Which Major League star should be nicknamed 'The Black Hole'?
We were all just minding our own business Wednesday morning, admiring Finn the Bat Dog, when out of nowhere science dropped a bombshell on us: the first photograph of a black hole ever taken.
(OK, that's technically not a black hole itself -- it's some incomprehensibly hot dust and gas swirling around a black hole at the speed of light before being sucked into oblivion. So, uh, close enough?)
But in addition to posing one of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos, black holes also make for one unquestionably badass nickname. So, just which MLB star should henceforth be known as "The Black Hole"? Our panel weighs in below.
There is but one answer to this question: shortstop Jose Iglesias. His glove is the sweetest, most impenetrable force field this side of Andrelton Simmons. Any ball hit in his general vicinity soon finds itself suctioned into his mitt. I mean, do you have another explanation for how this ball – which had no right to be snagged for an out – made it in there other than some gravitational force that sucks in all around it?
And just like that photo that was released today, there is beauty in the simplicity of Iglesias' movements. A flip like this is sublime:
Of course, there is one final reason. A black hole was, until recently, theoretical. The human eye couldn’t spy one. Too often Iglesias has been lost in the conversation about baseball’s best defenders. People discuss Mike Trout, Nolan Arenado, Matt Chapman and Simmons, to name a few. They all have great gloves, but because their bats are more potent than Iglesias’, they have garnered more attention. Meanwhile, baseball’s true Black Hole has been snagging every ball hit up the middle to little acclaim.
If you look up the definition of a black hole, it’ll say something along the lines of “nothing can escape from inside it.” They could also, you know, just post a photo of this:
This is Nolan Arenado’s glove. Nothing escapes it. Not singles:
Not even souvenirs intended for the little screaming babies in the stands. Just like the real thing, baseball’s Black Hole shows zero mercy for any one person or thing:
Keep your hits away from it. Keep your kids behind the third-base-line wall. Don’t even look at it. Don’t think about it. It’ll find you.
As Matt astutely observes, nothing -- matter, light, baseballs -- can escape the grasp of a black hole. They are inevitability incarnate. Which is why there's only one choice to bear the mantle of arguably MLB's coolest nickname: Billy Hamilton.
Sure, you may think you've hit a fly ball out of his grasp, until you realize that the limit of "his grasp" does not exist:
Much as we are all futile in the face of the all-consuming event horizon, Hamilton is the one defender who makes you seriously question why you even bothered hitting the ball in the first place:
Or why you didn't just save yourself the trouble and let him score:
Hamilton's so fast that he regularly breaks baseball, redefining what we thought we knew about the rules of the world around us. Which, hey, sounds sort of like a black hole.
Matt Monagan is a writer for MLB.com. In his spare time, he travels and searches Twitter for Wily Mo Peña news.
Michael Clair writes for MLB.com. He spends a lot of time thinking about walk-up music and believes stirrup socks are an integral part of every formal outfit.