Joc Pederson Talks Signing Cubs Contract, HR Derby, More in B/R AMA

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJuly 8, 2021

CINCINNATI, OH - JULY 3:  Joc Pederson #24 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on July 3, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Joc Pederson is having a solid first season for the Chicago Cubs after joining the team in free agency one year after winning the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

He joined B/R for an AMA that ranged from his decision to join the Cubs to his thoughts on future Home Run Derby participation and whether Chicago or L.A. has better food. 

Bleacher Report: Can you tell me about this contest you’re a part of with Pepsi and the Cubs?

I’m not a singer but Pepsi and the Cubs are coming together for a cool experience. Cubs fans show up everywhere and are super faithful. They’re going to sing ‘Take Me Out to The Ball Game,’ in front of the whole stadium, come to the game, the whole works. I’m going to be a judge and I don’t have much singing experience, so i’m going to judge based on what might work and get on the scoreboard.

@fitchkarma66 What influenced you to pick the Cubs?

The opportunity to play every day. I love it. The team, the fans and the city have all been super welcoming. 

@WhatsUpitsNick Was there anyone you really wanted to play with on the Cubs?

Not really. I think I was fortunate enough to come here where they have a lot of good players i could learn from, so it’s really good fit.

@not_KumarRocker Have you used the waffle maker at all?

I have not used it. I need to start to Waffling some more balls, but that was pretty funny what Ian Happ did.

@Glen_Quagmire What’s the biggest difference between playing in LA vs. Chicago? (park/city/fans - however you want to interpret it)

Both amazing places to play. They both sell out. Completely different vibes, but both amazing in their own way.

@RockerTanked4Us How did it feel for Champ get a ring with the Dodgers too?

I got to give it to him, so it was pretty cool. He’s been supporting me so i thought it was something I should do. He’s been alongside me for the whole time so it was a really cool feeling.

@billwaltonfan23 Hey, my twin sister has downs and she encourages me to push hard to achieve my dreams. How much did Champ inspire you along the way to achieve yours? 

Every day. Just not taking life for granted and that we’re capable of doing so much. It’s an everyday reminder.

@JA1108letsgo What was the best moment in your career, OTHER than winning the WS?

Playing in the All-Star game and doing the HR Derby twice were really cool experiences.

@Opey Is there any chance you will join the HR Derby again? (showdown vs. Vladdy Jr. in 2019)

This year no. Maybe in LA. It’s in LA next year so I can put on a big show for those fans, but I’ll see.

@RynestoneCowboy Have you noticed any adverse side effects this season from last year’s shortened season?

You panic a little bit more now because the season ended so abruptly. This year, you have to remind yourself there are literally three more months of the season.

@ChiTownBaby What’s it like to be a Jewish player in the MLB? 

I don’t practice but I’m still proud. I got to play for Israel in the WBC and it was a really cool experience.

@lordChristmas65 Most intimidating pitcher you’ve battled with?

Maybe Aroldis Chapman. He throws the ball so hard.

@madduxtaylor If you weren’t playing baseball, what would you be doing?

Maybe, a fantasy football guru. I love fantasy football. JK, I’m not sure.

Rapid Fire

@JosephMandarino LA or Chicago food?


@MrBoban_ Your favorite athlete from another sport? 

Kobe Bryant. RIP.

@Yankeek The stadium you like most is ____

Besides Dodgers Stadium and Wrigley, I like Pittsburgh. PNC Park. The bridge is supercool.

@GorillaSuave Your best recent sneaker pickup? (he’s a sneakerhead)

I got the union 4s that just dropped a week or two ago.

@abdulrahim1 Bucks or Suns and how many games?

Suns. Devin Booker. Book it.