unusual surname, which is pronounced "UGG-la."
"Basically," Uggla says, "they call me everything but the right name."
Luckily I'm not the only one to say his name incorrectly.
"OOH-gla," he says. "He may pronounce it differently, but that's how I pronounce it."
"Danny OOH-gla," Girardi adds. "We love him."
"Oh, he knows my name," Uggla says with a grin. "He just calls me Oogie."
If we start calling Dan, Oogie, you will know why.
It is a cute article so read the whole thing. It's Friday and Fridays were made for surfing.