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The Mystery of the Dugout Interview

By: Mary Craig

He sat alone in his darkened living room, clutching his Hall of Fame plaque and running his fingers gently across its raised copper lettering, hoping that one day they would feel true. One of the most significant figures in recent decades, the plaque read, his gregarious personality and dugout interviews revolutionized the game, transforming Major League Baseball into an organization that embraced the inherent joy of baseball.

But it was all a lie. He had not been the first to conduct a dugout interview, and though it may be too late to give the inventor his proper due, Didi could not continue living this fake life.

Gently tossing the plaque aside as he had done on many sleepless nights, he reached for his phone, quickly commanding it to make the call before his couraged waned.

***

“Hello?” came the youthful voice on the other end.

“Hey, is this Derek Holland?” Didi replied, as a formality, really, considering all of Holland’s information flashed across his screen.

“Uh, yeah, yeah, what’s up, Didi?”

Inhaling a shaky breath, Didi, his words tinged with remorse, answered: “I, uh, I just wanted to say sorry, man. You should be in the Hall of Fame, not me. None of this belongs to me.”

“Uh… what are you talking about?” Holland asked, puzzled.

“I stole the dugout interview from you in 2017! I saw you do it in a game against the Jays, and I thought it’d be a cool thing to do. I didn’t mean for it to get so viral, and for people to think it’s a Yankee invention!”

Chuckling, Holland replied, “Don’t worry about it, man. I didn’t come up with it, either. I actually stole it from Tommy La Stella earlier that year. Look, I’ve gotta run, but really, don’t sweat it at all.”

For several moments, Didi stared at his phone, not quite able to let out a sigh of relief. Of course, he was relieved. He hadn’t stolen Holland’s spotlight at all. But now there was the possibility of him having stolen Tommy La Stella’s.

***

“Hello?”

“Hey, Tommy, it’s Didi… Didi Gregorius.”

“Yeah, Didi, I know who you are."

“Oh, uh, good… or maybe not so good, I really don’t know anymore.”

“What are you talking about, dude?”

“So, remember those dugout interviews I did back in ‘17? Well, I was talking to Derek Holland—you remember Derek?—I was talking to him about them, and he told me he stole the idea from you, and I feel bad that I’ve always taken all the credit for it.”

“Oh, did Derek say that? That’s interesting, because it was actually Ian Happ’s idea. He said it was a big thing with a bunch of teams when he was in college.”

***

Confusion now clouded over any remaining sense of guilt Didi possessed. Could making baseball fun really have been so… organic?! Could players really have done it without it being a huge deal? And how could the media have gotten all of this so wrong?! Unwilling to succumb to the idea that his entire perception of baseball—and the half a lifetime he spent playing it—was wrong, he again reached for his phone.

“Hey, Ian, what’s up, man?”


Jason Vargas’ 18 Wins This Season, Detailed

By: Matt Sussman

Jason Vargas

The pitching win has become more an heirloom stat than a metric of value. Still, to have Jason Vargas hit a career high in wins after the Royals’ odd stretch of dominance―and after Tommy John surgery―is truly impressive and even overwhelming. But don't think of them as 18 wins; think of them each as a single victory that happens to add up to 18. That way you can digest the stat much more easily.

Win 1: Six innings, one run against the Astros
Win 2: Found a great local breakfast place that isn't full of hipsters
Win 3: Stopped wasting money on fabric softener
Win 4: Seven shutout innings against the Giants
Win 5: Beat Zelda 2
Win 6: A complete-game shutout against Cleveland
Win 7: Started a charity that recycles batteries that you think are dead but in fact the appliance is broken, then gives those batteries to different morons who think their appliances are broken but didn't check their batteries
Win 8: Drove past a garage sale without stopping
Win 9: Six innings, three runs against the Angels
Win 10: Put $20 into a slot machine and got $10.75 back and didn't put it back into the slot machine
Win 11: Threw away all the restaurant punch cards from his wallet
Win 12: Seven innings and one run against the Twins despite four walks
Win 13: Reverse-engineered the song title of ELO’s “Fire On High” without Shazamming it
Win 14: Figured out what the rattle was in his car (travel mug)
Win 15: Five innings, three runs against Cleveland, breaking their 22-game winning streak
Win 16: Folded a fitted sheet in only seven tries
Win 17: 6â…“ shutout innings against Toronto
Win 18: After several years of medical and spousal intervention, finally stopped picking at it