Shohei Ohtani's expression after looking at his most recent bank statement. | Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports

Welcome to the first edition of Talkin’ Gaysball. As Outsports’ resident baseball nerd, I’ll be writing a weekly column about all things LGBTQ and MLB throughout the 2024 season.

Not to engage in stereotypes, but based on approximately 80% of the Stories posted by Instagays into my timeline, it appears that a lot of gays love reality TV.

“Vanderpump Rules.” “Drag Race.” “The Kardashians.” If a show features outsized personalities and tons of drama, a lot of us are drawn like moths to a drunken flame that stabs you in the back as soon as the confessional red light goes on.

So for any gay readers who are looking for a team to follow that will give you the hot goss you’re looking for during baseball season, I suggest you check out the hottest reality show of 2024. You’re right on time, too, as it premiered just last week…

“The Real Dodgers of Los Angeles.”

The Dodgers even have their own paparazzi. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After spending more $1 billion to add the game’s most transcendent player and a galaxy of stars to what was already the best regular season team in baseball, you’d assume that this season would be a cakewalk for L.A.

But the Dodgers have only played two games so far, splitting the season-opening Seoul Series with the Padres. In that short span of time, “The Real Dodgers” have already provided baseball with enough controversy and opportunities for public humiliation to make everyone wonder if they’ve moved their TV home from SportsNet LA to TLC.

(Let us now pause and imagine Vin Scully announcing “It’s tiiiiiiiiime for ‘Sister Wives!’”)

Consider what we’ve seen before “The Real Dodgers” have even played a game on U.S. soil:

  • Baseball’s biggest superstar Shohei Ohtani held a news conference to accuse his former interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, of stealing $4.5 million from his bank account to pay off Mizuhara’s gambling debt to an illegal bookmaker. If the allegations are true, Mizuhara would be the rare figure who combines the integrity of Pete Rose with the good will of Plane Jane.
  • Starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto signed the richest contract for a pitcher in baseball history and announced his arrival in Game 2 of the Seoul Series by lasting all of one inning and giving up five runs. Every free agent wants to do something to fit in with their new teammates but Yamamoto sure picked a weird time to do an impression of Playoff Clayton Kershaw.
  • Former MVP Mookie Betts opened Spring Training by switching from right field (where he’s won six Gold Gloves) to the more demanding second base. Which was going to be enough of a challenge until midway through spring training…
Duck! Here comes a throw by Gavin Lux. Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Again, all of this chaos happened before almost every team played their Opening Day. “The Real Dodgers of Los Angeles” are going to be a must-see reality show all season — but maybe not for the reasons they planned.

Dodgers fans are just hoping the show won’t get cancelled in the first week of October. Again.

And now our first edition of…

MLB Thirst Trap of the Week

After a 76-86 record in 2023, the Pirates weren’t at the top of anyone’s list for an invitation to the Seoul Series. But as a consolation prize, they do employ an player who could well be South Korea’s best baseball thirst trap of all time: second baseman Ji Hwan Bae.

Ji Hwan Bae in all his glory. Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

This is one instance where a player’s last name could not be more accurate.