Zoom interviews can be wildly impersonal and awkward, and oftentimes they end with reporters wishing they could quickly circle back for a question they had just remembered.
Reporters are left looking at the box on their phones or laptops, and the camera view of the player or coach usually captures him only from mid-torso and up.
In the case of Brock Holt, that’s perfect.
The infielder is sporting a terrific mustache that looks as if it were pulled from a Western or off an old Marlboro ad.
It’s fitting, given that Holt is from Stephenville, the Cowboy Capital of the World. It’s also shocking, seeing a face in the age of COVID-19 beards that is lacking the beard.
“It took me 32 years to be able to grow something like this,” Holt said Friday. “I can’t grow a full beard, so you got to grow what you can, and the ‘stache has come in nice.”
He’s waited just as long to play for the Texas Rangers, his favorite team growing up. The Holts were frequent visitors to Globe Life Park, where young Brock became a big Rusty Greer fan and, later, a Michael Young fan.
His baseball journey from Stephenville High, with stops at Navarro College and Rice and then the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals, has brought him home again on a minor-league deal.
“I’ve thought about some of the cool things that I’ve done in my career and I’ve been fortunate to do a lot of cool things, and this this is up there for me,” said Holt, an American League All-Star in 2015. “I loved the Texas Rangers from from the time I could watch baseball. So to put on this uniform is pretty humbling for me.”
He returns with a legitimate chance at being on the Opening Day roster.
Holt isn’t going to wow anyone with his power, with only 23 career homers in 2,132 at-bats, but his career average (.268) and on-base percentage (.337) are higher than Rougned Odor, who is competing with Holt for time at third base, and Holt’s on base-plus-slugging percentage (.707) is higher than shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa.
Holt has played every position except catcher. His versatility, especially if he can play shortstop capably, could push him onto a roster that might include two first basemen and two designated hitters.
“I’m just wanting to help out however I can,” said Holt, who won a World Series in 2018 with the Red Sox. “If that’s playing different positions, if that’s helping some of the younger guys, whatever it may be, I still consider myself a good baseball player. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to showing that.”