Danny Farquhar’s Hugs
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.