This is a picture of Yu Darvish, the Japanese pitcher expected to be posted this winter and pitch in the U.S. next year:

It was posted at a site called MLB Reports, and another called Mop Up Duty, and probably a lot more, because it is in the first dozen results on Google Images. I found it on MLB Reports because I was looking for an instance of a writer saying teams were “lining up” for Darvish, because I was interested in making a pun about there being a queue but no Yu. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a doctor and cure diseases.

Anyway, that’s a picture of Yu Darvish. This is also a picture of Yu Darvish:

 

Why, that’s the same pictu…but… wha…

So Yu Darvish doesn’t have a mustache? Where did Yu Darvish’s mustache come from?

As it turns out, From here:

(This is that guy’s mustache on Charlotte Gainsbourg. Better. Worse.)

The thing about writing about Yu Darvish is that it’s hard to find good, legally obtainable photos of him. For my job job, I have access to the Associated Press photo pool, but there are only five photos of Darvish, and all of them cost money to use. So then I have to go hunting through Google Images. And Google Images are a special kind of Yu Darvish WTFery. And, as the guy who picked up the photo of Yu Darvish with a fake mustache learned (or, probably, didn’t learn, because he has no idea still), once it’s in Google Images, the context disappears.

Like:

There are seven magical things about this photo:

1. Yu Darvish appears to be 7′ 6″ tall.

2. The way he is lit, Yu Darvish appears to be a cartoon drawing.

3. Yu Darvish is carrying some sort of stuffed animal in his baseball glove.

4. On a baseball field. In a post-game handshake line. A stuffed animal.

5. Yu Darvish appears to be a cartoon drawing who inhabits a world of actual human beings, Roger Rabbit and s***.

6. This photo is one of the five in the AP collection. The Associated Press put this photo into general circulation. “This is definitely one of the five best photos we have ever taken of Yu Darvish.”

7. The caption provided by the AP does not mention WTF.

“Nippon Ham Fighters pitcher Yu Darvish is congratulated by American manager Trey Hillman, left, after a 3-0 win over the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo Thursday, April 6, 2006. The 20-year-old right-hander, whose father is Iranian and mother Japanese, blanked the Softbank, led by World Baseball Classic winning Japan team manager Sadaharu Oh, for his first victory in the new season. (AP Photo/Kyodo)”

I’m assured (by my wife, who wouldn’t really know) that this is a real photo. Yahoo and ESPN have both run it. It is not, as I originally suspected, the art some teenage girl clumsily created for her fan fiction. It’s a real photo, it’s just a weird angle. It’s a really weird angle.

(Bonus: The guy in the background, just over Trey Hillman’s left shoulder, is … puking into a trashcan? An old man with a walker? Actually a tiny fairy, leaping off of Hillman’s actual left shoulder? Probably. We’ll never know.)

Hey, let’s keep going. Here’s Yu Darvish in a Yankees uniform, or perhaps in a Taiwanese recreation of the news:

This is Yu Darvish with his head cropped off?

This is Yu Darvish making a funny face at a baseball he threw:

This is Yu Darvish, I think, naked, in a magazine called Sexy Asia, I think:

This is an emo illustration of Yu Darvish at a site that features illustrations of  ”Famous Entertainer, Actor, Actress and Sports player”:

And this is Fidel Castro:

So, what I’m saying, folks, is if any of you were ever been up close to Yu Darvish and you took a picture of him, and you wouldn’t mind letting me use it (all rights reserved), let me know. I need a better Yu Darvish photo.

Sam Miller is a baseball writer who covers the Angels for the Orange County Register. He just wrote a ton of words about Brad Mills, so go read about that, Canadians. He is on Twitter.

 

Comments (7)

  1. When I was in Japan a few years ago, they used to give the players stuffed animals as they crossed the plate if they hit a home run. Maybe something similar happens with good pitching performances. So stuffed animals on a baseball field…not as unusual as you’d expect.

    • Awesome!

      • I’ve just been sent this from Bob Timmerman: “Darvish is indeed holding a stuffed animal in the photo w/Hillman. It is customary to give the star of the game in Japan one.” Thanks, Bob, thanks AJD.

  2. I have this one which I stole from someone on Tumblr #freerange http://captainlatte.tumblr.com/post/12282306522/liamluong-yu-sama

  3. I’ve never seen that picture of Fidel. Good lord that is pure, solid, sweet gold.

  4. Who here wants to offer Fidel a contract?

  5. I’m way ahead of you here.

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