Danny Farquhar’s Hugs

Jeff Sullivan · August 21, 2013 at 11:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Danny Farquhar is a closer, now, and closers, when successful, are on the field for the final out. If the score’s close enough, the closers are credited with a save, and if you look around the league you’ll see a variety of different save celebrations, from the modest to the relatively outlandish. Farquhar’s been modest, at least so far, possibly because he’s just a modest little guy, and possibly because he doesn’t feel like he’s an established closer yet. After Farquhar records the final out, he simply engages in physical contact with the catcher before turning to interact with the rest of the team. Danny Farquhar, then, is a hugger, and so far he’s demonstrated five different hug types. Talented and versatile(!).

(1) The bro tap


Take a screenshot carefully and precisely enough, and you might make this hug out to look like a close double two-armer. But you can tell from Farquhar’s right arm what’s going on. This is the type of hug that’s often exchanged between grown men, where you get the quickest of embraces, followed by a tap or two or three on the back. To the eye it’s impersonal, an empty custom, like the cheek-kiss greeting. This is the hug of uncomfortable huggers.

(2) The no-arm Neddy


They say it takes two to tango. You know they say that, because Jack Zduriencik says that, almost exclusively. But while it takes two to tango, it really only takes one to hug. Not that one can necessarily hug oneself, but in a hug between two people, one can be a passive participant. A hug needs but one aggressor, and here we see Danny Farquhar getting hugged. He is not hugging — he simply put himself in position for a hug, and was enveloped. In most situations this can be an awkward hug.

(3) The hey-there-pal


The no-arm Neddy is a hug with two arms, total. This, also, is a hug with two arms, total, but in this hug the arm involvement is more evenly distributed. This is for those who aren’t quite comfortable with the intimacy of a locked embrace, but who still want to convey a sense of personal affection. This is a hug you often see between uncles and nephews, or older brothers and younger brothers. Given a height difference, the advantage of this hug is that the shorter participant is left vulnerable to a noogie. This hug can easily morph into a headlock.

(4) The fly-by


You can usually see hugs coming. There are signals — there’s the approach, there’s the spreading of the arms and sometimes the beckoning of the fingers. There’s the eye contact. Hugs tend to be agreed to by both parties prior to the initiation of the hugging process. But sometimes you just want to hug someone walking right by, so you skip the foreplay and seize what opportunity you’re given. Here, Humberto Quintero was walking right past Danny Farquhar, but that didn’t stop Farquhar from staging an adorable ambush. Sometimes you can pull this hug off and it’s no big deal. Sometimes this is a really terrible idea, like with joggers in the park.

(5) The heart-healer


This is a hug most intimate and somewhat somber. In that sense it’s a little out of place following a baseball save, but this hug involves a slow approach, complete arm wrap, and a hint of lingering. This is a hug with lasting power, the kind of hug you give a significant other after a long day, or a hug you give a family member at a memorial service. So many other kinds of hugs are intended to convey meaning without actually possessing it. They’re formalities. This hug is a legitimate difference-maker, drawing out either tears or a smile depending on the circumstances. This kind of hug represents a moment; this kind of hug is remembered. You might hug someone because you feel a certain way. This kind of hug will make you feel a certain way. Or at least, it’ll bring it to the surface. This kind of hug should, realistically, more often follow a blown save than a successful one.


16 Responses to “Danny Farquhar’s Hugs”

  1. johnhat on August 21st, 2013 12:05 pm

    sounds like the origins of a new stat. Curious what the park effects may be on the type of hug administered

  2. feldy05 on August 21st, 2013 12:05 pm

    Is it sad that I was just thinking about his hugging style as well?

    8 hugs is certainly SSS, but I think he has done the bro tap the most so far.

  3. Mousse on August 21st, 2013 12:27 pm

    This post deserves a hug.

  4. Browl on August 21st, 2013 1:36 pm

    Brandon League blew saves intentionally in order to avoid getting punched in the gut by Olivo.

  5. Jeremy on August 21st, 2013 3:34 pm

    Sullivan–you’re at your best when you’re writing about stuff like this.

    Loved it.

  6. Typical Idiot Fan on August 21st, 2013 3:45 pm


  7. hailcom on August 21st, 2013 4:56 pm

    Bravo, Mr. Sullivan. This was a memorable and hilarious piece. Thanks! And Typical Idiot Fan is right, now we will not be able to overlook the “hug”!

  8. Westside guy on August 21st, 2013 5:02 pm

    Haha, I was thinking about this at the end of today’s game! It was a handshake followed by the Bro Tap.

  9. Slippery Elmer on August 21st, 2013 5:44 pm

    This predilection for huggery is not surprising, since Farquhar comes from Gaelic, meaning “dear or beloved man.” Given this, I’m surprised his teammates can manage keep their arms off his capable shoulders long enough for him to earn these saves.

  10. phineasphreak on August 21st, 2013 7:36 pm

    I’m a heart-healer-hugger most of the time. It’s in my nature.

  11. Don Money on August 21st, 2013 8:13 pm

    Gettin’ pretty weird in here!

  12. jared_kopp on August 21st, 2013 9:28 pm

    I’d be curious for you to elaborate on your study in the context of some of your work over at Fangraphs – specifically, as this is a Pitcher/Catcher statistic, I’d be curious to learn if there is a correlation between hug types by catcher and whether a statistic like Hug Framing might help capture variance therein.

  13. phineasphreak on August 21st, 2013 9:43 pm

    I know it’s a SSS, but Zunino’s Hug Framing is invaluable. Don’t pretend like umps don’t notice that.

  14. juneau_fan on August 21st, 2013 11:03 pm

    Downright scary. Just last night when he did that totally odd hug with Quintero, I asked myself, what the hell was that? I’m uncomfortable!

    And now this post…

  15. Gormogon on August 21st, 2013 11:45 pm

    That was damn funny.

  16. NorthofWrigleyField on August 22nd, 2013 12:10 am

    This is one of your top 5 posts… ever, and I haven’t even read all of it yet.

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