DUNEDIN, Fla. â€” Blue Jays pitcher Joe Biagini made a name for himself last year with his sarcastically awkward personality. Even high-profile talk show hosts took notice.
The 26-year-old right-hander appeared on a segment of The Tonight Show in November after a video circulated on Twitter of Biagini badly missing a high-five from host Jimmy Fallon while sitting in the audience during a previous show.
“I was in an aisle seat and at the end of the show he comes running up the aisle, he gives me a terrible high-five thing that missed,” Biagini said. “It just tipped the top of my finger and I did my awkward normal response to everything which is to just look at my hand.
“Then I saw the camera with the red blinking light and I was like, ‘I wonder if anybody noticed that.'”
To make up for the gaffe, Fallon’s producers asked Biagini to come back on the show and the pitcher returned a few days later with a group of friends. Biagini met Fallon before the taping and later got on stage for a proper high-five.
In introducing the segment, Fallon joked that he thought Biagini just “wasn’t very athletic” before finding out he was a major-league reliever.
Biagini made his big-league debut with Toronto last year, becoming one of the most trusted arms in the Blue Jays bullpen throughout the regular season and playoffs. But he said he was more nervous for his Fallon appearance than for any game he’d ever pitched in.
“I was just so out of my element,” Biagini said. “You might be surprised but I’m not super comfortable in front of people or being in the spotlight, I just do it sarcastically. And that was literally a spotlight experience.
“Right before I was like, ‘I don’t know if I want to actually be doing this.’ But I did it and I didn’t throw up. I still can’t believe it happened.”
Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press