The publication of the 2006 Handsome Man Team (thanks Deadspin) has made me consider the handsomeness of my favorite team, the San Francisco Giants. The only Giant to appear on any of the three previous Handsome Teams is Barry Bonds, as an outfiled reserve. With his swollen head, hair loss, weight gain, and bacne, I don't think Bonds comes close to qualifying for the team anymore. You can't blame East Coast bias in the selections, because the Oakland A's are well-represented. According to one female Giants fan, the Giants "might be one of the all-around ugliest teams".
One change to this year's team is the absence of J.T. Snow. For nine years, J.T. played first base for the Giants, a long tenure that seemed to have as much to do with his good looks as his fielding ability. While Snow's lack of power and inconsistent hitting frustrated many, Snow's admirers defended his defensive ability, his rescue of Darren Baker during the 2002 World Series, and the way his ass looked while doing all those things. When Snow departed to Boston as a free agent, the Giants did little to fill the void of handsomeness.
So who are the candidates for Handsomest Man on the Giants? Let's examine the candidates.
Jeremy Accardo, RP: Accardo was the player mentioned most often in my informal handsomeness survey. Accardo earns points because of his handsomeness out of the bullpen, a traditionally weak position for male beauty. However, when a relief pitcher is your best-looking player, it is a bad sign for the overall handsomeness of your team.
Moises Alou, OF: Alou is not bad-looking, but two factors make him lose any and all handsome points. First, he pees on his hands to toughen them up for hitting. Second, his father Felipe looks like a turtle. When fans see the Giants manager, they are given a horrifying glimpse into Moises's testudinal future.
Jason Ellison, OF: One woman said Ellison might be the handsomest man on the Giants, but I don't see it. I may be biased against him due to his disappointing play, which includes a series of awful defensive plays in the outfield. For a player whose primary job is as a defensive sub in the late innings, this is especially bad. Ellison has just been demoted to Fresno, as the Giants have called up the far less handsome Tood Linden.
Steve Kline, RP: Kline is not an especially handsome man to begin with, and loses points due to his filthy hat. Kline wears one hat, one undershirt, and one pair of socks for the entire season. Kline says, "I like to see how bad and smelly it gets at the end of the year." Though in theory, one's body odor is separate from one's handsomeness, Kline is not doing himself any favors. The black Giants cap is a little more conducive to grime than his old Cardinals hat, but it's still gross.
Noah Lowry, P: Lowry might have been the captain of SF Team Handsome were it not for the birthmark under his right eye. It is superficial to disqualify the man over something like this, but major league handsomeness is all about superficiality.
Mike Matheny, C: Mentioned in the writeup of the 2004 Handsome Man Team and currently out with post-concussion symptoms, Matheny has filled Brent Mayne's old role as wavy-haired veteran handsome catcher. While it could not cushion his skull from major brain trauma, Matheny's glorious hair launches him into the handsome debate. Given the Giants' recent history with craggy-faced backstops like Benito Santiago and Yorvit Torrealba, Matheny is a breath of fresh air as a catcher who wears his mask for protection, not out of shame.
Matt Morris, P: While the facial hair of most major leaguers ranges from "disgusting" to "unfortunate", the beard works for Matt Morris. One female associate pegged him as "hot" before the season began, but failed to mention him as a Handsome Man candidate this week. He has become a much more consistent pitcher recently. While on-field success shouldn't really affect one's handsomeness, we all know it does. Reportedly has "very nice eyes".
Jose Vizcaino, IF: I didn't know This Guy I Know was so good-looking. Probably too old for any all-handsome consideration, but he's definitely a bench player with a starting-caliber smile.
Omar Vizquel, SS: In the 90's, Vizquel was a legendary hearthrob among Cleveland Indians fans, when he was probably the only Venezuelan in the state of Ohio. He fields well, and in his spare time, Omar sings (scroll down to "Omar sings 'Broadway'"). He's past his prime, and better-looking when he wears a cap to hide his baldness. Also, while Vizquel is good-looking, his looks are not exceptional for a shortstop, traditionally one of the handsomest positions in baseball. If this were 1999, Vizquel would be the clear winner here, but he is simply too old.
Randy Winn, OF: One fan argued that Randy Winn, despite his non-traditional facial features, Randy Winn was indeed a handsome man. She is simply wrong.
The Giants farm system has done a poor job of developing handsome over the years. Prospects like Jacob Cruz and Armando Rios didn't stick with the big club, and they weren't all that handsome to begin with. Jesse Foppert failed to live up to his potential, either as a handsome man or an ace pitcher. And if your farm system can't develop handsome players, you are forced to overpay for marginal handsomeness on the free agent market.
Fred Lewis is the only guy who looks like he has the combination of baseball talent and handsomeness that might contribute at the major league level. If Linden falters, don't be surprised if Lewis takes over as the fifth outfielder in September, and the #1 outfielder in ladies' hearts.