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Gio Gonzalez models shirt featuring Nationals pitching coach’s Playgirl photo

Washington Nationals Photo Day

On Tuesday, Baseball Prospectus delivered one of the most strange and disconcerting but tremendously amusing posts in the site’s esteemed history. It featured images of what now can only be considered an ill-conceived gambit by Playgirl in the early 1980s where the magazine published beefcake photos of scantily clad MLB players on its pages in various issues.

Beefcake pics of George Brett, Rickey Henderson and many, many more graced the mag’s pages in those halcyon (and hairy) days of that era. But the Washington Nationals had some real fun with one of the images that just so happened to be from a 1984 shoot starring the team’s current pitching coach, Steve McCatty.

For purposes of comparison — — and to allow a caveat and word of warning: Beefcake image ahead — the photo above is what McCatty looks like now. What follows is the image that Nationals players had placed on t-shirts in order to properly mock and ridicule McCatty for his participation in such a tawdry affair as posing for Playgirl.

Here’s the aforementioned photo from the Playgirl pictorial featuring McCatty, circa 1984:

steve-mcatty-playgirl

GAH! No offense to McCatty, but what could Playgirl have possibly been thinking?

Regardless of the periodical’s motivation, the Nationals had a field day once the image surfaced, affixing it to t-shirts, as modeled by pitcher Gio Gonzalez (via D.C. Sports Bog):

gio-gonzalez-steve-mccatty-playgirl-shirt

Awesome. And it comes as a huge relief that Gonzalez didn’t liken wearing the shirt to how he said he felt like when pitching in cold weather earlier this season. That wouldn’t have been good for anybody.

Various members of the Nationals organization were asked about the nightmare fuel photo. Below are some quotes, once again via D.C. Sports Bog:

“Utter joy. This is the best day of my life.” – Tyler Clippard, while wearing a T-shirt that the pitchers had made using the photo.

“I threw up. I sent out a big group text to everyone. I think Cat’s pretty embarrassed.” – Jordan Zimmermann, on his reaction to the photos.

“I could have done without that revelation. If you had asked me who that was, I could not have figured it out. If I had 100 years, I couldn’t figure out who that was. There’s been a big change in the last 30 years. I didn’t know he had that good a body, and I didn’t know he had that much hair.” – Davey Johnson

Saving the best quote for last, here’s what McCatty himself had to say about the photo:

“I took the picture.” Steve McCatty, who is taking responsibility for the ’80′s-tastic photos.

Gotta give him credit for owning up to it. Then again, what else is he going to say? “Cocaine’s a helluva drug”?

Actually, that may not be too far from the truth.

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