Today was Photo Day, and one thing we can say for certain: It was probably all for the best that the old ideas to use red and blue background lights were scrapped. Because who can ever unsee 2011's Chase Utley In the Pink?
But honestly, how do you add photographic sauce to a group of baseball players who enter the 2014 season as so much rancid meat? Let's go right to this year's exhibition, shall we? For your reference and enjoyment, I've created some helpful titles and commentary.
Mongo Play Base Ball
I tried hard to find a picture of Papelbon in which I could react in a way that would encourage me to leave people I love near him. Bottom line: Couldn't. Put more charitably, I suppose he lets his inner light shine through when all is darkness.
Revere Me, Me Hearties
In chewy juxtaposition, I submit to you this portrait of Ben Revere. He may steal all your bases, but how can you be mad at him, really? He's so darned cute.
Ryan Howard, Prince of Darkness
Say My Name Upside Down, Bitch!
I like the insouciance, the bold appeal to the illiterati among Phillies fans, and the Crash Davis-like announcement of presence with authority A.J. Burnett makes here. It all works in ways that punks Frandsen's lame-o effort. You win Photo Day, A.J. Burnett.
The win was close, however. If this image could be made into something like the stuffed Chooch Doll, I would hug it forever...forever...forever.
This "fight or flight" pose is what I imagine the Phillies' new international signing looked like when he was set upon by Phillies' scouts in Cuba, an intriguing mix of desire and abject terror.
Photoshopped Civil War Daguerrotype
I'm not quite sure why Ethan Martin always strikes me as someone who is misplaced in time, but I always look at his pictures and think of Confederate soldier daguerrotypes.
Munson Leans In
Every once in a while, traditional poses just kind of... work. New reliever Kevin Munson's "looking in" pose has a bread-and-butter fierceness that is at once timeless and illustrative of the hopes of spring.
Wait, Tony Gwynn Jr. Is On This Team?
Shrunken Mickey Head
Full disclosure: I have a tremendously large head of Irish heritage. Hats that are supposedly OSFA are laughably not. So if I were a photographer, every picture I'd take of guys with small heads - and I mean every one - would be framed with a huge amount of empty background space, just like this one. Ha! Suck it, small headed guys!
Mug of Death Mask
Larry Bowa's portrait stands at an eerie centerpoint between mug shot and death mask, and is lit in such a way as to wonder about his health. Yeesh.