Kiké Hernández’s incredible sense of humor shown in these two great stories – NECN

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Tomase: Hernández’s sense of humor shown in these two great stories originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Kiké Hernández would have made an incredible idiot, and that’s a compliment.

In another year, when the fans and the media had regular access to the players, we would have a much better idea of ​​Hernández’s personality, and it turned out that he would have fitted in Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar and Co. perfectly. back in 2004. There’s a reason he was a fan favorite in Los Angeles, and it’s not just because he played hard at virtually every position on the Diamond.

Hernández is a legitimate character, a non-stop prankster who believes in keeping things light in the clubhouse while leaving everything he has on the pitch. The results speak for themselves. Hernández is a leader and he’s getting more and more productive, with 13 homers and a Gold Glove-caliber defense in the middle as he takes first place from the Red Sox.

“He’s a crazy guy,” bench coach Carlos Febles said. “He’s a fun guy to be around. He’s the kind of guy you need in your clubhouse. He’s a nice guy. He comes up with stuff that makes people laugh. It’s fascinating. Every single one. team needs, not a clown, but someone different, someone fun. “

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Hernández certainly fits this bill. In a recent conversation after batting practice, Hernández told two stories that exemplify his sense of humor: the time he spent half a season with minors pretending he didn’t speak English. , and his reaction to dropping out of a home run with the Dodgers.

Let’s start with the minors. An unrecognized sixth-round pick by the Astros in 2009 at the US Military Academy in Puerto Rico, Hernández reached the triple A five years later.

His manager was an old-school badass named Tony DeFrancesco who had missed spring training and the start of the season while being treated for cancer. When he returned in late May to take control of Triple-A from Oklahoma City, Hernández was hitting over .300.

“You’re a pretty good baseball player,” he told Hernández when they first met. “How is your English? “

Hernández, who speaks perfectly with barely a hint of accent, said he had an immediate thought. “Well you are (exploded),” he said with a laugh. “And I said, ‘English lessons! English lessons! Very, very good!”

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The following month, Hernández summoned a translator for every interaction with DeFrancesco, wondering why the manager had never noted that he didn’t need one to speak to the pitcher on mound tours.

The teammates could barely contain themselves for the duration of the deception. Hernández ultimately broke the character during a team meeting.

“We were going through a tough time and he pulled all the positional players into his office and he was exhausting us, and in the middle of him, yelling at us and cursing at us, I put my hand up and he said, ‘WHAT? !? WHAT (EXPLET) DO YOU WANT! ?? ‘ Said Hernández, clearly stunned by the memory. “And I said to him, ‘I just want you to know that I speak perfect English and that I’ve been (expletive) with you the whole time. He started laughing like,’ I knew that! I knew that. ! ‘ and he couldn’t be mad anymore. “

When the Red Sox signed Hernández over the winter, manager Alex Cora cited DeFrancesco’s story as an example of Hernández’s distorted humor. The super utility player is just true to himself.

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“I’ve been like this since I was little,” he said. “I’m not very good at being a hypocrite or not being myself. I’ve always cared very little if other people want to judge me. If you love me, good. If you don’t like it, c ‘is good too. it’s just who I am and I’m going to be myself. It’s a very long year. It’s a season too long to pretend you’re someone else. did from day one pro ball. who I am. It’s just me. “

Hernández said he recalled his personality during the first two weeks of spring training to familiarize himself with the pitch with a new team. “I wasn’t really into Kike the first few weeks, because I didn’t want people to think, ‘This guy is really weird’ right off the bat,” he said. “But the more I got to know the guys, the more they got to know me too, they saw that side.”

His reputation preceded him. One of his most notable moments in a Dodgers uniform came in 2018 when LA ran out of pitchers in the 16th inning of a draw against the Phillies. Hernández came on for his debut as a pitcher in less than ideal circumstances. He pulled out the lead man in a lineout before walking two, then serving a gigantic exit into the field opposite Trevor Plouffe.

The game ended after 1 a.m., with a 12:30 p.m. start looming the following afternoon.

“Position players throw kicks,” Hernández said. “I happened to throw in a draw and I gave up a home run and it was a very (expletive) feeling because you just cost your team a game. We walked into the club- house and you could hear people breathing, that’s how quiet it has been. “

The Dodgers needed a pick-me-up, so Hernández broke the silence.

“I was like, ‘Hey guys, has anyone ever gone 0v7 at home and also lost a homestroke game like I just did?’” Asked Hernández. “Then I started seeing tweets, googling and researching, and it turns out only Babe Ruth and I went 0 for 7 at home plate and lost the game on the mound. It’s pretty (expletive) special. I have bragging rights – only positioning the player in the story to give up a homeroom. So, these are some humble vanities that I had for you. paid to cast. “

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Hernández’s research has actually been slightly offset, but he still keeps impressive company. The only other player to go 0-for-7 and give up a losing homer was none other than Boston’s Cy Young, who gave Philadelphia’s Harry Davis a two-point shot at the start of the 20th while getting 0-for-8 in 1905.

At nearly 3 a.m. after suffering the loss, Hernández tweeted: “Hello… I thought it would help me in the refereeing but… it backfired on us! K bye. See you tomorrow. #L”

It’s all part of not taking yourself too seriously, except when it matters. After all, Hernández played a key role in the Dodgers’ World Series victory last year, and he also has a three-homer game to his name. He brought this full-fledged character to Boston.

“People quickly figure out who I am, whatever you want to call it – cowardly, funny – but once we’re in between these lines I’m as serious as anyone else about this game.” , did he declare. “I think people quickly pick up on that. They watch the way I play the game. I’ll walk through walls if I have to, and people tend to like it.”


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