What is a photograph? Sometimes, but actually never (until moments before I started to write this piece), I wonder. And so, thinking that you too might be wondering what a photograph is, I did some research on our collective behalf. According to research, a photograph is a gift from the Joint Photographic Experts Group. We have the JPEG, the creators of the .jpeg, to thank for images. They’re self-proclaimed experts in photography, so who are we to doubt them? Additionally, they’ve assembled themselves into a group, which makes them powerful and scary. If they say they know photography, this is something we are obliged to accept. Who are we, little peons, to cast doubt on their edicts?
If one or more members of the JPEG were with us today, I wonder what they’d think of these photographs. We have before us, captured in digital .jpeg bits, a feast of implausible and unchained behavior. People laughing. People staring. People wearing disguises. The following photographs, I would submit, are glorious – both a ringing endorsement of the .jpeg format, and clear evidence that we need to destroy all .jpegs as soon as is humanly possible.
#5 – Watch out, Nelson!
Photo by Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports
Listen, Yankees. I know times are desperate. These are hard times. You gotta scratch for wins however you can get ‘em. The American League is a tough league; the American League East is a tough division. The race was close when we started and the race is going to be close when we finish. But capturing and installing Pac-Man along the perimeter of the ballpark so he eats up the opposition’s outfielders when they get close... well, that’s a step too far, even for me. Nelson Cruz had a family, and now he’s in the stomach of that remorseless yellow spherical beast.
Brian Cashman reportedly told reporters yesterday:
"He was just supposed to be an attraction for the kids, but as soon as we let him loose out there he became power hungry and started getting all chompy. Before we knew it, they were all dead. I think it's safe to say we've learned our lesson."
Sure, Cashman! It’s totally plausible he was just meant to be there for our entertainment rather than as an elaborate scheme to pick off the other teams’ players (while making a co-marketing buck with Pac-Man creators Namco-Bandai). Sure thing, Brian. Sure thing.
#4 – Comedy Central
Photo by Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez (13) laughs while reciting jokes from his secret standup routine prior to a game. "It’s part of my warmup ritual," Rodriguez said. "I’m so funny, I crack myself up all the time." On one occasion, a reporter caught him at an inopportune moment. "Come back later," Rodriguez said, "I’m practicing jokes for my set at the upcoming Derek Jeter roast."
#3 – Back, and to the left
Photo by Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports
From the New York Post:
"We can’t find the sniper," an unnamed Yankees source said. "We believe they’re situated in the stands, but really nobody knows."
Yankee Alex Rodriguez was the sharpshooter's latest target, but he managed to dodge being sniped. He quickly ran into the dugout and fled the stadium on his skateboard.
Could the sniper in fact be a plot engineered by Rodriguez? Might this pest have found yet another means to disrupt America’s pastime?
"Unlikely," said the Yankees source.
"It’s possible," said the silhouette of a man, whose voice was being altered by a computer in order to protect his identity. "If anybody is capable of that kind of crime against humanity, it’s Alex Rodriguez."
#2 – Ask Jacoby
Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
This is a great photo. This looks like the kind of photo you’d see in the header of an advice column in a magazine or newspaper.
I bet Jacoby Ellsbury would make for a great advice columnist.
I’m finding it hard to sleep at night. I’m really anxious my favorite team will trade all their best prospects away.
See, they’re basically a lock to make the postseason, but nothing’s for certain yet, and there are some people who are saying they should trade for this thirty-four-year-old utility player. People think this player could help them reach the postseason.
Sure, he’s a good hitter, and he can play lots of positions in the field, but in actuality this player would be lucky to contribute one WAR over the rest of the season because he’s been hurt recently.
I really don’t think the team should give up one of its prospects for him. We’ve got three good ones and, I know, prospects are no sure thing, but any one of the three could net the team twenty (or maybe even thirty!) WAR over their years of team control.
Maybe some would say that’s idealistic, but the team shouldn't waste one of its young talents on a thirty-four-year-old rental who won’t be a difference-maker when it comes to getting to the postseason anyway.
Is there any way I can make myself feel better?
–Relentlessly Searching for a Way to Stop Pulling All My Hair Out Before the Trade Deadline (Albany, New York)
And the reply would come:
As I stood there, hands on my hips, staring blankly at some imperceivable object in the distance, I read your moving letter and I felt your pain.
Teams make mistakes sometimes. Sometimes teams believe they are doing the right thing but are, without realizing it, actually making a bad decision.
Other times teams are just dumb. How else could you possibly explain giving up Brandon McCarthy and a whole bunch of cash in exchange for Vidal Nuño? That’s like you trading chocolate peanut butter ice cream for a vanilla one, and giving the guy $100 for the effort he expended in handing the vanilla ice cream over to you.
Now, don’t get me wrong – ain’t nothing wrong with vanilla. It’s just that vanilla is generic. You can get it anywhere and everywhere for next to nothing, so why would you possibly think it’s a good idea to trade something of actual value for it and then pay a little extra for the quote-unquote privilege?
In any case, I fear there is no way to heal your pain. The only thing you can do is pray each night that tomorrow will pass without your team being involved in any trades. If the deadline comes and goes and your team has stayed quiet, you can consider yourself a lucky person.
#1 – Incognito A-Rod
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Today we are joined by Incognito A-Rod, my favorite A-Rod, who is dressed as if he is about to audition for a role in a mafia film.
The film’s tagline: "He got 3,023 hits in the majors. Hit #3,024 will be the man who kidnapped his wife.
"Alex Rodriguez is: THE HITMAN."
This Week in Social Media
Photo by @DBetances50
On the evening of July 19th 2015, members of the New York Yankees baseball club assembled at a meeting held by the Carlos Beltran Foundation. For god knows what reason they dressed in 80s regalia. Let’s take a look at them, left-to-right.
- Jacoby Ellsbury: Jacoby’s the guy who shows up to the Halloween party "dressed as himself," because "I’m totally my own character, man." Look here, Jacoby: throwing on a pair of Converse sneakers does not make the 80s.
- Brian McCann: Brian McCann is spectacular. Take note of the cassette tape slung around his neck – sure, a couple of the other guys in the team are wearing them too, but somehow I get the sense that Bri was the one that made them and then made four or five extras so he could share. Good stuff, Bri. Good stuff.
- Chris Young: This outfit, which one assumes is Run-D.M.C.-inspired, is immaculate. Spoilers: Young wins the award for best outfit here, and not much more need be said. Superb, Sir.
- CC Sabathia: I want to like those garish Simpsons overalls, but I can’t get over the fact that the Simpsons was a 90s show. I mean, yes, officially it started in 1989, but c’mon. If this is how it begins, soon people will be claiming that Tony Hawk and skateboarding and the Warped Tour were 80s things. No, no, no.
- Chase Headley and Brett Gardner (front): The athletics aesthetic is whatever, but these two do score bonus points for the fanny packs they’re wearing.
- Didi Gregorius: Unfortunately Didi’s outfit is mostly obscured, but those sunglasses look suspiciously like his on-field pair. Maybe he wears them everywhere! Or maybe he’s making a secret Corey Hart reference? It’s unclear.
- Michael Pineda: Michael Pineda looks like he’s transposed the 1940s New York gangster aesthetic to Hawaii in the 80s. Yellow fedora? Floral shirt, open at the neck to reveal dollar sign chain? Superb.
- Carlos Beltran: Carlos Beltran is so incognito here I didn’t even know this was Carlos Beltran. I spent ten minutes trying to figure out who from the team was missing in this shot so that, by way of subtraction, I could guess who this was. I eventually decided this must be Chasen Shreve, but then I realized I hadn’t accounted for Beltran who, by all accounts, was the host of this very event. This must be Beltran then – that would explain why his wife is leaning on his shoulder. Mr. Beltran, if you ever need to escape the country as soon as possible, I believe you have found your disguise. You could wear that outfit in Times Square with a sign above your head saying "I’m Carlos Beltran" and nobody would realize (or indeed accept) you were Carlos Beltran.
- Garrett Jones: Garrett Jones, clearly going for the rocker aesthetic, in fact comes dangerously close to looking like he was dumpster diving for clothes mere moments before this photo was taken.
- Andrew Miller: I’m digging Miller’s 80s-angsty-teen vibe here. Look at him! He’s got his cap backwards! Dangerous. Maybe he’ll decide he wants to pitch in today’s game; maybe he'll decide he doesn't. Maybe he’ll just lean back and chew gum while the coaches yell at him. You fight the man, Andrew. Don’t let him harsh your mel.
- Chris Capuano: Chris Capuano, who has somehow managed to put in less effort than Jacoby Ellsbury, is redeemed only by his impressive arm muscles.
- Dellin Betances (obscured): Tragically, Dellin’s sweet outfit is obscured by a jacked Capuano, but you can see him in full form here, appearing giant next to his wife.
- Alex Rodriguez (and daughter): See below – Alex evidently decided to roll up as a Miami drug kingpin. He looks as about as fresh as it is possible to be, and is probably deserving of a joint first-place prize with Chris Young.
Photo by @AROD
- Justin Wilson: Aww, Justin! So cute! With yer headband and yer hoodie. We might not have believed it coming in, but Justin actually has it more together than some of his ragtag teammates. Look at that headband! It’s neon, so it must be 80s! Fantastic.
Texface of the Week
Photo by Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports
Face of Rod (of the Week)
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images