Fun with the photo tool: The classification of baseball collisions

Doug Pensinger

There's no way to introduce this without getting meta, so let's just dive in. Before every story is published on SB Nation, the author has to search for a picture in the story editor. Write an article about Mike Trout, search the photo tool for "Mike Trout." Write an article about a bad team, maybe you'll get good results with "(Name of bad team) strikeout."

Last week, I made an important discovery. When you enter the word "collides" into the photo tool, a world of wonder opens up. More specifically, you get a bunch of baseball players running into each other. You've seen pictures of baseball players running into each other before, but to have them all staring at you at once … it's overwhelming. Should have sent a poet.

Another discovery: There are five distinct categories of the baseball-collision photo. Here, then, are those five categories.

Unanswered questions

Credit - Thearon W. Henderson

What's behind Jonny Gomes? What horrors await Zach Britton if he ventures further up the third-base line? Is Manny Machado on fire? Is Manny Machado moaning about brains? Bark twice if Manny Machado is behind me right now.

Credit - Jamie Squire

What happened? Is this a posed picture? What's so funny? Has Mike Moustakas always had bad-guy-in-an-'80s-comedy hair?

Credit - Otto Greule Jr

Doesn't anyone notice that Josh Bard is dying? Shouldn't someone get Josh Bard some help? Is Eric Wedge pointing at Bard and saying, "Great. You killed him" to the umpire? What could possibly be so important in a Mariners game?

Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Why is Tim Lincecum blocking the plate? Isn't Tim Lincecum blocking the plate a bad idea? Shouldn't Tim Lincecum not be blocking the plate? Tim Lincecum probably wouldn't block the plate if he had it to do over again, right?


The Metaphors

Credit: Leon Halip

The Tigers' infield defense.

Credit: Rob Carr

Jeff Francoeur's contributions to the Royals' stated goal of winning baseball games.

The Star-Ledger-US PRESSWIRE

The Houston Astros.



Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld

Say, aren't you a little close to the play, Greg Gibson?

Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld

Oh. Right.

Credit: Patrick McDermott

Martin Prado distracted Brian O'Nora with his "Draw me like one of your French girls" pose, while Ryan Zimmerman came in behind him for the kill. Brilliant work, all around.


Hellenistic Art

Oh, you don't know what Hellenistic art is? Sorry about that. I thought you would have known. Here's an example:

Yeah, I didn't know what it was either. I spent about an hour googling "PAINTINGS OF DUDES IN PAIN OR SOMETHING" and related searches until I found the Hellenistic page on Wikipedia. But you know the format. Those paintings and sculptures where everyone is in complete and utter agony. Most baseball collisions have a great chance to qualify for this category. Few have the photographer in right place at the right time.

Photo credit: David Banks

It's the indifferent Brett Wallace that makes this one art. Jose Altuve is in pain. Brian Bogusevic is flummoxed and incredulous at what he sees before him. Brett Wallace doesn't give a damn.

Photo credit: Rob Carr

It's almost better when you think that it's a top-down shot, and that Matt Angle is lying down like the guy in the "Just" video, with Nolan Reimold asking him what's wrong.

Photo credit: Layne Murdoch

The other ones are paintings. This one is clearly a sculpture. Like Brett Wallace above, Craig Gentry's calm acceptance of his fate sells the agony even more.

Photo credit: Rob Carr

In a just world, Ross would have become a meme, photoshopped into all sorts of amusing places and situations, until we all tired of the meme about six hours later.


U R 5

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham

That is not Michael Bourn walking in on something that shocks him! You are 5 years old!

Photo credit: Stephen Dunn

Gordon Beckham was just trying to soften his fall! The curious face that Peter Bourjos is making is just a coincidence! You are awful!

Photo credit: Jim Rogash

And this is probably the right place to slowly back away from the article.

(You are still 5 years old. What is wrong with you?)

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.