Rich Lowry is the Editor-In-Chief of National Review. On Monday, he penned an article about Toronto Blue Jays catcher Brady Deeker, a non-binary athlete who the team called up from the minor leagues to start for the big-league club.
One problem: Brady Deeker doesn’t exist. He’s not a real baseball player, not even a real person. Lowry made him up to prove a point.
The article presents as real news, but is clearly satire. I saw the story circulating and realized after the second sentence that it couldn’t be real.
Lowry “quotes” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins as saying, “The Blue Jays organization is delighted to make baseball history and be at the forefront of LGBTQ2S+ progress. Now every day can be Pride Day at the ballpark.”
Some of you may think that doesn’t sound all that crazy. And, to be honest, it’s not completely absurd. Though, no professional sports GM would say that.
He further states that Atkins promised to bat the imaginary catcher cleanup, despite being a career .207 minor league hitter.
Then, Lowry “quotes” Jays manager John Schneider who “says,” “Alejandro [Kirk, the team’s starting catcher] is a key guy for us, but, of course, he is totally committed to supporting the LGBT+ community by DHing now and occasionally backing up Deeker — assuming Brady is okay with that.”
Again, clearly not something an MLB manager would do or say.
To close the article, Lowry writes that ESPN is already working on a documentary on the fictional catcher.
“An ESPN30 for 30 documentary tentatively titled The Catcher Who Was Neither: The Brady Deeker Storyis scheduled for release in the fall.”
Rich Lowry’s National Review story meant as a shot at Toronto Blue Jays for their treatment of Anthony Bass
Obvious satire from Lowry that he says he wrote as a commentary on the team’s decision to designate pitcher Anthony Bass for assignment.
“I wanted to spoof the Blue Jays for their ridiculous decision to DFA Anthony Bass for his sincere beliefs,” Lowry exclusively told OutKick. “Parody was the only way do it justice because we are in absurd times.
“Even though it was written to be clearly satire, it’s really not that far removed from being plausible.”
He’s right. It’s not that far from being believable. Which is exactly what makes something great satire.
Unfortunately, some people believed it was TOO realistic. So realistic, in fact, that they reposted it as truth.
One such person is conservative pundit Ben Shapiro. He sent a tweet to his 5.8 million followers.
Fifteen minutes later, Shapiro sent a follow-up tweet claiming he realized the Blue Jays piece was satirical.
More than likely, someone alerted Shapiro to this fact. But, not before over 750k people saw his first tweet, believing the story to be real.
Shapiro can’t use the excuse that he didn’t actually read the story and just saw the headline, either. He noted that Deeker hit .207 in the minor leagues.
Since Deeker doesn’t exist, the only place to get that figure is from Lowry’s fake news story.
It’s a reminder that in today’s world, be careful what you believe.
Sometimes unbelievable things turn out to be real. Sometimes believable things turn out to not be real.
Stay safe out there on that Internet, my friends.