The Dugout was born as a passing chatroom joke in the middle of a 'The Sims' retelling of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter playing on the same team. From there it became a regular feature on the homepage, taking on a life of its own and getting us jobs at AOL FanHouse, speaking engagements at New York City's Varsity Letters event and, ultimately, semi-professional positions of worth in the sports blogging world.
To celebrate the return of Progressive Boink and the crazy week for the strip's protagonist Jim Thome, welcome to part one of a two-part crossover event with the regular, modern home of The Dugout, With Leather. JOKES WILL BE HAD.
In part one, we discover a clandestine deal between Philadelphia Phillies pals Jonathan Papelbon and Jim, upon losing the lead in a game against the Rays on June 23. Part one is after the jump. Be sure to visit With Leather for part two.