Last year, at my request, Doug appropriated Grant’s bit, but which Grant had already nationalized for SB Nation anyway, so really, where was the harm? Doug did a great job, so, really, this will be the disappointing followup to his work and not Grant’s. So. Without further ado . . .
The Giants took some pictures earlier this week and even a few clicks through our photo tool shows that — wow! — there are a lot of new faces in a Giants uniform this year. Not only the dozen new coaches, but young and fresh faced guys who just hope to stick through the first round of cuts. Guys you’ve never even heard of until today.
Newcomers and old-timers alike were still beholden to the conventions of this photo genre, though, and that’s where we come in. The moments in time these pictures capture convey not only that the subjects are baseball players, but also that they’re human beings being asked to pose for a photo. Anyway, here’s what we learned:
There was a wall of grass
Props and set dressing can accentuate any photo shoot, and what says summer and baseball better (and most cost effective) than a wall of grass. Or maybe clovers?
Anyway, depending on your mood, these poses can mean different things.
Evan Longoria feels the weight of the team’s expectations or he sees a quarter on the ground
Buster is waiting for the bus or he’s about to ask you to donate to a worthy cause
Andy Suarez found a ball in the bush or he’s staring at you because you’re chewing your food loudly and it’s making him mad
Hunter Pence is back or he wants to assure you that he never really left
Jeff Samardzija isn’t mad about analytics, he’s actually laughing or he’s out in spring training having the time of his life with his closest teammates. They’re all just out of frame, laughing too.
Sean Hjelle is still 6’11”
This one is zoomed out 100x.
Dany Jimenez looks like a draftee just out of high school
The flamethrowing Rule 5 pick is 26 years old . . .
. . . , but he looks more like an 18-year old prospect or a catalogue model posing for licensed MLB gear.
Yolmer Sánchez can get it at any time, but chooses not to
“Hey, it’s me. The reigning American League Gold Glove second baseman. How you doing?”
“Yeah, I know you’re interested.”
“You like what you see?”
“Too bad for you. I’m married.”
Wilmer Flores revealed the secret behind his career-best .317 batting average last season
Yep. That’ll do it.
Before the Giants showed Billy Hamilton how they’d help him improve his batting average in 2020
After the Giants showed Billy Hamilton how they’d help him improve his batting average in 2020
Jandel Gustave’s hat is an abstraction
You can see it’s there with your eyes, but intuitively, you know that it was never really there.
Two players swallowed bugs
A staple of the genre — indeed, perhaps the entire premise upon which this bit was born — is the picture where someone looks like they swallowed a bug. It’s usually a coach, but his year, two prominent players enjoyed the free flying protein. Two!
Pablo looks like he didn’t expect anyone to catch him swallowing the bug, but they did and now he’s a little embarrassed. Or maybe he’s just pretending to be embarrassed?!?!?!
Look at that twinkle in his eye! Oh my god, he admit it! He’s not embarrassed at all. He swallowed that bug and enjoyed it.
And then here’s Buster Posey, looking like he accidentally swallowed a bug and is trying to be cool about it.
Just smile and act cool. Pretend nothing has happened, you are just going to take your pictures and leave. It’ll all blow over soon.
Oh no . . . it’s not dead. It’s flapping around in my throat. I can feel it.