Joc Pederson, Dodgers rookie/fireworks expert, stopped by MLB.com's New York office last week. He took some time to sit down with Cut4, and of course we asked him the hard-hitting questions we know you want answers to.
Now, after much deep investigation, we can tell you that young Joc's favorite Yung Joc song is "It's Goin Down." He doesn't rap along, though -- he told us that he "can't remember the words. [Yung Joc] goes too fast. I just like the beat."
He's not much of a karaoke guy at all, it turns out. He thinks of himself as more of a backup singer, preferably in a band where Enrique Hernandez is the frontman. You know, like this:
It's similar to the way Pederson sees himself with the Dodgers -- he's harmonizing with the people around him.
"We have tons of big league experience coming from [Don] Mattingly, [Mark] McGwire, and our players like Jimmy [Rollins], Howie [Kendrick], Adrian [Gonzalez], Carl Crawford, Andre [Ethier]. [Justin] Turner really helps a lot," he said. "Our whole team has 10 years, except me. Everyone is kind of taking me under their wing a little bit. If they see something, they'll let me know how to help fix it."
Presumably they're also telling him how to fix their coffee orders, because even though the 23-year-old Pederson went to the All-Star Game along with the veterans this year, he's still a rookie and has to take everything that comes along with it ... like going on coffee runs:
Coffee run! pic.twitter.com/SKuKTTKoPC- Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 25, 2015
But he probably confuses baristas. Even though he walks into coffee shops in full uniform, he gives them a fake name. "Usually when I tell them [my name], I tell them 'Cody,' so they don't mess it up. [When I use my real name], they always say, 'What?' And then they keep asking and it just isn't worth it. I just take the simple route."
That's not a bad idea for all of us with unusual first names. But Pederson is good with advice. If a Little League team wanted tips from him, he'd tell them to just have fun. "Even Jimmy Rollins says you're not going to be great every day, just most days, so even when you're not [great], it's a game of confidence and you need to believe that. It's a little kid's game and you just gotta enjoy it."
Clearly he takes his own words to heart -- just a few days ago, he and Yasiel Puig raced back to the dugout like two kids running home for dinner:
Pederson's general attitude towards baseball is like that: childlike and excited. When he was a kid himself, he looked up to Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr., outfielders that he "felt played the game the right way, [who] could do everything -- defense, hit, steal bases." When he went to Cincinnati for the All-Star Game (in his words, "probably the coolest event I've had baseball-wise my whole life"), he met one of his heroes.
"It was actually kind of crazy … Ken Griffey came up to me and said hi. I was just like, 'It's Ken Griffey.' I didn't really know what to say. It's weird, watching people, and then them coming up to you to say something when normally it's the other way around."
So, we've learned a lot about Pederson in the last few paragraphs -- enough, probably, to do reasonably well on a Tom Haverford game show. But you know what they say - you never truly understand another person until you know how they feel about breakfast cereals. They do say that, right?
During his visit, Pederson shared his cereal power rankings with us:
Now you know what to stock up on the next time he comes to stay. And if you're thinking about making a playlist for that visit, you'd better load it up with Taylor Swift.
"I'm just kind of jealous she put on that good of a concert and didn't invite us," he said, referring to the show she played at Nationals Park just before the Dodgers came to town. You know, the show Max Scherzer blamed for causing the power to go out in the stadium on July 17. "If she's gonna blow the lights out, she should invite us," said Pederson.