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Pitchers are dance sensations in Richmond

McCormick's video tribute to teammate Biagini is something to behold
June 30, 2015

The first concert that Phil McCormick ever saw was "Weird Al" Yankovic at the Garde Theater in New London, Connecticut.

"It was one of the best experiences of my life," said the left-handed Richmond Flying Squirrels reliever, who, following in a grand southpaw tradition, is a weird individual himself.

Just how weird? A succinct answer to that question can be found by viewing the Christina Aguilera parody video "Biagini in a Bottle," in which McCormick pays tribute to teammate Joe Biagini by channeling his inner Yankovic. The video, produced for the biweekly Flying Squirrels Insider local television show and shot on location at the team's home, The Diamond, features McCormick writhing and slithering seductively while dressed in a cape and purple onesie. As he does so, the "Baby Squirrels" dancers -- fellow hurlers Tyler Mizenko, Tyler Rogers and Matt Lujan -- supplement McCormick's lascivious contortions with their own rhythmically challenged interpretative dance moves.

Though the video may not meet the impeccable parody standards of "Weird Al," it is a fitting tribute to a man whom McCormick claims is even weirder than him: right-handed starting pitcher Biagini, who has compiled a 1.97 ERA in 12 starts this season.

"He's one of the quirkiest guys on the team," said McCormick, of Biagini. "I wanted to make sure that he was well represented in it. I also wanted to make it awfully funny -- emphasis on awfully. I just wanted to make sure that I had an opportunity to embarrass myself and my teammates."

McCormick's goal of embarrassing himself was ably accomplished, thanks to his (unfortunately) unforgettable form-fitting outfit.

"[Flying Squirrels] broadcaster Jon Laaser came down with about four different outfit choices and I decided that the purple onesie was most appropriate, mostly because it showed off how average my body was," said McCormick. "It would definitely embarrass my parents the most. They don't know whether to laugh at it or shy away from it and get creeped out."

McCormick's vocal range is lacking and his enunciation leaves much to be desired, but his enthusiasm for absurdist self-expression cannot be questioned. The "Biagini in a Bottle" lyrics posit the song's protagonist as a quasi-mythical figure, who,once unleashed, is able to fulfill the wishes of those who desire to see a quality pitching performance.

"He's been locked up tight for two decades of Cali nights, waiting for someone to draft him," mumbles McCormick at the beginning of the song, later telling his listeners that "[Biagini's] gonna make your dreams come true, just come out and see and he'll pitch for you."

So what does Joe Biagini, the man himself, think of all this?

"[McCormick] apparently informed me that I was the inspiration for this video," said Biagini, who may be unclear on the meaning of "apparently." "But when I saw it I wasn't really sure. I believe that some of my more unique mannerisms wanted to be paid tribute to. Just different inside jokes we have in the clubhouse together and overall weirdness that we try to push the limits of on a daily basis."

"The overall enthusiasm for my existence made me feel very warm inside," he added.

Biagini also had no issues with his reputation for being a clubhouse weirdo.

"I would say everybody's weird in a way," he said. "I think if you're not weird then you're the weird one. We all contribute our weirdness in a way, and I'm not ashamed of it."

"Weird Al" Yankovic would be proud.

Benjamin Hill is a reporter for and writes Ben's Biz Blog. Follow Ben on Twitter @bensbiz.