NO PHOTOSHOP - USA TODAY Sports
That is all it is. Will you invest your hopes and dreams for the next eight months in this photo? Me neither.
This is a photograph of veteran pitcher Joe Blanton.
In this photo, he is wearing an Angels uniform.
This picture was not taken on Halloween.
If Joe Blanton wore a costume this past Halloween, it most certainly was not of an Angels baseball player, and even if that was the costume of his choice for All-Hallow's 2012, there are no photographs of it available.
There are however photos available of Joe Blanton in Tempe, Arizona yesterday. There are many places to go in Tempe. Without looking at a map or a directory, I can safely assure you there is a Subway sandwich shop, there is a McDonalds and there are a few Starbucks stores in Tempe Arizona. If Joe Blanton was photographed at any of them yesterday, the photo is not publicly available at this time.
The photos of Joe Blanton in Tempe, Arizona yesterday show him to be on the field of Tempe Diablo Stadium, warming up with other Angels pitchers, standing next to Mike Scioscia, and generally appearing to be a member of the Angels. Pitchers and Catchers have reported and I would love to publish the photo from Tuesday of Chris Iannetta where his ice-cold blue eyes glow like an alien from behind the catcher's mask.
But the sight of Joe Blanton in an Angels uniform was much more alien. It was incongruous. But now it is a fact. It is a walking, talking, photographed juxtaposition - a thing that does not belong in a group is photographed seemlessly belonging to the group.
And so this is how our long season begins, not with a bang, but with a Blanton.