*opens with some kind of joke about the Cubs being overexposed after winning the World Series*
Last year, Jake Arrieta shared his uniquely impressive physique with the world in ESPN’s famous Body Issue, in which athletes show it off.
This year, the honor for the Cubs went to Javy Baez, whose body is adorned with a series of tattoos, including a new, big one celebrating the Cubs’ World Series win:
— Javier Báez (@javy23baez) June 20, 2017
The Cubs’ second baseman shared himself, so to speak, with ESPN in a long article in his own words and video feature, discussing, among other things, the importance of his family, his tattoos, and his tagging ability.
Baez has been through a tremendous amount in his still-young life, and the ESPN piece – even if framed around his body – offers a great deal of insight into the man underneath the jersey.
There’s also plenty of interesting baseball bits in there. For example Baez, who is a natural lefty, talks about how he pulls off his world-class tagging skills:
“Being able to use both hands helps me with my tagging because I know how fast I can use my hand, and I know where the ball is. I try to calculate my timing of catching the ball with the palm of my hand, and since I have the whole glove pocket, I get in position before the ball gets there. Then, when I grab the ball, I’m already lowering my hand in order to make the tag …. [T]he first thing I do is to draw mentally an angle of the line in which he comes running, which tells me where I should stand on base. I already know that when the ball comes my way, I can’t go further from that angle, because if I do, I have to get the ball from behind and turn myself while I tag …. I think about all of those things before the pitch happens. Right before the pitch is thrown, I already have an idea in my mind on how I’ll react so I can do the simple things first.”
Read the whole thing and check out the video for more on (and of) Baez.