Over the weekend, Phil Coke came face-to-face with his brain.
On Saturday, the Detroit Tigers' relief pitcher was introduced to "Phil Coke's Brain," the Twitter avatar that claims to be "A magical link to the inner workings of the brain of Detroit Tigers pitcher Phil Coke."
Chris Iott, the Tigers' beat writer for MLive.com, has pestered the 30-year-old reliever about meeting the man behind the avatar, and finally, Coke begrudgingly agreed.
"I'm just some guy with a laptop in my basement. It's my own basement. It's not my mom's," 'Phil Coke's Brain' said when asked about who he is. "I have some pride."
Despite the fact that Coke said he is constantly badgered by fans inquiring if the avatar is really him, the Tigers' reliever said he gets a kick out of the Twitter profile and is used to the attention.
"I have dorks like this surrounding me every day," he said to his brain. "I have people in camp asking me if it's me. 'How do you do it? How do you do it during the middle of the game? How do you do it when you're in the bullpen? Where do you have your phone?'"
The Twitter account doesn't mean to insult Coke, or demean the way he plays or lives his life. It's just meant to poke a little light-hearted fun at one of the biggest oddball players in MLB and one of the more polarizing Tigers players.
Coke agreeing to meet with the man behind the avatar represents everything that is good about sports.
He understands the entertainment value of the Twitter account, and rather than hide from it, or denounce it, he embraces it and laughs at it.
Just as much as the account's 14,318 followers and counting.
"Are you getting this?" the unnamed account owner said to Iott. "Phil Coke should be everybody's favorite player. He seems to have a little bit of fun. Baseball and sports are supposed to be a fun thing."
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