With the MLB season in suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve found myself reminiscing about the brief glimpse of baseball we were afforded to over the last month. The straightforward camp reports. The shoddy broadcasts. The unintentionally funny in-game interviews. Even the camp cuts.
It was all so nice!
I keep finding myself pulled to the “Back to Spring Training” photoshoot the Giants did at ... well, the beginning of Spring Training.
I liked the photoshoot at the time, but with the benefit of hindsight it feels exceptionally innocent, in the most endearing way possible.
If you missed the photoshoot, the Giants had 66 of their camp people (65 players plus Gabe Kapler) hold “Back to School” style signs, asking them their age, favorite color, what they love, what they want to be when they grow up, and what their favorite food is.
It was great. Let’s examine it further.
I <3 Mom
Baseball players really love their families. My scientific reasoning for this is because the majority of baseball players are human beings, and human beings tend to love their families.
Of the 66 players (just going to refer to Kapler as a player here to keep from being verbose), 38 chose some iteration of “family” to answer the “I love ____” question.
Answers ranged from “my family,” to “my wife,” to specific names of their children, to “my mom,” for which I give big high fives to Melvin Adon, Johnny Cueto, Carlos Navas, and Andrew Suarez.
Me too, guys. Me too.
Dogs are family, too
In addition to the 38 players who chose some iteration of “family” for what they love, another eight selected their four-legged friends.
Some players liked dogs in general. Others were very clear about which dog they love.
After doing some Instagram snooping, I would like to report that I, too, love Tyson’s dog Maverick.
Good boy alert.
Baseball players dream of being baseball players
As someone who dramatically failed in his quest to be a professional athlete, I always find joy in seeing athletes that are overtly happy to be doing what they do.
The Giants employ a lot of said people. Asked what they want to be when they grow up, 19 of the 66 said they wanted to be a baseball player. Hey, I’m glad they’re happy! I’m guessing if you asked the population at large what they wanted to be when they grow up, the number saying “what I’m doing now” would be far less than 28.8%.
Baseball players people love pizza
Pizza is popular. Who knew?
Of the 66 Giants, 13 chose pizza as their favorite food. But not all pizza is created equal. Some Giants are particular about their pizza, and not all of it makes the cut for a favorite food. Gabe Kapler, a self-described foodie who wishes to be a food critic when he grows up is here to remind you of that.
A 14th Giant, Jeff Samardzija, took the pizza fun factor up a notch.
Baseball players also love steak, with eight of the Giants opting for a good hunk of red meat as their favorite food. Props to the three who got specific with their favorite cuts: Sam Moll (filet mignon), Conner Menez (tri tip), and especially Rob Brantley, who wisely chose the objectively best cut (ribeye).
The West wasn’t won on salad, you know.
Gassing up your friends >>>
You may know Hunter Pence as Buster Posey’s good friend, but did you also know he’s the thing that Pablo Sandoval loves?
Furthermore, I bet you didn’t know that when Chris Shaw grows up he just wants to have as good of muscles as his friend Sam Coonrod.
Friendship is the best.
I would like an invite to Jake Jewell’s birthday party
Say no more:
Jewell doesn’t just like a dog, or dogs plural. He likes ALL dogs. And when he’s done playing in space he eats ice cream.
I love this guy.
Release the album, Yung Beedah
Rapper Tyler Beede, coming in hot.
He also loves winning and his favorite color is “orange!”
Drew Smyly and Austin Slater are dads of varying stereotypes
In the blue corner we have Drew Smyly, who is every single TV portrayal of a dad with young kids:
All he wants to do is stay at home with his little buddies, throw on some North Face, and teach his kids about how delicious wild sorrel is while huddled around a struggling campfire when it’s 35 degrees out.
And in the red corner we have Austin Slater, who is every single TV portrayal of a dad whose kids have recently left the house.
Yep. Those kids are coming back from freshman year spring break to find their bedroom has a recliner and a beer fridge in it.
Rico Garcia is emphatically a dude from a TV show
Dereck Rodriguez is emphatically a kid (in a good way)
Hunter Pence is emphatically Hunter Pence
Just your typical kale salad-eating, Magic The Gathering-playing, MLB All-Star, folks.
Baseball is indefinitely suspended, but hopefully these fine Giants are off somewhere loving their family, relishing their lives as baseballers, and eating pizza and steak.
Or asparagus and ice cream sandwiches, in the case of Andrew Triggs.