The Legend Of AJ Ellis
A National League player is hitting .302 (15th best in NL, 4th among catchers). He has .434 OBP (3rd in the NL) and has 38 walks (#1 among catchers). He also ranks among the leaders in home runs and RBI’s for his position. Yet he still does not rank within the top five in All-Star votes for his position. This man is a legend, so much that Justin Sellers has a tattoo of him. (AJ Ellis Facts) This man is the Legend of AJ Ellis.
AJ is having a phenomenal year so far and has become one of the team leaders, not only leading the pitching staff, but an overall team leader among his peers. I had a chance to chat with AJ regarding the year he is having, his All-Star push and “Between Two Palm Trees.”
What have you done this year to put you where you are at and play at the level you have?
Yeah, I think for me, was finally being comfortable with who I was as a player, and locking in that identity and not trying to prove what I could not do, but focus more on what I could do, trying to maximize that. I think that’s huge for me. I’m just really trying to be the same consistent player every day and knowing what the pecking order of priorities is: that’s winning games, taking care of my pitching staff, and anything else I do offensively.
With the great year you are having is being an All-Star something you’re shooting for?
Yeah I think it’s awesome to be considered by all these people and the people on the internet community who really have been supporting me. It’s been tremendously humbling and it’s such an honor that the Dodgers and Dodger fans think highly enough of what I bring to the team that I might be in the conversation. Now with that said, it’s not going to deflate me if I don’t make it. It’s not on my priority list. There are more team goals that are much more important that I want to keep my focus on. If it is something I am honored with, that I am allowed to partake in, this is going to be a dream come true to be on the field with all of those great players. I remember watching the older players in high school and college.
Between Two Palm Trees, how did that come about? Did that just come off as a spin-off from Between Two Ferns?
Well in spring training, they do these things where they interview us and ask us questions of what we like and don’t like. They play it on the Jumbo-tron. One of our PR guys, Joe Jareck came to me and said, “Hey, instead of us interviewing Kershaw, how about if you interviewed Kershaw?” I said, All right and it was the same generic questions like what is your favorite movie, if you’re a superhero what would you be, etc. I thought that’s kind of cheesy and said let’s do something different. Clayton had never seen Between the Two Ferns and I’ve seen it multiple times. I’ll do a little spin on that. He had no idea what to expect. I didn’t give him a heads up going in there, about what I was going to ask him, what we’re going to talk about. So everything you see on his end is a natural reaction. It turned out great. Some people don’t know about Clayton, he’s a funny guy. He has a comedic sense of timing. I knew it was going to be fun doing that with him. It was really cool for the Dodgers allowed us to do it and I never thought they would put it on the website for public consumption. I’m glad they did, it was really fun to see.
We had 15 minutes of raw footage where we went 15 minutes straight back and forth. They’ve been editing it down. I’ve been told some of it is not air-able. They asked me to maybe start interviewing other teammates and sit down in the chair again. It’s something that I want to do but there’s the time factor. It takes time to prepare and you want it to be good. That’s why spring training was a great time for it, since you have the extra time to do stuff.
Ever think of doing an episode with Zach Galifianakis from Between Two Ferns.
He’d crush me. He’d destroy me with his wit and timing. It’s been really a neat thing. All the stuff that the Dodgers are doing for myself and the team, it’s pumping us up. It’s a really fun time to be a Dodger right now.
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The most recent episodes of “Between Two Palm Trees”