A Dialogue with Cy Young About This Year’s Free Agent Class

“Hey, Cy, thanks for doing this.”

“Sure, anytime.”

“Let’s start with Braves catcher Brian McCann. Where do you see him ending up?”

“An Irishman, eh?”

“Uh, I guess so. Sure.”

“You don’t think he’ll stay with Milwaukee?”

“The Braves are in Atlanta now, actually.”

“Atlanta, really? Where’s that?”


“Hmmm. Awfully far south for a baseball team.”

“I suppose so.”

“The Dodgers still have Campanella?”


“So maybe McCann ends up in Brooklyn?”

“The Dodgers are in Los Angeles.”



“Son, there’s no baseball west of St. Louis.”

“No, Cy, there is now.”

“Okay, fine. So maybe McCann ends up with the Redlegs?”

“Nope. They’re just the Reds now.”

“And no one confuses them with the Red Sox?”


“People do still wear Sox, right?”

“Mostly, yeah.”

“Great. So maybe McCann ends up with the Red Sox.”

“That would actually be a good fit, especially if Saltalamacchia leaves. Plus, in the American League, McCann could DH when he’s not catching.”


“DH. Designated hitter. In the American League, pitchers don’t bat. Another guy hits for them.”

“That’s preposterous.”


“I hit eighteen home runs in my career.”

“That’s great, Cy. But now pitchers only bat in the National League.”

“I started out in the National League. Had to learn a whole new set of hitters when I moved to the American.”

“Yeah, now the leagues play each other all the time.”


“No, they do. Interleague play. The schedule is weighted in favor of teams within your division, but there’s interleague games all the time.”

“I’m sorry, division?”

“Yeah, the 30 teams, 15 in each league, are divided into 6 divisions that all have a different number of teams, and the division leaders plus the top two teams with the highest records make the playoffs, which start with a wild-card play-in game.”

“I didn’t understand anything you just said. Can we get back to that Irish catcher guy?”



“Okay, so we said maybe he’ll sign with the Red Sox. How much you think they’ll pay him?”

“I made about $6,000 a year at my peak. So what would that be worth today… let’s check inflation data… $141,000. And I was pretty much the best. So maybe McCann makes $75,000 a year for a couple of years?”

“Try $75 million.”



“And dollars mean the same thing they used to mean? Like, there hasn’t been some currency crash or something?”


“I think I probably need to sit down.”

“Okay, we can move on to someone else. How about Ubaldo Jimenez?”

“That sounds like an alien’s name.”

“Sorry. Anyway, he’s had an up and down past few years. But he did finish third in the Cy Young voting in 2010.”

“The what?”

“The Cy Young Award. Best pitcher. They named it after you.”


“Yeah, pitchers often negotiate bonuses into their contract if they win it.”

“Wow. So they make an extra hundred bucks or something? Good for them.”

“Not quite. Adam Wainwright got $100,000 for finishing second.”

“He got $100,000 and he didn’t even win?”


“I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Well, thanks for joining me, Cy.”

“I’m going to crawl back into my grave now and forget this conversation ever happened.”

“Might be a good idea.”

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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn’t go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney’s or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.

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Stringer Bell
Stringer Bell

I shouldn’t have read this while drinking water at work.