Happy Birthday, David Villar! The San Francisco Giants spotlighted their power infielder on Twitter today to mark the occasion —
— but they forgot to post a link to this video from the end of September (which Sami wrote up for a weekend BP to kickoff October). I’m resurfacing it here not just because it’s David Villar’s birthday and David Villar figures to be an important player for the 2023 Giants, but because it’s one of the intentionally funniest Giants-related things I’ve seen in a long time.
The premise of the 19-minute video is “a day in the life” of Villar before a night game at Oracle Park, but the execution unintentionally veers into buddy cop territory all thanks to the presence of the tallest baseball player I’ve ever seen, Mr. Sean Hjelle. He and Villar have great friend chemistry to the point that this cinéma vérité winds up sounding a lot like The Other Guys or even Step Brothers. And before you say, “Hey dumb-dumb, they’re ballplayers, not cops,” please look at Sean Hjelle’s mustache:
That is a cop mustache.
And that shot is from, basically, the opening scene of this short film My Breakfast with Hjelle where Villar states that he has no patience for The Lord of the Rings books. He prefers Harry Potter (““Yeah, I wouldn’t even give Lord of the Rings the time of day”). It goes on from there, sort of in a True Detective dynamic, with Hjelle being the philosophical Rust Cohle type (Matthew McConaughey) and Villar being the hard-nosed literalist Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson).
Same vibe as:
After coffee, Villar and Hjelle — Villar and The Hjel? David and Hjelle? — make their way from the pier to Oracle Park, and on the way we learn about Villar:
- He thinks seals are “so cool”
- Thought Randy Johnson held the MLB record for tallest player
- He calls Brandon Crawford “Chief” — Brandon Crawford does not care for this title!
- He wakes up to Joey Bart’s face every morning
Once they get to the park, Hjelle — The Hjelle? Big H? Big Sean? — asks him, “Hey, they bring it up on the broadcast like every single game that a right-handed hitter has never put one in McCovey Cove. Can you be the first one?” That gets a chuckle from Villar before he explains it all has to do with the wind and that it’s mostly likely to happen during a day game.
When they get into the clubhouse, David Villar finds new bats waiting for him at his locker while Hjelle finds a bill of some kind.
Then, we’re treated to some more of Villar’s pre-game prep, including swimming in the lap pool and taking swings in the batting cage. We get a... behind the scenes... look at Villar’s physique, too, and it’s safe to say that George Kontos doesn’t have the superior posterior when it comes to 21st century Giants.
It’s a great short film with a nice little ending that shows him finally taking the field in a game (I did not go back and research which game this was) after we hear him relay to Hunter Pence in the warmups the advice Evan Longoria gave him. He also takes a moment to complain about the #shadows at Oracle Park! Boy, that’s gotta make the team feel good.
For all the talk of the Giants’ farm system being a massive failure of staggering proportions that has set the rebuild back an untold number of years (which, to be fair, is a narrative driven mostly by me), David Villar looks to be the one player who could turn that perception around, or at the very least make you forget about it for most of 2023 as he drives the lineup. Couple that legitimate potential with an easygoing demeanor (Lord of the Rings opinion excepted) and the Giants might have a guy fans want to come out to see.