This might be a "please bear with me" blog post. So please bear with me.
I saw a picture of Dan Quayle in the news today.
The picture accompanied an article about Quayle meeting with President-elect Trump. Presumably they discussed some cabinet position. "Secretary of Spelling the Word Potatoe", perhaps.
While reading the article and glancing at the photo, it occurred to me that Dan Quayle bears a passing resemblance to Hal Steinbrenner.
Hmmm, I thought. It might be fun to do a "Separated at Birth" spoof of Quayle and Hal. They're both a couple of deer-in-the-headlights rich boys who had a lot of things handed to them at birth but who have underwhelmed ever since. And they kinda, sorta look like each other.
Maybe there's some potential for humor, I thought.
I conducted an exhaustive 20-second Google search and every picture I found of Dan Quayle showed the former Vice President smiling. Sometimes he's smiling genuinely and sometimes he's got a cheese-y pasted-on politician smile (like the one above), but our boy Danny Quayle is always smiling, darn tootin'.
I thought to myself, "Ok, now I need to do another Google image search to find one of Hal Steinbrenner smiling. I'll put their photos side by side, then I'll write it up."
"No problemo", I thought. "Piece of cake."
I did a Google Image search on "Hal Steinbrenner" and browsed through the images of Hal, looking for a shot of him smiling.
There weren't any.
Good Lord, the guy doesn't smile.
I looked through the 1,000 or so images returned by Google and there's only one that shows Hal smiling. In this single solitary photo, Hal's smile is a little Nike swoosh of a sideways smirk. I circled it in red below in case it's not obvious.
Believe me, you can click the "Show More Images" button as many times as you'd like, but you'll only find photos of Hal like the one on the right.
I mean, here the guy is, out with his wife for a nice night at the ballpark and he looks like he's been told that ISIS has formed a sleeper cell in the home team dugout and those mischievous utility infielders have peed in the hot tub in his private Jim Beam suite. Again.
Meanwhile, his wife is smiling like she's married to the guy who owns the ballpark.
An Analysis for Another Time
Since we are all highly qualified and expertly trained sports psychologists, we should discuss our individual theories why Hal is never seen smiling in a photo. Is it because Sabathia told him he'd give him a monster wedgie if he dares ever to set foot in the locker room? Is he concerned about his brother Hank's smoking? Is Hal upset because he's realizing it was a bad idea to rent out his stadium to a soccer team because, you know, after you take their money, they're actually going to play there? Is he sad because he's got to pay A Rod $27 million just to kiss himself in a gym mirror? Is that grim look pasted on his face because he just finished puberty and now realizes that, in a gush of misplaced teenage enthusiasm, he tore down Baseball's One True Cathedral and put up The Mall of America?
Or is it just because his team sucks and he doesn't know what to do about it?
We could discuss this at length. We probably should. But I don't want to throw us off track. I'd like to propose a challenge.
The Hal Challenge
I challenge anyone to find and post a link to a photograph of Hal Steinbrenner with his head thrown back, his mouth wide open, and enjoying a good laugh with someone. With some friends. With anyone.
I don't think such a photo exists.
And I curse the life I'm living
And I curse my poverty
Is this guy as miserable as he's making all of us?