Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorius

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Phillies newcomer Didi Gregorius made an immediate impact when he landed in Philadelphia as a slick-hitting shortstop this season. But he’s also providing plenty of off-field entertainment with his, well, unconventional Twitter account.

Following a tradition begun during his time with the New York Yankees, Gregorius fires off a celebratory tweet after every win. These are not your standard eye-roll athlete cliche tweets (“#PhillyTough,” yeah, thanks for noticing). Gregorius instead sends fans’ heads spinning in confusion with emoji-filled victory posts.

In his tweets, Gregorius replaces Phillies players’ names with a seemingly random assortment of emojis.

Some of them are understandable to a casual fan (e.g. the runner emoji ?‍♂️ for speedy outfielder Roman Quinn). Some must be team inside jokes. Some appear to follow no rhyme or reason. Judging by Joel Embiid’s first few years in the NBA, there’s no quicker way for a player to endear himself to Philly than by having a ridiculously over-the-top Twitter, and Gregorius is on it.

It’s fun, but also kind of impossible for the naked eye to make out what he’s talking about when viewing a single tweet. What emojis correspond to which player? It’s time for me to go full Robert Langdon and crack The Didi Code.

Pulling up a list of Phillies box scores this season and cross-referencing them with Gregorius’ tweets on a given day as if they’re the Dead Sea Scrolls is the most helpful cipher.

Let’s take the Phillies’ extra-inning win over the Mets on Labor Day as an example:

Infield Jean Segura hit a two-run, game-winning homer in the top of the 10th. That deaf person emoji ?? would mean him, right? In searching for that emoji among Gregorius’ older tweets, I’ve discerned that it is in fact for Segura. Why does he use that for Segura? Absolutely no clue. I texted a couple fellow Phillies fans. None of them had the faintest idea. Amazing. Makes it even better.

The pumpkin emoji ? for the player who came on to “close it”? That would be relief pitcher Hector Neris, who got the save. Why the pumpkin choice? The Negadelphian in me says it’s because Neris was stellar out of the bullpen for the Phils in 2019 with a 2.93 ERA, but has been rocked consistently this season and turned back into a pumpkin. I doubt that’s what Gregorius was going for, but that’s where my mind leads me.

Let me put on a pair of impossibly small reading glasses and tackle a more chaotic tweet. There’s a lot going on in Gregorius’ post after the Phillies beat the Mets on Sept. 4:

I’m going to take it slow like it’s a third grade multiplication word problem.

Beard emoji guy ??? That would be Jake Arietta, who hasn’t seen a razor in years, after the pitcher got the win against New York. Pumpkin emoji? We know that is Neris, despite not knowing why. Bow and arrow emoji ?? This one’s actually as easy as a popup to the center fielder! It’s relief pitcher Tommy Hunter. Get it? Eh, the obvious ones aren’t as fun.

Waving emoji ???Jay Bruce, who kicked things off with an RBI single in the second inning. Why go with that? Again, can’t put my finger on it, but it’s a wholesome emoji for a wholesome dude. We know the running emoji is for Quinn, who knocked in another run in the seventh inning. The use of the zipped lip emoji ? is the only time that Gregorius has tweeted it. By process of elimination, it’s for Adam Haseley, who got hit with a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing a run to score. Giving Haseley’s sputtering output for the team, I’m not shocked it’s the only time we’ve seen it used!

It’s worth mentioning some other choice cuts from Gregorius and the players they represent:

  • Dual swords emoji ⚔️: Gregorius uses it for himself. The coolest emoji for the coolest dude on the Phillies. Fitting!
  • Giraffe emoji ?: 6’5″ third baseman Alec Bohm. That’s pretty on the nose (or neck)?
  • Crown emoji ?: Scott Kingery. Simple enough.
  • Mechanical leg emoji ?: J.T. Realmuto. The dude is a machine at the plate and behind it.
  • Lacrosse emoji ?: Phil Gosselin. That must be channeling Gosselin’s inner Malvern Prep lax bro.

The 2020 Phillies are the most captivating baseball team Philly has seen in almost a decade.

Beyond merely having a more talented roster than they’ve had while trudging through the mid-to-late 2010s, the squad is filled with engaging players like the home run-swatting Bryce Harper, the rookie phenom Bohm, and, of course, Gregorius. Here’s to hoping we’ll be deciphering Didi tweets well into October.

Shamus Clancy is a South Philly lifer and a University of Pennsylvania-bred writer who spends his days tweeting about Doug Pederson, the X-Men and the city's thriving punk rock scene.