June 19, 2013
Every Manager's Face, Part 2
Hey look sharp, it's the second stage of Every Manager's Face. Here was the first part. And here is the second part:
Bob Melvin Face, Or: Bob Melvin? Face
Act 2: (Bonus Round)
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: Bob Melvin
Clint Hurdle Face, or: Old Man Chewing Bubble Gum
Act 1: He chews some gum.
Act 2: He shows us his gum. It's a slow strip tease, a little give, a little take, a little shy, a little exploratory. The gum is not as pure as it would like you to think it is, but you'll embrace the shared deception. "Oh my I didn't realize anybody was out here!" the gum says, with faux embarrassment. "Well you've seen mine, so you might as well show me yours..."
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: A.C. Slater's sister, J.B. Slater.
Fredi Gonzalez Face, or: Gawh
Act 1: He shows us his gum. It's obscenity, plain and simple, intended not to seduce but to assault. It's the pop-up spam that seers its grotesque image into your monitor; the subway flasher, with an artificially realistic appendage; the lewd video that shows up unexpectedly in the middle of Sesame Street because of some sick hack. At its core, it hates you and loves only itself.
Act 2: He chews some gun.
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: Potter Stewart
A brief interlude from the framing device and voice of this series to talk about gum. A lot of these Manager Faces feature gum. Should we be stopping to wonder why there is so much gum in baseball? There's no reason not to chew gum all day during your job, but on the other hand there is no reason to chew gum all day during your job, and I'll wager that nearly all of you have jobs and nearly none of you chew gum all day during them. Is it because they're outside? That doesn't seem to matter, and being outside actually puts them farther away from trash cans than your desk likely puts you. Is it because their jobs are boring? Your job is infinitely more boring! Look at you shirking your job right this very moment! Is it because they need to feel like children in order to really be in the spirit of this child's game? Maybe, I guess, but that's weirdish. Is it because it's there, free? Sure, but a) why is it there, free, in the first place and b) it's gum; it costs a nickel; the cost of gum is rarely the primary discouragement. The only convincing reason I can think of is that gum is the alternative for chewing tobacco, and these guys need it because they're so used to chewing tobacco. This is the only convincing reason. It's moderately convincing, but raises the question of why there is chewing tobacco (for all the same reasons as the gum issue above). And, anyway, loads of people in your office used to smoke but have quit and don't need to have buckets of red vines provided to them to ease their lingering oral fixations. It's weird, is all. It's not the biggest difference between your job and their jobs, but it's not the smallest, either; imagine going into every business meeting with a piece of gum hanging out of your mouth. Chewing gum while conducting every sales call. Etc. So many cavities.
Mike Matheny Face, Or: I Always Get Stuck In A Seat With An Obstructed View, Just My Luck
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: Falcon Heene
Buck Showalter Face, Or: Just Imagine He's Quietly Farting
Act 1: If you stare closely enough into the eyes, you see all the way into the soul—or, at least, you get a slightly creepy insight into how the man watches a game. In a nine-and-a-half-second clip, Buck Showalter looks
at 11 different things. What are those 11 things? Here's a complete guess, based on his eyes (note that Showalter is in the third-base dugout):
1. The pitcher
If you learn anything in this series, it's that Buck Showalter is a details manager. Now go back and watch Clint Hurdle. Clint Hurdle is more of a waiting-until-his-pension-kicks-in manager.
Act 2: It's nine. There are nine blinks.
Ned Yost Face, Or: Pascal's Gambit
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: The image of the Virgin Mary on a tortilla
Bud Black Face, Or: A Not Very Convincing Sequel To The Movie Crank
Act 1: But truly what is the role of the manager? To fill out a lineup card, to choose a baseball player for the baseball thing? Nay, 'tis one role and one role only: To find the appropriate place to stand, to stand there, and upon standing there to reassure the baseballers that they are not alone. To declare, by one’s posture and presence, that should there be failure it will be not the players who will ultimately own the failure but the manager, the only man in the dugout with the authority to forgive 25 men of their sins and bear the weight of the blame on his own record. If you want to figure out the best way to assess manager performance, first figure out how to assess the way a man stands.
Act 2: Indescribable loneliness.
From a certain angle, will never be mistaken for: This big dude with glasses sitting a few feet away from me right now.
As always, big huge debt of gratitude to Kris Liakos for first noticing that managers, like all of us, have faces.