On Aug. 30, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies were on the verge of a bullpen letdown against the New York Mets. Mike Morin was ousted in favor of Jared Hughes after surrendering a two-run single to Ahmed Rosario. Hughes came into the game and a Phillies meme that perfectly summarizes the misery of the 2019 season was born:
According to Hughes, Realmuto was not particularly amused with the day’s camera operator and was very apologetic towards his teammate. The former Phillies reliever told the story while on Instagram live on Friday with The Taylor Hooton Foundation, which works to raise awareness of the dangers of performance-enhancing substances.
“The next day, Realmuto came up to me and was like ‘dude, I totally didn’t mean to do that,'” Hughes said. “‘I’m so sorry. It was about the previous pitch. It wasn’t about you. It looked terrible.’ And he was like ‘I talked to the TV guys’ and he was like ‘I can’t believe you cut right to me after he was sprinting in,’ and I don’t know, it was just unfortunate timing, But now it’s a very, very popular and famous meme and I’m very honored to be a part of it.”
For Hughes, the meme is more of a source of entertainment for him than anything else. In the moment, it wasn’t funny for him because two pitches later, he gave up a three-run home run to Todd Frazier.
“Then Jomboy broke it down and there was a really rough video that came after that. But at the same time, I do appreciate it. I understand baseball entertainment can be found in a lot of different ways. At that point in time, it was found at my expense but at the same time, I’m just happy to be able to go out there and even have an opportunity to be broken down by Jomboy.” Hughes is referring to Jomboy Media’s breakdown video of the incident that currently has over two million views:
Hughes is currently a free agent after opting out of his minor-league deal with the Astros on March 19. He’ll likely find a big-league suitor once the season gets underway since rosters are expected to expand. With starting pitchers unable to pitch deep into games for the first few weeks of a hypothetical season, teams will need to load up on bullpen arms. Despite struggling in 2019, Hughes still holds a career ERA under three.
Hughes also shared a message for young athletes on the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. He is apart of the All Me League advisory board, which is a coalition of MLB players who have pledged to play the game free of performance-enhancing substances and educate others on the dangers of using. Current Phillies serving on the advisory board include Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola.
“Don’t do em’. Don’t take them. I don’t take them. I never have. Almost everybody I ever played with has never taken them. The few guys that have, I guarantee you they regret it. This is not a thing. It’s not common. Don’t do it. If you’re a young player, don’t do it.”
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