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Biagini explains 'great' Players' Weekend name

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Joe Biagini is one of the most comical players in the Blue Jays' clubhouse and his Player's Weekend nickname "Joe the Great" is an homage to one of his favorite sitcoms.

"I would say that I am somewhat of a Seinfeld aficionado," Biagini said. "And featured in Seinfeld is an episode where Jerry demands to be called 'Jerry the Great,' I think it's the one where Elaine is dating the maestro and he prefers to be called that. So first of all, 'Joe the Great' because it is a given, second of all, because I appreciate the greatest show ever made and I wanted to honor it in such a tongue-in-cheek way that only I and probably everyone else [who's seen it] could."

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TORONTO -- Joe Biagini is one of the most comical players in the Blue Jays' clubhouse and his Player's Weekend nickname "Joe the Great" is an homage to one of his favorite sitcoms.

"I would say that I am somewhat of a Seinfeld aficionado," Biagini said. "And featured in Seinfeld is an episode where Jerry demands to be called 'Jerry the Great,' I think it's the one where Elaine is dating the maestro and he prefers to be called that. So first of all, 'Joe the Great' because it is a given, second of all, because I appreciate the greatest show ever made and I wanted to honor it in such a tongue-in-cheek way that only I and probably everyone else [who's seen it] could."

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Biagini considered other options for his Players' Weekend jersey, including "Sacamano" -- a tribute to Kramer's friend Bob Sacamano -- and "Vandelay" -- the last name of the fictional architect, importer-exporter and latex manufacturer Art Vandelay.

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Biagini went with "Genie" for his Players' Weekend jersey in 2017, but he decided he wanted to make the change after some offseason improvements.

All you need to know about Players' Weekend

"I had become great last offseason and I just didn't feel that my genie duties were as lucrative as I thought they would be going into it," Biagini joked. "So instead of the genie, I decided, let's just try being great and see how that goes, so I hope it goes well."

Biagini, 28, still has some work to do before he captures true greatness. He's pitched to a 6.10 ERA in 59 innings, but he did have a dominant stretch from June 19 to July 14, when he surrendered just one run over 14 2/3 innings. His curveball has been his been his 'great' pitch this year, holding opposing hitters to a .226 batting average.

Aaron Rose is a reporter for MLB.com based in Tortonto.

Toronto Blue Jays, Joe Biagini