Jordan Tata, both photos by Roger DeWitt
It still is far, far away from spring here in Michigan, but down in Lakeland the season has started to rear its wobbly little naked baby head. Some of the Tigers, eager little buggers that they are, have reported early.
*insert happy little “eeeee!” noise here*
And here we have PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE! Visual proof that while we shiver abjectly in our underheated studios (or maybe that is just me, thank you University of Michigan art school), there are big baseball men running around in shorts and sunshine. All is not lost in the deep freeze of February! See? SEE??!!
For this, we have Roger to thank. Many of you may know Roger, or “hueytaxi”, from the MotownSports messageboard. He’s a denizen of the Lakeland area and he is all kinds of ace for sharing these images, these HAPPY, TIGERFUL IMAGES with us.
Craig Dingman and Jeremy Bonderman, photo by Roger DeWitt
These photos, the ones I’ve got up here, are particularly interesting for a few reasons. The one right here is fun because it shows Bondo huffing and puffing and HOPEFULLY getting some sort of tan, because he’s translucently white, to the point where I’m slightly concerned he won’t survive a season of exposure to even weak sunlight without some kind of protective pigmentation. And running along next to him? CRAIG DINGMAN.
CRAIG DINGMAN IS ALIIIIIIIVE!
I really hope he kicks rear and makes the team, because, wow. A comeback from arterial bypass surgery in his shoulder? A surgery that involves taking part of another blood vessel (I’m not sure if they used an artery or a vein, although I’m inclined to say vein… and I can’t be the only one consistently annoyed by the lack of medical specificity available in sports news reports, right?) from his leg, and grafting it into the damaged part of his shoulder? HOLY FREAKING CATS. How WICKED would that be?
Of course, there’s the downside that involves every announcer spending the whole season mentioning this Amazing Comeback if/whenever Dinger comes in to pitch, but that’s a price I’m more or less willing to pay.
The photo up top there is just amusing because it’s Jordan Tata being a cheeky fellow. I am not at all down with the blatant and unnecessary use of different fonts for the front and the back, but the message is, I believe, one we can all get behind.
And isn’t it NICE to think that this is a statement that most teams, nowadays, won’t actually laugh out loud at? After 2003, someone wearing a shirt like this would be jeered out of existence, or else carefully ignored out of a sense of deep pity. Today, no, perfectly normal sentiments for a young whippet like Tata!
I think it’s about 7 days ’til pitchers and catchers officially report. The vast, pathetically excited anticipation continues.
edit: Also, good thoughts going out to Big Al of The Wayne Fontes Experience, a genuinely hilarious bloggin’ dude who’s got some unfortunate stuff going on right now.