During the four-year career of Cody Bellinger with the young MLB, the first core of the Dodgers resumed competing with those of the veterans of the game: Rookie of the Year 2017, dual All-Star champion, MVP of NLCS 2018, MVP of NLCS 2019, Golden Glove 2019 and, since last Tuesday, 2020 World Series champion.
His Q-score will be announced on Tuesday the 10th. November, release date of the video game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which will show the image of Bellinger, turbocharged.
Before retreating to his hometown of Arizona after bringing home the Commissioner’s Trophy, the man they call Belly via Zoom has swallowed on ESPN about his crazy 2020, the secret weapon of the Dodgers (Jonas Brothers), his evil Viking alter ego and why he always looks like he’s swallowed a joint.
This interview has been edited and shortened for the sake of clarity.
ESPN: The Los Angeles Dodgers, world champions of the 2020 series. How does it feel?
Cody Bellinger: When you say that, it strikes me in my heart again. This is crazy, man. We’ve been through a lot as a team. Ever since I moved to division one, we’ve had most of the same core group. We’re as close as a band, and it feels so good to finally do it with these guys.
ESPN: On behalf of the entire city of Los Angeles, we thank you for bringing the title back to our city. Two and a half weeks have passed since the last one.
Bellinger: You needed it. It’s a big drought. Two and a half weeks COVID time is a long time.
ESPN: What are the strengths or weaknesses of the celebrations after final liberation?
Bellinger: The bad lighting is that we didn’t take a champagne shower. We didn’t celebrate the World Series down to the last detail, but we enjoyed it. We went back to the bubble and found a place to hang around, have a beer, relax around the fire. In Texas it was 100 degrees and it was freezing. But it was so good. My mother, father, sister, husband and brother Cole were in the front row, but they couldn’t come to the field, so I couldn’t celebrate with them. But they were in the front row, and it was so cool to see them.
ESPN: No typical party for you, thanks in part to Justin Turner, who was jailed at the end of the game for a positive KOWID 19 test. How does it feel to avoid a teammate in a situation, as if he’s some kind of bearded hot potato?
Bellinger: This is the strangest situation we’ve ever been in. It doesn’t make any sense anyway. We were in a bubble the whole time. No one’s come in or out. We took the bus and went into the fields. I wasn’t even aware of Justin’s positive test – I found out at the top of the ninth or bottom of the eighth run, whichever run we were in. On the next field, Mookie Betts hit a home run, and then, at this point, so: Oh man, we’re gonna win the championship, come on, come on! That’s all you think about. But the situation was such that in 2020. That’s all you can say: 2020, man. And anyone alive right now understands that.
ESPN: Did you see Jonah’s brother yell at you? Nick noticed that you, Patrick Mahomez and Lewis Hamilton won after the concert, so they want praise.
Bellinger: It’s a lucky charm. Yes, I was at a Jonas Brothers concert – it seems two years ago, but this year it was still early – and I know Mahomez and Hamilton are champions, so maybe they got lucky. I love the Jonas Brothers. I think they have good music. They’re memorable. If you play on a golf course, you need the Jonas Brothers and country music. They’re great people, too.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Los Angeles Dodgers players (left to right) Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts celebrate their victory after beating Race in World Series 6 John G. Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock.
ESPN: If we give credit now, it’s because you started the season with me, Christian Elih and the ESPN cameras in the bar drinking beer.
Bellinger: They hit a thousand, one at a time. They’re the Hall of Hunger. We have to do it every year in March.
ESPN: You are most welcome. That day you simply predicted victory in the World Series by referring to the addition of Mookie Betts. Did he measure what you expected?
Bellinger: And one more thing. If you look at him from a distance, you can see that Mookie is a superstar, but seeing him at work is something special. You can learn a lot from him. Mookie does all the little things and works his ass off to become one of the best players in the game, and he’s also an incredible teammate. It makes you want to work. That’s very impressive.
ESPN: Imagine your future children asking you in a few years to describe this Dodger team What are you going to tell them?
Bellinger: I’m going to tell them what perseverance is, how we stood with our backs against the wall, and it made us stronger. We’re 3 to 1 [in NLCS], and we’re, well, why not? We have the best team. We had him for a year. Let’s go prove it. And we proved it. Then, in summary 4. game of the World Series, where the crazy game was beaten [when the Archers regained victory at the end of the ninth set]. What’s going on? We go into the locker room, and the boys are like… We have to make it happen. The bond we had, the positive thing we had, was something special.
ESPN: So many great stories with this World Series Do you have a favorite?
Bellinger: Clayton Kershaw so far. He’s so good, so talented. He’s a great guy, a great teammate, a great dad. So he can finally stop it. I kissed him after we won and it was just the best, best feeling in the world. He deserves it more than anyone.
ESPN: Here is a discrete plot line: World Series Game 6 At the end of the fifth game, go to the stove and start waving the bat like a wild one long before it is served. There seems to be some confusion as to whether it was an unpleasant hornet attack or just a light moth.
Bellinger: It was a wasp. I’m going to my grave and I think it was a wasp. I heard a spider, and when I was fixed on the jug, it almost hit me in the eye, and it frightened me. I’ll try to beat him. But if I had hit him, he could have tried to attack me and I was 0-3 that day. I didn’t touch anything, so I missed the bee. It was a good time to miss it.
ESPN: Take me back to point 7. NLCS game. run 3-3 in the seventh inning, you’re on home plate. You connect to a solo home run. And then?
Bellinger: I fought as hard as I could, it was 2:2 and I knew that if there was a stove in the next field, I would try to reach it and it would feel an explosion of energy. Then you know, man, and then you pass out. I didn’t want to run away, it just happens. It was just a big moment. It was awesome.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Cody Bellinger gives a thumb to the fans who visit Los Angeles Dodger Stadium on September 28th. October, after the Dodgers return to Los Angeles after beating the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. Damian Dovarganes/AP Photography
ESPN: Continue with this backlight, if you can call it: You go around the third, you go home and…
Bellinger: In 2014 I dislocated my shoulder, which is not the strongest. He went out a few times, and it was never pleasant. Usually we celebrate with [a slap on the forearm] and Kieke [Henrique Hernandez] gave me a very hard slap and my shoulder burst. I knew it right away. I just fucking said, that’s all. I wasn’t trying to get everyone to touch him. I went to the gym. I think you should put my shoulder back. They brought him back, and I went back to defend myself. The next day we had a day off, which was very necessary.
ESPN: What have we learned from this experience?
Bellinger: To celebrate, a kick in the leg is a play. No elbows.
Now take me back to the Division series, game 2. Catch of the season, the type of game that takes you into Dodger folklore. Where will this be part of your professional career?
Bellinger: I get goose bumps when I think about it. It’s up there. That was game two? To win the show? Yeah, yeah, that was game two. Texas Field is a big midfield, so it’s fun to defend and run.
ESPN: How about a World Series game: You made a home run and LeBron tweets about you, even makes jokes about your leg Did you see that?
Bellinger: Yeah, I saw him right after the game. All my boys sent it to me: Yo, LeBron tweets you! Even if you’re an athlete, LeBron James is LeBron James, so that was cool. The Lakers certainly motivated us. When we saw what they’d won, we thought we could do the same with what we have in this locker room. We’re so talented.
ESPN: There will inevitably be people – those with whom it may not be fun to spend time – who will say there is an asterisk next to the name Tell them what.
Bellinger: I mean, when you watched the playoffs, it was as real as baseball in the playoffs. And Ray and I earned two number one spots in the regular season. No, it’s a loan. It’s so well-deserved. It’s been a tough year, and we’ve earned it.
ESPN: They had an unforgettable year, to say the least, and we didn’t even get to this sensational news. You are the character of the new confession of faith of Valhalla the murderer
Bellinger: I’m excited. I love video games, and when I learned that I had the chance to be a character in a great video game, I was really excited. I’m kind of a video game freak. My brother and I were playing Assassin’s Creed at the time and we loved it. The graphics are so realistic. It’s a game that will take you a long time.
ESPN: Where can we find your character?
Bellinger: You’ll find me in plot mode. I have to fight my way to the next place. My name is Otta Slagagesson, which means something like a powerhouse or a big hit or something. It was super tense when I did it, and I had to swing a bat or a stick or an axe, so it was super natural for me.
ESPN: Does Otta have a bat in the game?
Bellinger: I’ve got a big old tree trunk. Like perhaps the fact that they swung in the 1920s, she and Babe Ruth are like a big wooden thing. That’s good. The silhouette looks like me. My voice is my voice. This is insane.
Fault! The file name is not specified. The best feeling in the world is winning a World Series Championship, says Bellinger. It’s so beautiful and it makes you even more hungry. Ronald Martinez/Getty Pictures
ESPN: What was the motion capture process?
Bellinger: Cool. The only time I ever saw those backstage scenes was when they were making action movies. You’re wearing a lot of bullets, motion sensors and a tight suit. And I had to shave my whole face. I looked like a little kid. As I moved, I could see my character, my Viking, on the screen. I waved and walked like a Viking with his big muscles. I weigh 190 pounds. It was pretty cool being a Viking. I need to do some Viking moves and add a baseball swing. You can’t fight me, but Otta Slagesson would win if you fought.
ESPN: How do you plan to spend the rest of the shortened off-season?
Bellinger: I just moved into a house in Arizona. I’m here with my brother, [his friend] and my girlfriend. My parents and friends live nearby. Today I’m going to buy a TV to watch football. I can’t wait to hang out, relax and enjoy a little.
ESPN: You will be the first to admit that you personally did not have a better season.
Bellinger: Definitely not, no.
ESPN: What do you attribute it to and how can you transform it?
Bellinger: There is no excuse for it, but I’m almost glad it happened, because at the end of the season I was the best player. We played 60 of the 162 games – I still had 120 games left. It’s a different way of thinking if, for example, you’re up to 50 games: Shit, do we have 10 games left? Normally you have about a hundred games left when you’re 50. But I felt really good during the playoffs and at the end of the season I felt consistent and I will continue from there.
ESPN: In your short career you have achieved so much, All-Star, MVP, Golden Glove, Rookie of the Year, World Champion of the series. What’s left of your goals?
Bellinger: The best feeling in the world is winning the World Series Championship. It’s so beautiful and it makes you even more hungry. It hits everything under a million – it’s not even close – so I keep enjoying the game, trust myself and bring home more rings. You just don’t want to be one of them, that’s all. They say: Why don’t we want this feeling every year? We were on the other side, where you come home without a ring. This sucks. Yeah, we’re not united and it’s over.
ESPN: Lebron and the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, have both expressed a wish to celebrate for both teams. The mayor said he was open to suggestions. I think what I mean is: Can you set up a barrel for us?
Bellinger: Here they are. I want to party with the city of Los Angeles, that’s for sure. I wish we had a parade. It’s everybody’s dream. Maybe one day we’ll have a parade together or something. I think the city of Los Angeles deserves it.
ESPN: Talk about walking together: Everyone in L.A. wants to know why you always look tall.
Bellinger: That’s my face! I must be high by now, huh?
ESPN: Yes, but at least you have a high-pitched voice.
Bellinger: That’s funny, buddy. I see all the memes in Instagram and Twitter and stuff. I’m obviously not high. I may look like this, but I look like this. For example, there’s a picture of me in the Little League World Series where I look like this – I’ve always looked like this. I promise I won’t get high. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. We can’t play baseball like this. That’s impossible.