The Two Faces of Chris Archer

By now you most likely have, being a baseball fan and all, heard of the recent trade between the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays. You have also probably noticed a plethora of Hot Sports Opinions™ on the matter. I feel no need to offer more of these, but I do feel a need to talk about Chris Archer’s face.

With the subtraction of James Shields and Wade Davis from the Rays’ rotation and bullpen, respectively, there is a very good chance that we will get to see more of Chris Archer in some capacity in 2013. Archer is 24, and was listed by Baseball America as the Rays #1 prospect in 2012. He logged only 29 innings in 2012, and though his ERA was high, he flashed good strikeout numbers as well as an 86 FIP-. He may very well turn out to be a good pitcher, or not. Again, not my department.

What interests me about Chris Archer is his strange ability to make only two types of faces. The activities of the banal everyday may not coax a myriad of expressions from us lowly ne’er-do-wells, but Archer is a baseball player. He gets paid to play baseball. Surely, he can surmise at least a handful of expressions to portray the proverbial thrill of victory and/or agony of defeat. Nope. Behold the two faces of Chris Archer;

Not Pitching:


This may not even be fair, as pitching a baseball is a hard exercise sure to contort one’s face through mere exertion of the body. It is very clear that, during the 99.98% of Chris Archer’s life when he is not throwing a baseball as hard as he can, he only makes one face. It is a face of serenity, of peace. Perhaps he is looking to mitigate the extremes of choking and panicking – as laid out by Malcolm Gladwell – by keeping a cool, unburdened head. Does he know something that we don’t? To what worldly information is he privy? Only Chris Archer knows.

(Author’s note: Don’t forget to vote for the recent Nickname Seeks Former Player on this very site, as most nominations have been not applicable or totally lame.)

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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

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Bradley Woodrum

This is great. I never noticed his second face before.