Fake National Review story about imaginary non-binary Blue Jays catcher dupes people on social media


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.

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Kevin Gausman gets taken out of game

Kevin Gausman #34 of the Toronto Blue Jays gets taken out of the game by manager John Schneider in a break against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning in their MLB game at the Rogers Centre on June 11, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Mark Blinch/Getty Images)

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.

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Anthony Bass pitches

Anthony Bass #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the game between the Detroit Tigers and the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 in Toronto, Canada. (Thomas Skrlj/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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.”

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Cavan Biggio celebrates home run

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Cavan Biggios eighth inning three run home run ball earns him praise from pinch runner Kevin Kiermaier and Alejandro Kirk as the Jays take the lead as the Toronto Blue Jays come back to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-6 at Rogers Centre in Toronto. June 11, 2023.         (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

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.

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Anthony Bass throws a pitch

Anthony Bass #52 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the seventh inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on May 22, 2023 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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.



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