The company's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."
This is an excerpt from Googles Wikipedia page. Once simply known as "that website my teacher told me to go to when doing research in high school," Google is now one of the most powerful companies in the world. They got the money, they got the power, they control the flow of information in the world. Google knows what they are doing, and perhaps they know what you are doing too.
Indeed, Google is smart. They also have great search functions, such as the massively popular Google Image Search. Have you ever Google Image Searched yourself just to see what you'd find? You might be surprised. Unpleasantly surprised.
But I think it can tell a lot about a person, and also be quite fun. Here's what GIS tells me about one of baseball's greatest fantasy players and greatest stories of the last 2 years, Jose Bautista.
Bautista Autographed Card
This image of Bautista is from Baseball-Almanac.
This image is a reminder that sometimes the image of a person you have in your head and the way they actually look or used to look, can be quite different. When I think of Jose Bautista I think of the bearded, slugging, All-Star that he is today. When I see this baseball card from yesteryear I see a player who might exactly represent what it means to be a Pirate, plus beauty mark. Also, one of the luckiest turns of fortune in baseball autograph history.
More pictures after the jump...
"Jose Bautista: The Best Hitter in the American League"
This picture comes from an article at TheGoldenSombrero.com, a baseball website written by ex-college ballplayers. The article is about Bautista, but I know who Bautista is so I'm more interested in Leyva. He is former Blue Jays third base coach Nick Leyva. This article was written this past May, but Leyva is actually in Pittsburgh now. According to Wikipedia, Leyva began managing when he was just 24 years old after a failed career as a player. His lone chance at managing a major league ballclub came with the Phillies in 1989. They finished last that year, 4th the next year, and Leyva was fired 13 games into the 1991 season.
Unfortunate timing for Leyva as he came in at the twilight of Mike Schmidts career and the Phillies had some talented players coming in: Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk, Darren Daulton, Dave Hollins, Terry Mulholland, and Curt Schilling would lead the Phillies to the Series in 1993.
The Other Jose Bautista
Not every Jose Bautista is the Jose Bautista. You'll have to be either old, or a serious 90's fan to remember the pitching Jose Bautista. He was a rule 5 pick of the O's from the Mets in 1987 and played parts of 4 seasons in Baltimore with little success. He came back into the league with the Cubs in 1993 and actually posted a 2.82 ERA across 111.2 innings. He appeared in 312 games across 9 seasons with 5 clubs and up until the last couple of years was the most famous Jose Bautista in the history of the sport. Poor guy.
Past Bautista is so Proud of Future Bautista
This picture comes to us from a report of "Mr X" that looks at the wives and girlfriends of all the Blue Jays at the time of the writing. I must say it is quite interesting as I did not know that players had lives off of the field. As far as I can tell Bautista is not married, but you may remember him missing time when his girlfriend Neisha Croyle had a baby earlier this year. As a person, I'm happy for him and for Ian Kinsler and other players who had babies this year. As a fantasy owner, I'm pissed that paternity leave is now a real thing and players miss games and screw up my whole week. Babies aren't cute to me anymore, thanks MLB.
Never heard of Chipola College baseball? This image of Bautista and Chipola College Dr Gene Prough comes from a 2011 alumni reunion. Think of it as a small college with 1 famous alumni? Try again. Other alumni include Mat Gamel, Russell Martin, Adam Loewen, and Buck Schowalter. Little else is known about the school.
The Question on Your Mind
Of course the question everyone begs to ask about Jose Bautista is "How has he hit 56% of his career home runs (75) in his last 776 at-bats, which only account for 30.6% of his career at-bats?" Well, does Bautista look significantly bigger in Toronto? It's clear that he is more stout, and appears to be a fitter version of himself with more lean muscle, but there's a clear difference between 2010-2011 Bautista and Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and Barry Bonds. We lived in a world of PED's without acknowledging the fact for over a decade. Now we live in a world where we over-acknowledge it and fail to enjoy the game the way we used to. We aren't just harming the legacy of the current greats, we are harming our enjoyment of the game itself. Players hit 50 home runs before the 80's and 90's, why shouldn't they hit 50 home runs after the 90's and without question? Bautista's growth could just as easily be explained by an adolescent growing into a man. There's rampant testing in the league currently, so until there is actual evidence to show to the contrary, let's just enjoy the ride of perhaps the greatest hitter in the game today.