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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Morty Causa Posted: January 04, 2012 at 10:49 PM (#4029274)
On behalf of all DH proponents: I rest my case.

Actually, though, he doesn't have a bad swing--especially considering he was batting against a left-hander.
   2. gimme five bees for a STEAGLES Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4029282)
Actually, though, he doesn't have a bad swing--especially considering he was batting against a left-hander.
he's actually a hell of a hitter--for a pitcher. he's no mike hampton, but the guy had two dingers last year.
   3. I Am Not a Number Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:14 PM (#4029293)
Never mind the 5-10% of ABs going to pitchers, what about pro hoopsters who can't shoot foul shots?

Shaquille O'Neal took 30 thousand shots in his career. Over a third of those, 11 thousand, were free throws, which he sunk at a rate (53%) less impressive than many in the stands watching him could do.
   4. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 11:22 PM (#4029296)
I needed that. Most of those are hilarious.
   5. Brian White Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:09 AM (#4029313)
Yeah, these are pretty great.
   6. Boileryard Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:13 AM (#4029314)
I thought #18 was pretty good. Those poor Mets...
   7. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:25 AM (#4029317)
Difficulty: the list is split up onto many pages, and land-o-goshen, SB Nation is an ugly site.

My favorite bit was actually the commentary on the balk gif (#18):
Balks are so complicated. If you sat me down and asked me to write out, to the best of my understanding, the Major League Baseball rule book, the section for "balks" would look something like this.

BALK RULES! IMPORTANT!
1. You can't just be up there and just doin' a balk like that.
1a. A balk is when you
1b. Okay well listen. A balk is when you balk the
1c. Let me start over
1c-a. The pitcher is not allowed to do a motion to the, uh, batter, that prohibits the batter from doing, you know, just trying to hit the ball. You can't do that.
1c-b. Once the pitcher is in the stretch, he can't be over here and say to the runner, like, "I'm gonna get ya! I'm gonna tag you out! You better watch your butt!" and then just be like he didn't even do that.
1c-b(1). Like, if you're about to pitch and then don't pitch, you have to still pitch. You cannot not pitch. Does that make any sense?
1c-b(2). You gotta be, throwing motion of the ball, and then, until you just throw it.
1c-b(2)-a. Okay, well, you can have the ball up here, like this, but then there's the balk you gotta think about.
1c-b(2)-b. Fairuza Balk hasn't been in any movies in forever. I hope she wasn't typecast as that racist lady in American History X.
1c-b(2)-b(i). Oh wait, she was in The Waterboy too! That would be even worse.
1c-b(2)-b(ii). "get in mah bellah" -- Adam Water, "The Waterboy." Haha, classic...
1c-b(3). Okay seriously though. A balk is when the pitcher makes a movement that, as determined by, when you do a move involving the baseball and field of
2. Do not do a balk please.

And now, at last, I can point to a balk and say, "see? He did something! That is a balk!" Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mike Pelfrey.
   8. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:30 AM (#4029320)
What in hell was going on with that swing in #29? Is he a cricketer or something?
   9. Blastin Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:02 AM (#4029327)
The ridiculous Yankee infield gif is accompanied by a ridiculous song that reminds me of the time in my life (read: 4th grade) when my musical tastes were sophisticated enough to determine that anything fast was good and anything slow was bad.

Come to find out that guy died, though. Sad. Ski-ba-bop-ba-dop-bop indeed.
   10. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:08 AM (#4029339)
I swear I recall hearing, this past season, about an AL manager who ordered his pitchers to not run out ground balls due to injury fears.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:49 AM (#4029347)
I'm curious, what is different about this gif than any of other 1000 others on absolute routine plays? have any of you seen Albert Pujols hit the ball on a one hopper to the second baseman?

I have no dog in the dh fight, I honestly don't care either way, yes I think that the NL game is a better tactical game, but I don't know if it's better or worse because of it, and couldn't care if either league ultimately changed their way, but this isn't evidence for one or the other, because if you think this is the only time a player doesn't even seriously attempt to run out a a ball, then you do not understand why Pete Rose was so popular in the 70's.... players haven't run out routine plays since before Babe Ruth, and it doesn't matter whether it's a pitcher or a leadoff hitter with an 80 speed rating.
   12. MM1f Posted: January 05, 2012 at 03:18 AM (#4029351)
Ok, so who was the guy falling into the koi pond (or whatever that was) at the winter meetings?
   13. zachtoma Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:29 AM (#4029358)
Ned Colletti, that's the pool where all the other GMs make a wish and toss in a 34 year-old replacement-level roster filler.
   14. asdf1234 Posted: January 05, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4029385)
Walks are more boring than watching a pitcher hit. Let's get rid of bases on balls altogether.
   15. bunyon Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:34 AM (#4029398)
Yeah, thanks. That's a great collection.
   16. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4029412)
#37 is awesome. He looks so excited and happy.

This is a good set, and I'm actually glad that it's broken up into multiple pages given that having a shitload of gifs can cause them to load unbearably slow.

edit: Also a fan of the author's blurb at the bottom of the page: "You have never read a sportswriter more recently than Jon Bois." Why, yes, that's true!
   17. Babe Adams Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4029425)
The squirrel's not in the top ten. Invalid list.
   18. Craig in MN Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4029449)

I swear I recall hearing, this past season, about an AL manager who ordered his pitchers to not run out ground balls due to injury fears.


I've got a similar recollection. It was an after-the-fact question....asked about a pitcher who didn't run out a ground ball, the manager said he told him not to do anything strenuous and risk getting hurt while hitting.

   19. Zach Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4029474)
Primey for #7!
   20. hokieneer Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4029478)
apparently chrome has trouble rendering a bunch of animated .gifs or most of these are horribly inefficient. I'm getting about 2 FPS on some of these.
   21. Johnny Slick Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM (#4029490)
I can't look at these because I'm at work, so I have to ask... did the monkey rodeo make the cut?
   22. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4029524)
I'm curious, what is different about this gif than any of other 1000 others on absolute routine plays? have any of you seen Albert Pujols hit the ball on a one hopper to the second baseman?
It's that Lee stopped running and did that thing with his hand. "Nah, not worth it."
   23. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: January 05, 2012 at 12:54 PM (#4029542)
Good stuff here. Recommend. If Dustin Brown pointing the wrong end of the water bottle at his mouth while trying to get a drink doesn't scream 'Kings Hockey' I don't know what does. #DisgruntledSeasonTicketHolder
   24. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4029604)
The #5 GIF is just awesome.
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4029616)
Somebody (if it hasn't already been done) needs to mash up #17 with the soundtrack to the LEEEROY JENKINS Youtube clip.
   26. MFS Posted: January 05, 2012 at 02:21 PM (#4029629)

Difficulty: the list is split up onto many pages, and land-o-goshen, SB Nation is an ugly site.


Putting 50 animated GIF's on one page is generally a bad idea...

Man, I am killing myself here and only on the third page. How the hell did that QB throw the football backwards and hit the ref? The ####?? Bahaha
   27. Bob Evans Posted: January 05, 2012 at 03:16 PM (#4029683)
apparently chrome has trouble rendering a bunch of animated .gifs or most of these are horribly inefficient. I'm getting about 2 FPS on some of these.

The trick is to load the next one in another tab before you start reading the current one.
   28. Eric P. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 03:35 PM (#4029700)
How the hell did that QB throw the football backwards and hit the ref?


Looks to me like the defender would have picked him off if he'd thrown it and he tried to stop the throw at the last split second. Half accomplished his goal.
   29. Bug Selig Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4029775)
I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it!


I bet at least half of those guys who are "profoundly bad at it" were the best hitters on their high school teams.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4029807)

I bet at least half of those guys who are "profoundly bad at it" were the best hitters on their high school teams.


So was I!
   31. Dale H. Posted: January 05, 2012 at 11:21 PM (#4030069)
This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends.
Because catchers never run to back up first in case there's an overthrown ball. It's no wonder that people who don't understand baseball don't understand what an evil the DH rule is.
   32. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: January 06, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4030086)
This guy is like Spencer Hall if you took all the funny out of him and replaced it with boiled chicken.
   33. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 11, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4034453)

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