A photographic study of errors


What does an error look like? Let's take a look.

Hello, and welcome to another installment of Fun With the Photo Tool. Almost every story here at SB Nation has a photo attached, and the way we find these photos is by entering a term into an internal search engine. This leads to an archive of Presswire and Getty images. That's all there is to it.

When you enter "Ryan Doumit peering over a fence and into your mortal soul," for example, you get something like this:

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, that's really just a search for "Ryan Doumit," but you get the idea. The photo tool works well enough.

Sometimes, though, it's mesmerizing. The last time we went down this rabbit hole, we searched for pictures that came up when you searched for the word "collide." The results were impressive. Still shots of athletes colliding and making silly faces is probably the greatest found art this generation can offer.

Today we're searching for the word "error" to see what we can find.

It turns out there are three parts to the error. Just as Michael Caine will tell you there's a pledge, a turn, and a prestige to every magic trick, the error follows a similar sequence. The three parts of an error:

The misplay

This is where it all starts.

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

A ball where there should be a mitt. A mitt where there should be a ball.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

A Starlin Castro face where there shouldn't be a Starlin Castro face. An Alfonso Soriano torso where there should be an Alfonso Soriano torso without a Starlin Castro face. Every picture of an error tells a story of miscommunication, a story of conflicting goals.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

A story of closing your eyes because you're about to get hit in the beans with a baseball. I don't know if Michael Saunders lost this in the lights, or if the ball knuckled on him, or if he came in too quickly. And I don't really want to know.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It's usually a story of derp. You can get derp with pitch face, and you get derp with a swing. But nothing gives you derp like the split-second between thinking you are about to make a baseball play and screwing up the baseball play.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Wait a sec. That can't be an error, not if he dove for it. Unless he was standing completely still under the ball, waiting for it to come down, when he just completely crumpled into a face-heap. That would probably be an error. That's what I'm choosing to believe.

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Possibly my favorite of the set. This was an error. It happened in the 2011 NLDS. I watched this game for the express purpose of GIFing hilarious moments. I'm pretty sure a Willie Bloomquist error didn't make the cut.

But look at the picture. Why is the glove closed? How did the ball get so far away? Is it coming or going? Something had to have happened, and it was hilarious.

Actually, I think I just figured it out, and now I'm sad. For a while, though, this was possibly my favorite. So much mystery.

The realization

The second part of every error picture, this is where the player realizes that he done goofed, and he did it in front of thousands and thousands of people.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The realization that the ball isn't supposed to be there. It's supposed to be at another there.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It's like that old Far Side cartoon, where the pilots are looking out of the front of the airplane, and one of them says, "Say ... what's a mountain goat doing way up here in a cloud bank?" That ball shouldn't be there. But it is, just hovering for eternity, making Jose Lopez question everything he knows.

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The recognition part of the error is where one player gets elated. And the other gets ... I don't really know what Zack Cozart is doing in that picture. But look at how happy it made James Loney! Errors make people happy.

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Unless they make people very, very angry. Though Munenori Kawasaki is probably just singing Yellow Magic Orchestra songs to the baseball.

The aftermath

You've made a fool of yourself in front of thousands of people. Maybe close to a million are watching on TV, if it's the playoffs. Now you have to make an error face.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes, you just have to hide in your own jersey.

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Sometimes you just have to ... I don't know, smell your finger. Look, just forget the captions and check out the shiny pictures, Internet.

(Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Aaron Hill looks like he's in Minnesota, 1958, and he just saw a boy with long hair for the first time. For our purposes, pretend the boy is played by Colby Rasmus. That's the exact amount of shock that would be on Hill's face.

Edwin Encarnacion looks like he's freaking out because someone is about to score on his error.

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

They might even score standing up.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

But what everyone should really do in this stage is take the time to have a little fun with your error! As I like to call it, errlarity. Take a load off, play the class clown. Everyone's laughing with you, man. Everyone's laughing with you.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Everyone's laughing, at least. That's what's important.

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