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Bud Black and Joe Maddon have some interesting nicknames for one another ...

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Baseball is a game of nicknames, so it's only appropriate that two Major League skippers who go back a long, long way address each other in code.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon refers to Padres manager Bud Black as "Pepe," a nickname that dates back to Black's childhood and resurfaced when the two were coaches on Mike Scioscia's Angels staff. The Angels were in Hermosillo, Mexico, playing a Spring Training exhibition series with the D-backs. Players were signing their hats and throwing them to the fans in the stands, prompting Black to bring back his old "given" name from Spanish class when he was in high school -- Pepe Negro.

The name was given to him by his teacher, who turned English names into the closest equivalent in Spanish. "If you were John, you were Juan," Black reasoned. "If you were Joe, you were Jose. If you were Nancy, you were Nancasita."

And, apparently, if you were Buddy, you became ... Pepe.

Black signed his hat as such at that Mexico exhibition, saying to Maddon something along the lines of "Hey Joe, check me out."

From that point on, Maddon referred to Black only as Pepe, or, Pep for short (because in this game, even nicknames get nicknamed).

Black has pet names for Maddon, too, though they're slightly less inventive: Maddonini, which is what the family's last name was before Maddon's father shortened it, and Joe-Joe, for obvious reasons.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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