Evan Longoria is turning into a model major-leaguer. His "Summer Cool" photo spread in the June/July issue of Men's Journal magazine is the latest in a splash of national exposure, following his appearance on the cover of the MLB2K10 video game, in TV commercials for New Era caps and Pepsi, and as a spokesman for FieldTurf. And there are more in the works, with discussions ongoing for national deals with a food and a jewelry company.
And from what the folks at Men's Journal say, Longoria could turn out to be just as big a star off the field as he is on it. They chose the 24-year-old because they felt he was a bit under the radar, "one of those players that if you're a baseball nerd you completely know him," but otherwise didn't yet have that national rep, senior editor Jonathan Wilde said Friday. And they couldn't have been more pleased with how it turned out.
"I don't have to name names of the athletes who haven't quite proven themselves to be standup role models," Wilde said. "And in dealing with Evan, he's a straight standup guy, almost to the point of being a little shy. …
"I kind of hate to use the phrase 'refreshing,' but it was nice to come across a guy like that with such a great personality."
Wilde praised Longoria's professionalism during the 4-5 hour shoot with Jennifer McDonough that took place in Boca Grande during spring training.
"You have to sit there for a long time trying to look comfortable, you're asked to hold weird positions, you're wearing clothes not in your normal wardrobe," Wilde said. "He had fun with the model, which was good. It was nice to see them click, because that doesn't always happen. …
"He was not a diva at all, considering he's absolutely astounding on the field and absolutely underpaid."
Interesting excerpts of the week
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees 3B:
"We know exactly how good they are. They're that good, and they're going to be that good all year. They're athletic, they can pitch and they can catch the ball. They have a plus defender at every position."
Mark Feinsand, New York Daily News writer:
"Tampa Bay made the Yankees look old, slow and uninspired, handing them a pair of thumpings that firmly established the Rays as the best team in baseball."
Got a minute? | Reid Brignac
Best meal you can make? Breakfast — eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, whatever.
Late-night TV? Any movies that are on — mainly comedies and dramas. But if Gladiators is on, I'm going to watch that.
Karaoke song if you had to? Let's Get It On, by Marvin Gaye. I know the words to that one.
Favorite snack food? Oreos — and I'm dunking them.
Dream date? Man, that's always the tough one. Put Megan Fox.
The Rays are optimistic about having LHP J.P. Howell back to start next season, but based on other pitchers who had shoulder surgeries, it's more realistic to think May or June. … Baseball Prospectus' Will Carroll had a good tweet on Joe Maddon's favorite safety-squeeze play: "I declare it the emo squeeze. Not serious about suicide, but it calls for attention." … The full text message from Pat Burrell to the St. Petersburg Times last week included a choice seven-letter adjective between "lose my" and "#" (number). … The Rays will wear a white and blue-billed "stars and stripes" cap for Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day and, yes, it's available to purchase via mlb.com. … Burrell wants to go back to the NL, but where? Three possibilities — Giants, Padres and Phillies — were all reported last week to have no interest. "There isn't a fit," said Phillies GM Ruben Amaro. … Evan Longoria finished behind Twins C Joe Mauer, Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez and Cards 1B Albert Pujols in a Sports Illustrated poll asking 347 major-leaguers whom they'd build around for 10 years. … Longoria was 14th in a Sporting News list of the 50 current greatest players, voted by a panel of Hall of Famers, other ex-players and experts, with Carl Crawford 25th and Carlos Peña 50th. … Foxsports.com's Ken Rosenthal says the Rays have "a chance" to retain free-agent-to-be Peña. … In addition to what Peter Gammons said to our Tom Jones about the Rays' attendance, he told raysindex.com, "In my mind it's shameful that they aren't getting 30,000 a game."