First, we have to look at the consistency of the stares. When a player does the stare, we need to remember the look. It needs to be something that viewers can picture even when not directly looking at the stare.
Second, we need to hand out of creativity points. This could range from being super serious to looking absolutely ridiculous. Essentially, you need to act like you want to participate in the stare.
Third, we need to find a sort of memorability of a stare. These points sort of go hand-in-hand with the consistency factor, as if you consistently do the same stare, that look will be remembered. However, if one particular stare stands out above the rest, memorability points will be given, but might hurt the consistency points.
Finally, we will add bonus points for anything unique to a certain player. Bonus points could include humor, quantity of stares, body posture, etc. Really anything that does not fall into the three categories above. Up to 10 bonus points are posture.
The points categories will be judged on a 10 point scale, for up to 40 possible points. We will be go about this countdown from A-to-Z by last name, and we will have the official rankings at the bottom of this post if you do not care to read this entire article, because I will promise you this, it will not be a short read. It may even qualify for #RootRootRead, but I don't make the rules for that challenge (also look I made a Hot Link on a non-Hot Link post! Bet you weren't expecting a crossover episode!!)
Without further ado, let's start the countdown with Jose Altuve.
We start out with a player with one some of the most total stares on the team. Of course, consistency is the first glaring problem with having this many stares, and it is extremely difficult to stay that #OnBrand, but he does do it fairly well. Altuve 1 and 7 match, Altuve 2 and 6 match almost identically, but the problem lies in the stares in the middle are wildly misplaced. However, the walkout stares (Altuve 4 and 5) and creative and very memorable. They will be the face of memes for a while I would imagine. Bonus points awarded for being Prime Meme Material and Stare Quantity.
You can't think Dugout Stare Challenge without thinking of Alex Bregman. The guy invented the stare. Of course all 10 bonus points are awarded to him for being the inventor of such a fantastic idea and another 10 points shall be added in a memorability category because whenever I think of this bit, I always see Bregman's icy gaze looming heavy over the Astros clubhouse. The things that I personally took off for was the consistency is a little off, but in this situation I think a unique Bregman stare just adds onto the quality of the product. For example, Bregman 5 and Bregman 8 are both pretty different, but both of them are probably better than, for example, any Keuchel stare. It brings variety which, when its Bregman, is a great thing.
Gerrit Cole is one of those guys that I don't think he has a fair shake at this game when we give out points in the way that we do in this post. He hasn't been given enough opportunities to shine. With that being said, these two Cole stares have been incredibly consistent. Like, creepy consistent. This man knows how to find the camera and deliver stare in and stare out. The problem lies in the memorability of the stare. If I didn't post the Cole-Stare Banner, you probably wouldn't remember a whole lot about the look. In fact, the only thing you might remember is that Cole 1, when the full picture is made bigger, looks like he is wearing a Tony Kemp hat. The attention is not on Cole himself, but by the supporting cast. Creativity also gets a 6 for making that scary wide-eyed look and he was also awarded a bonus point to extremely efficient consistency, so truly earned a 11/10 in that category.
Oof, Poor Devo. He doesn't get consistency points, he can't even find a bonus point for quantity since he's a bullpen guy, and the one stare he did land was overshadowed by a lot of quality stares from Bregman and Reddick (Bregman 5 and Reddick 1 to be specific). There isn't a whole lot going on in the creativity either, which is a shame considering he has such a memorable strut. I hope he gets some more opportunities to produce, because I think Devo can do much more than what he has currently given us.
Yikes Evan. The three stares he has given us are super happy, lookin' pretty sad, and ready to kill a man. He is all over the place, thus making it difficult to establish an iconic stare. The creativity gets a bit of a bump though since he has varied his looks, but not over-the-top creative. He got a bit of memorable points because he looks so silly in Gattis 1 and it makes me smile. Look at him! 2 bonus points awarded for having a legendary beard. My rules.
With 6 stares, Marwin has been incredibly consistent in 5 (Marwin 4 I don't think he was even planning to be the picture and was caught off guard). Well done on that front. Also pretty solid in the creativity and memorability, and it comes by using his neck more than the rest of the players on the team. It helps him stand out, but sadly..it makes him look like the weird looking kid dancer in the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Marwin could have had easily 6 bonus points, but will be docked down to 3 points because he just moves really weird from the chin down and, in turn, distracts from the stare overall.
Okay, so there's a lot to unpack here. Inconsistent, but creative and memorable. However, I can't help but classify Yuli 2 as a stare, but rather a roar. His eyes are closed, his face is generally pointing up, so he have to DQ Yuli Stare 2. Yuli 1 is still funny though, but we have to go -1 on the bonus points for not staring during a clear stare photo.
Tony Kemp 37
Tony Kemp is so good at this game. If you don't think "Bregman" for some reason when you think of dugout stares, Tony HAS to be the other guy. He;s always being a goof in these pictures whether he's giving us crazy eyes like Kemp 2 and Kemp 3 or super serious like Kemp 1 but still kind of funny because everyone else looked not as serious (I guess)? I don't know. The point is, Kemp is incredibly funny and incredibly unique, which is why he got so many bonus points there.
So Dallas Keuchel's stares are just "eh". Consistent? Absolutely. When he eyeballs the camera, it hits you like a ton of bricks every time. The problem here lies more in, there's just nothing..cool about any of these. This kind of looks like what Dallas looks like every time we see him. There isn't a whole lot of effort put in here. Of course, Dallas 4 looks pretty awesome though, because he looks like a red shades-vigilante and about to say "nothin' personal kid" and punch the criminal he apprehended right in the face. This scenario when played out in my head gets 2 bonus points.
Maldonado 2 is such a legendary stare. First-Ballot HOF. All the bonus points. If it wasn't for this stare, he would be staring at the bottom of the leaderboard. Everything else? Bad. In fact, creativity and memorability would be hangin' around the 2-3 range without Maldy 2. Hopefully if this bit continues, we will read this post and adapt better in order to score more points with the judge (Me).
Jake has been hurt for the majority of this bit, so only one Jake stare exists. The good news is, it was in the most memorable stare of all time, the first. Also, the ladies would say that "he lookin' like a snack", so it is obviously a pretty memorable look that he put on for this photo. The snack points also transfer to bonus points as well, as he gets 5 points for looking real nice here. Overall not bad for a guy that cannot acquire any type of consistency points. Take his position in the leaderboard with a grain of salt.
Brian McCann is the fun police so I will make sure he will not get a good grade. He probably didn't even want to truly be in this picture. The only redeeming quality that he gets is that he got two pictures taken like 10 seconds from each other so it looks very consistent, but there are so many better stares in these pictures that it is very easy to forget about him. But like I said before, I will make extra sure that Brian McCann will do very bad whether he deserves it or not because he is a cranky old man that I still respect because all of our pitchers love him.
Lance McCullers Jr.
There are a lot of good LMJ stares. There are also some not as good ones. It's pretty impressive how consistent he is, as LMJ 6 is really the only one that "doesn't fit". LMJ 2 and 5 are crazy similar and LMJ 3 and are basically identical (granted they were taken seconds apart. He probably never moved.) The problem with LMJ is that the good stares (3, 4, 6) and bad stares (1,2,5) kind of negate each other. I'd say the good stares are better at being good than the bad stares are at being bad, so he gets a 6 and 7 in the next two categories, respectfully. 5 bonus points were awarded were having a whole lot of stares.
Charlie is such a saint. I love him, so I may get a bit biased. He is pretty consistent, because he kind of always has the same look all the time. Very Chris Carter-y. There isn't a ton of creativity, because like I said he always has the same look. He looks so memorable though. He looks like a sweet grandpa/villain mix and everytime I see him I smile. But what makes this for me is, when he's trying to be silly, he still just looks the exact same. What a great. 6 bonus points awarded for lookin' like an evil villain.
Josh Reddick 33
Josh Reddick is hilarious in these. From trying to get around Bregman in The Stare That started It All, to looking like some sorta crazy man in Reddick 3 to looking like the spitting image of Kurt Cobain in Reddick 4, I will always smile at these images. They aren't incredibly consistent if you at them picture-by-picture, but the consistent thing about them is that they are all really really funny, so extra consistency points will be given and bonus points will be dished out for humor points and a couple more for looking like my favorite vocalist of all time.
Tony Sipp has just given us incredibly boring stares. Consistency is a 10 because these pictures were taken a few seconds apart, so there's 10 free points. But after that, nothing. There were just too many good stares in the walk-off photos that he is easily overlooked by, well, just about everyone else in the picture. Better luck next time Tony.
George Springer 33
Good stuff George! For having 7 stares, this is almost as consistent as you can get. You know what you're getting when the Springer stares (Springer 3 was taken and I don't think he was totally prepping for the shot). But I bet you're wondering, how the heck is this a 9 creativity? Well to that I say he has nailed the "disgusted yet annoyed but still looking funny as well", and he has captured this FIVE STRAIGHT TIME. Springer has nailed this, and he gets 7 bonus points for having so many stares and being funny along with having such complexity to the stare itself.
Max Stassi 30
Max Stassi holds one of the most ridiculous, memorable and hilarious stares of anybody on the roster: Stassi 3 and 4 after the walk-off win. Not to mention 1 and 2 are identical, and 3 and 4 are identical. 5 doesn't fit well in the consistency category, but looks a bit like the first two. Creativity leaves a bit to be desired, because we have had other people to do the exact same stare Stassi does before he even got a turn, but the open mouth look into Camera #1 after a walk-off? Original, innovative, and not replicated yet. Overall not a bad grade. 6 bonus points for a lot of stares and big humor points. Keep on smiling, Max.
Look at Framber. Nobody expected him to even be on this roster, yet here he is making stares and taking names. However, this is about as average as average gets. Nothing is particularly consistent, the stares aren't exactly "game-changing", you don't think about him when you think stares, but I gave him 5 bonus points for a good number of stares and how consistently average he is at this game.
Last but not least, Tyler "Whitey" White. Whenever I think of stare, I see Tyler's silly expression on White 4. The one that is printed on all the t-shirts, that made the rounds all through social media, everything revolves around that one still image (to me). Nothing is consistent about these images, nor are they particularly creative, but a lot of bonus points will be racked by having 1) multiple stares, 2) having The Infamous Stare, 3) finding a way to look like the spitting image on Jose Altuve in White 1 somehow, and 4) because that aforementioned infamous stare is actually being printed places and the money is going to charity, so he is essentially doing philanthropy without having to do much of anything! (and yes I know other people were on that shirt, but like I said above, Tyler White makes that whole photo, so he receives the majority of the credit)
ResultsAlright everyone! We have tackled every stare in-depth but now its time to jot down the leaderboard! We still start from #20 and go down to get to #1. Without further ado: The Official Astros County dot Com Stare Rankings 2018:
#20 Chris Devenski - 3 Points (yikes)
#19 Yuli Gurriel - 12 points
#18 Brian McCann - 12 points
#17 Evan Gattis - 13 points
#16 Tony Sipp - 16 points
#15 Jake Marisnick - 19 points
#14 Gerrit Cole - 20 points
#13 Framber Valdez - 20 points
#12 Dallas Keuchel - 21 points
#11 Lance McCullers - 26 points
#10 Martin Maldonado - 27 points
#9 Marwin Gonzalez - 27 points
#8 Tyler White - 28 points
#7 Jose Altuve - 29 points
#6 Charlie Morton - 29 points
#5 Max Stassi - 30 points
#4 Josh Reddick - 33 points
#3 George Springer - 33 points
#2 Tony Kemp - 37 points
#1 Alex Bregman - 38 Points!
Remember, if you aren't following me on Twitter, you can find me at @FlickNickem. I promise I make tweets much shorter than this post and most of them are Astros-related so, you know, we like the same things. Also, check out my Hot Links that I write part-time for Astros County as well every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. I think I'm starting to get the hang of it now!
Well, to wrap this all up, I really hope you enjoyed reading this piece as much as I enjoyed making it. I have one more major project I would like to tackle for the blog, but you will see that one closer towards the 2018 offseason. However, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns on THIS post, I just told you where you can find me #online. So if you're mad that Josh Reddick is a higher score than Tyler White or Max Stassi or why Tony Kemp and Alex Bregman was just so close of a race, you can state your counterpoint, but you best bring facts. So yeah, I think that's it for me. I'll see you for Hot Links tomorrow morning!