Interview with a parrot

When the Cleveland Indians obtained Edwin Encarnacion on the free agent market, they also obtained his rumored-to-be-imaginary feathered friend. WFNY thought it would be a disservice if the coverage of Encarnacion was limited to what he would provide the Tribe if not covered from every possible angle. Therefore, an exhaustive search was done in order to locate his parrot, and he was thankfully willing to perch for a quick interview.

Greg P: Let’s start with the question many are asking, in light of the comments Edwin made recently about you. How did it go with the immigration?

Edwin’s Parrot: It went fine, thanks. They liked how quickly I’m able to learn to speak the language. They originally had me down for a K-9 Visa, but we got that problem sorted out.

Greg P: Oh, yeah- right, you’re a parrot. It’s pretty much acknowledged that parrots are smart. Kind of in the same category with jays and crows?

Edwin’s Parrot: Correct- Toronto seemed to really be attuned to that. They seemed very bird-friendly, with the professional baseball team name and all.

Greg P: I was wondering if you were offended by the Blue Jays’ mascot and likeness. Or if it upset you as some kind of symbol of “human privilege.”

Edwin’s Parrot: Nah, that doesn’t bother me. But if it offends non-Avian Americans, the team could still end up mired in some controversy.

The Monty Python “dead parrot sketch” about the Norweigian Blue does make me a little uncomfortable, I won’t lie.

Greg P: (Mimicking an animated Michael Palin) “It’s just resting… tired following a prolonged squawk… pining for the fjords.”

Edwin’s Parrot: (With a roll of the eyes) There’s always some nerd around who will go overboard on a Monty Python rant…

Greg P: (Mimicking John Cleese, banging the table) “It’s not pining, it’s passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed it to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! It’s rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot!”

Edwin’s Parrot: By the way, ravens are smart birds, too. You forgot to mention them.

Greg P: Ouch. I didn’t actually just “forget.” This is Cleveland, remember.

Edwin’s Parrot: Oh. Still too soon? OK.

Hey, I have a question. How do you get LeBron’s group to manage your career? I could use some endorsement deals. I have a wide range of skills…

Greg P: Ah, I don’t know about that. Back to how smart you are.

Edwin’s Parrot: I know a lot about the Cleveland Indians. I have been a big fan of Paul Byrd. Marlon Byrd, too. Hoot Evers, Hawk Harrelson… Birdie Tebbets was my favorite manager. I am certainly thankful Corey Kluber directs his fastballs at ranging coyotes unlike the scum of the Earth Randy Johnson.

Ask me some Indians trivia. Go ahead.

Greg P: OK, sure. Let’s see… True or False: Frank Robinson was the first black man to manage in Major League Baseball, with the Indians in 1975.

Edwin’s Parrot: That’s true!

Greg P: No, that’s false. In 1973, Ernie Banks was a coach with the Chicago Cubs. Manager Whitey Lockman was ejected from a game, and Banks managed the last few innings of that game.

Edwin’s Parrot: That’s not fair! That was a trick question.

Greg P: OK, sorry. Here’s one: True or false: of all Cleveland Indians pitchers, the last one that can boast of a perfect game is Len Barker, in 1981.

Edwin’s Parrot: (Carefully) That is… true.

Greg P: No, that’s false! Some years later, Tom Candiotti bowled a perfect 300 game.

Edwin’s Parrot: Why are you messing with me?

Greg P: Because you’re smart. Let’s talk about your relationship with Edwin. How well do you know him?

Edwin’s Parrot: Well, we’ve been a team for about five years. I am his wing man.

Greg P: Ooh, very good. I saw that he was at the Cavaliers game recently. I didn’t see you there-

Edwin’s Parrot: He was? Was he talking with Rich Paul? Did he mention me?

Greg P: It didn’t look like he was talking turkey with anyone in particular.

Edwin’s Parrot: Edwin has really come a long way in his career. He wasn’t a bad third baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the late 2000s. How did they draft him? Don’t Dominican ballplayers usually get signed directly by major league teams?

Edwin’s Parrot: Well, his father was a college baseball coach in Puerto Rico, and Edwin’s residence there made him eligible for the draft.

Greg P: He had trouble staying over the Mendoza line in Cincinnati.

Edwin’s Parrot: Yes, he was home run-happy, and tried to pull everything then. The Reds would bench him and get Josh Hamilton into the lineup. Hamilton was making a comeback from drug addiction. Edwin has really worked hard at becoming a consistent hitter. The WFNY boys who write about the Indians have shown how successful he’s become at that.

Greg P: Then the Reds dealt him to Toronto in the Scott Rolen trade. Is it true that they had to convince the Jays to take him?

Edwin’s Parrot: That was the word at the time. Edwin had kind of gotten sideways with the Reds, with not running out fly balls and so forth.

Did you know that he was claimed off waivers early in his time with Toronto? By the Oakland A’s, after the 2010 season. He became a free agent again within about a month, and then the Blue Jays signed him again.

During the 2011 season is when Edwin became mostly a designated hitter, and that is when his career… took flight.

Greg P: (With an appreciative nod) And then in 2012, he hit the grand slam against Seattle that introduced you to the world. He sported the “Edwing,” and you two have been a team ever since.

Edwin’s Parrot: Yeah, and now it’s a new beginning for both of us. Hey, do you know where I can get any Cavs gear? I’ve always loved them.

Greg P: Except when they play the Raptors, right?

Edwin’s Parrot: Now, see- Toronto does have an affinity toward birds, you gotta admit. But I like the Cavaliers. Tell LeBron.

Greg P: Like Edwin, you come from the Dominican Republic- right? A land of good cigars and rum? What kind of rum does Jobu prefer?

Edwin’s Parrot: After the Indians’ fiasco last year with Yan Gomes and the “chicken sacrifice,” my advice would be for them to just not mess with Jobu. Just step away from the voodoo.

Greg P: Admittedly, that resulted in the opposite of what was intended.

Hey, I am always looking for some decent cigars that won’t break the bank. How about a suggestion for relaxing and celebrating. Also, yardwork in the summer calls for a cigar that is cheap enough to be set down and perhaps forgotten. Actually, we’re in the short season for chore cigars right now- I need some on hand for shoveling snow. Any ideas from the Dominican Republic?

Edwin’s Parrot: You’ve come to the right place for such information, my friend. Your choice for both types of cigars come from the Arturo Fuente family.

A fine chore cigar choice would be the Curly Head. You can find this for about $3. This cigar contains the cuttings of their more expensive selections- admittedly, they can be just a little hit-or-miss. Every once in a great while, the draw might be a bit difficult. But the inconsistency is worth it for the payoff of the ‘good’ ones.

Greg P: Kind of like Edwin’s production?

Edwin’s Parrot: Not true, and not funny. Let’s talk about a go-to, high quality cigar. Look no further than the Arturo Fuente Don Carlos Double Robusto. The wrapper is flawless. All of the filler is from the family farm- perfectly seasoned. The flavors are cocoa, chocolate, and nuts with lingering cedar and spice. For about $6, this could even be a chore cigar- but don’t lay it down and lose it in the yard! It’s too yummy.

Greg P: Thanks- it sounds like those would go well with coffee.

What is your thought on the Indians’ chances in 2017?

Edwin’s Parrot: I’m right there with most other Indians observers. What a luxury for a team to not have to fill holes on the pitching staff. The catching complements that, and the infield is solid and young. There are some question marks in the outfield, with 2015 MVP candidate Michael Brantley trying to come back from the shoulder. The platoons in right and especially in center concern some fans.

But other teams in their division are selling off pieces- teams like the White Sox and the Tigers.

Greg P: Detroit amazes me- they just treat starting pitching like crumbs that you sweep off the table. In recent years, they’ve lost Price, Scherzer, Porcello, Fister and Smyly.

Edwin’s Parrot: Yeah. You know, the Indians tried to make that Jonathan Lucroy deal last season. He declined, but they still have the pieces to make a trade in July this year. All I’m saying is- keep an eye on Andrew McCutchen in Pittsburgh. If he has a good first half, he could be both available and worth dealing for.

Greg P: You seem like a pretty wise parrot. What other topics can you offer opinions about? Besides baseball and cigars.

Edwin’s Parrot: Sure- I have a gift for insightful thoughts and advice on a whole range of topics. Romance, relationships, cooking, fine dining. The paranormal. Space exploration. I am a renaissance parrot.

Greg P: Would you be willing to respond to questions posed by WFNY readers? Perhaps they can ask questions via email at, or in the comments section below. Once we collect several, we can post them along with your replies.

Edwin’s Parrot: Great! Let me know when you are ready. Will LeBron read my replies?

Greg P: I cannot promise that, -hey what is your name, anyway?

Edwin’s Parrot: Eddie.