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Friday afternoon, we accepted an invitation to MLB.com‘s offices in Manhattan for an interview with … Harold Reynolds. This is the first SHOTY nominee we’ve interviewed — save for the imaginary conversations with Barbaro that go on in our head every day — and we talked for about an hour on a variety of topics, most of which involved ESPN and Reynolds’ ongoing lawsuit against the company.

Reynolds couldn’t get into detail on most aspects of the case, but he still had plenty to say. After the jump, dip inside the brain of the newest MLB.com employee. And we will say this: The man can hug.

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Mr. Reynolds, we won’t lie: We’re pretty surprised to be talking to you right now.

Hey, you guys have been real good to me.

Really? We think we once called you “Handsy” Reynolds.

I’ve been called a lot worse.

We think that if your firing would have happened five years ago, you would have gone quietly into the night, ESPN would have just moved on and no one would have ever thought about it again. You’d have just been gone. But today, the way they’re used to running their business doesn’t work anymore. People hold them more accountable than they used to, and when they shroud something in mystery, people want to know what happened. The day after your firing, “Harold Reynolds” was the No. 1 most searched item on Technorati. No offense, but you’re not Britney Spears. Were you surprised by the mass interest in what had happened to you?

First off, I’m glad I’m not Britney Spears. And certainly none of those searches were done by me. As for being surprised, yes and no. Yes, because to me, I’m just Harold. But no, because ESPN, it’s a huge entity. It’s a huge monster. The day I was let go, with nothing said, no comment but “he’s just no longer with the network,” that piqued a lot of curiosity. Because of that, people were trying to find out what was going on. DeadSpin

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