Zach Grinker’s story is an absolute treasure

Zach Grinker’s story is an absolute treasure

We know the sad story of Houston right now. I feel like Deshaun Watson’s trade demands, JJ Watt’s departure, James Harden’s successful trade demands, George Springer’s departure and the respective presences of David Culley, Jack Easterby, Cal McNair have been leaders in 90% of my posts since the calendar turned to 2021.

So as we look back at the anniversary of the sports world shutdown day, with vaccines being given, with restaurants and bars reopening, it’s time for us to focus on the highlights in sports (until tomorrow…  . DeAndre Hopkins Trade, everyone!) With that positive spirit in mind, I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t like the fact that Zack Greinke is pretty much the Houston Astros!

Yes, Greinke is a future Hall of Famer, but he’s much more than that. He’s a treasure trove of embarrassment, brutal honesty, and gushing laughter.That said, in order to fully enjoy Greinke, you must check out The Athletic’s latest articles, in which they tell the stories of 15 different catchers who have worked with Greinke. Here are some examples. First, he once shamed one of his catchers for eating too much ice cream:

Brayan Peña, Royals: We ate together and I was eating ice cream. He’s skinny, he’s in good shape, he’s in good shape, and he really takes care of himself, right? We were talking and he said, “Do you want to know one reason why you’re not an everyday major league catcher?” I thought he’d be talking about my framing or blocking the ball or the game calling or hitting. He said, “Because you’re eating too much ice cream.” I was like, “Zach, seriously?” The room was full of players. Everyone started laughing. So I got up and hugged him. Every time we go to a city after that, he makes sure I have the best ice cream they sell in that city.

And what about the time he deliberately served his teammates in spring training to save time on pitches? That happened:

Tony Arnerich, A-Class Wilmington: During spring training, we all stayed in hotels. I faced him and I got a 1-2 count and got fouled like three balls. Then he just pumped my elbow with a fastball. That night, we went back to the hotel and we were in the hot tub. My elbows were barking a little bit and I was like, “Greink, man, you know where you’re throwing the ball. What’s wrong with that guy? Did you hit me on purpose?” And he was like, “Okay, I only have So many pitches, I don’t want to waste them all on you. I want to face the other batters, so I have to get you out of there.” I was like, “Oh my God.” His brutal honesty is so great.

Then, at one point he offered his receiver a fantasy football deal during a game:

AJ Ellis, Dodgers: He’s deep into fantasy football, and like anything, when Zack is involved in something, he’s going all out. …he plays the role of Trader Zack, a man who is constantly chasing roster rebuilds and made changes. Trader Zach works at the club.

Diamondbacks’ Alex Avila: He likes the whole GM style of being able to create a team.

Ellis: It was during his warm-up game in the bullpen at Dodger Stadium. It was already 7:03 pm. Suddenly he stopped throwing and started walking towards me. So I jumped out from behind the plate and met him halfway through. He looked at me and said, “I’ve been thinking.” It could be about anything. He said: “I’ve been thinking about it. You guys have this quarterback injury problem right now. I have a lot of quarterbacks on my roster and I’ve noticed you have a lot of wide receivers. I think we’re a good match, so I think you guys should Make a deal. We’ll talk about it later.” Then he was fully 180’d and walked back to the mound.

For each of these stories, there are ten more in that article, and I’m sure there are a hundred more that are unknown.Some quick thoughts from Greinke after spending 20 minutes reading all these anecdotes sports:

I might have to go to Cooperstown when Greinke is inducted into the Hall of Fame
I told myself I’d go to Jeff Bagwell’s induction, but I didn’t, and I still hate myself for it. I would like to attend an induction weekend, but I want to make sure there is an Astro entry. Astro-connected players can still get in before my love of fried food wipes me out – Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent, Billy Wagner, Justin Verlander, Zach Glink, maybe And Jose Artuf. Anyone else might put me into my 60s or 70s HOF induction, I don’t want to be cocky. My question to Greinke is “Will his Hall of Fame speech be the shortest in history, the greatest in history, or both?”

I now strongly think that Greinke is the only player in MLB who will do this…
I think there’s a non-zero percentage chance — small, but not zero — that Greinke could be the only player in MLB to retire when the opponent hits the ball, like Greinke throwing a ball to a man, the count is 1 ball, 1 strike, Greinke just put the baseball down and walked away. It’s like baseball’s version of Forrest Gump stopping in the middle of his trail run and saying, “I’m a little tired of running. I think I’m going home now.”

Just reading these stories makes me angry about one thing…
I’m pissed because AJ Hinch removed Greinke in Game 7 of the 2019 World Series. Let’s move on.

In the end, proving that being good at your job will make you “weird and interesting”, while a bad job will make you “boring and annoying”
I give you Zach Grinker, future Hall of Famer…

I give you Joe Biagini, a professional scrub, who has a 10.42 ERA as an astronomer….

Glink? Astonishing. Biagini? leave.

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 weekdays from 6am to 10am. Also, follow him on Twitter at and like him on Facebook at

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