I initially viewed this photo removed of context, and I feel as though that moment provided the most genuine and rewarding reaction. The full story is fine, heart-warming, even. However, the initial shock, confusion, and yes, awe is irreplaceable. I mean, this is how these men are dressed in preparation to go to Baltimore, for goodness sake.
Clearly the crucial actor in this image is Gordon Beckham. He is the star, the guru, and it's so readily apparent that Alexei Ramirez cannot hide the humility from his face. Beckham's commitment to the plan is the most forceful, his outfit the most coordinated, his outward turned right hand reflects an openness to the mysterious whims and rhythms of the night, the bottle of water in his left hand shows that he knows following such rhythms can result in dehydration. A Georgian does not casually come to the decision of a form-fitting black v-neck.
Next would be Paul Konerko. At first, the sight of the mild-mannered man of 36 years in a pink polo, a straw fedora and blue and white checker pants is the most shocking. But we must remember his role--he is the captain. Wherever this team goes, he must go, and go first, with a sincerity that no can question. 'What is Paul wearing', you ask? What he must. He is wearing what he must.
- Dewayne Wise loses points here. He is wearing a cool hat and a crisp white polo. This is not 'Cool Hat Day', Dewayne, this is a pissing match to see which man can make the biggest spectacle of himself, and Gordon Beckham has beat you by 90,000 points.
- The combination of his shirt being two-sizes too small and buttoned all the way up, as well as the facial expression of a man being squeezed very tightly gives Kevin Youkilis the appearance of a human meat in sausage casing...covered in a beard.
- Alex Rios is wearing a funny hat and smiling, and wondering if maybe the occasional lighter moment with the less productive citizens of society aren't so deleterious to his larger goal individual egoistic success after all.
- Addison Reed is a Breaking Bad fan
- The one team employee behind Beckham might not be informed on what's going on at all.
- As always, Hector Santiago's effort here is commendable, the Frank Ocean fanhood his headband seems to indicate, even more so.
- A.J. Pierzynski is continuing to have a standout season
Of course, the actual story is that Robin Ventura set this up--dressing up in outlandish golf wear--as a sort of team activity to keep everyone loose. It's the sort of hokey management device that might have been a dud if he trotted it out in Spring Training--when he planned it--but is a huge hit now, when the team is winning and team chemistry is sky-high.
Chris Sale's appearance here seems unremarkable, but further reports reveal that he's wearing golden platform shoes, and his pants are covered in dollar bills to represent that he is "money" on the mound. This is the most important element of the story.