Anatomy of a hilarious photo: How did this come about?
You probably saw this photo on Friday, in our Photo Gallery from the Home Opener against Minnesota, and wondered, just what the heck is Jason Kipnis doing ?
Here’s a little back story: In the news conference Friday morning to announce Kipnis’ new six-year deal – he remains one of 16 current Tribe players under team control through 2016! – General Manager Chris Antonetti and Manager Terry Francona joined Kipnis on the dais.
After Antonetti and Kipnis shared their thoughts on the deal and how it got done, Tito was asked by MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, “You heard about Kipnis before you got (to Cleveland), you’d seen him before. What have you felt about his growth as a player?”
With his young second baseman sitting right next to him, it was slightly awkward, thus Kipnis’ faux-adoring, “How am I doing, dad?” pose for the cameras during the question.
Tito’s response: “He’s sitting right here, man, this is hard! Last year, everybody kept asking (during Kipnis’ early season struggles), ‘When are you going to hit him eighth?’ I said, ‘He’s a good player, he’s going to be fine.’ And then last June he literally played himself onto the All-Star team.
“The part about Kip that sums it up in a nutshell was the other night in Oakland, when he didn’t get a bunt down. He found a way to extend the at-bat, put the ball in play and then ran to first like his pants were on fire (to eliminate a double play). That swayed the game in our favor. We all see what he can do, banging the ball off the wall, stealing bases, hitting home runs. All the contract is going to do is to allow him to enjoy the game. He’s never going to back off the gas pedal, but this will allow him to enjoy the game a lot more, with some security.”
And that’s how a funny photo happens.
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond/Photo by David Cleveland