The Week in Worst: These playoffs stink

Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images

The baseball postseason has been pretty bad. Luckily, Week 6 of the NFL was bad, too!

The MLB playoffs are in their penultimate round. While the 2012 baseball postseason has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, it's also been one of the worst-played playoffs in recent memory. It's my opinion that these two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Sports are unpredictable. So it would stand to reason that the more unpredictable that sports can be in pressure situations, the more exponentially entertaining they will become. What better way to make sports unpredictable than for every player to suddenly start playing like they're playing with butts for hands?

Also getting into the butt-handitry this week are the athletes of professional American football, who really stunk up Week 6 of the NFL in their own right. It's hard to say who had the better week. By which I mean the better worse week.

Here are the very worst plays from the week of Oct. 8-15.

Worst Pitch (Location)

Pitcher: Jose Valverde

Date: Oct. 13

Jesusibanez_medium

As I said, this week is a little bit different than we're used to. Generally, this category is reserved for pitches that are nowhere near the strike zone. But given the circumstances, we're going to make an exception for Jose Valverde's entire ninth inning during Game 1 of the ALDS. Given a 4-0 lead in the ninth (not even a save situation), the Detroit Tigers "closer" gave up a two-run homer to Ichiro Suzuki. With two outs, he proceeded to needlessly walk Mark Teixeira with absolutely miserable command, control and pitch selection. That brought up Raul Ibanez, the 2012 Baseball Jesus, to whom Valverde served up a piping-hot meatball.

It was really just an entire inning of the week's worst pitches, so how could we possibly have chosen just one? Side note: Valverde's nickname is "Papa Grande," if you can believe it. The nickname is fitting, since he served up the biggest potato of the ALCS thus far.

Worst Pitch (Result)

Pitcher: Madison Bumgarner

Batter: David Freese

Date: Oct. 14

Result: 111.9 mph home run (speed off bat)

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Last week, the fastest home run allowed was by Matt Cain, in the NLDS opener at AT&T Park against Jay Bruce. This week, it's Bumgarner, in the NLCS opener at AT&T Park against Freese. Both of these were back-breaking home runs that resulted in losses for the San Francisco Giants. I guess that's how they're going to make it to the World Series: by giving up one monster tater after another.

Worst Swing

Batter: Alex Rodriguez

Date: Geez, like every day

Location: Right down the center, fifteen feet from home plate; doesn't really seem to matter

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This isn't in slow motion or anything. That's just how fast A-Rod's swing is now. It's been difficult watching Rodriguez over the past couple of weeks. Even if you hate the guy, he probably deserves better than he's been getting from the Yankees fans. But boy has he ever looked lost at the plate. Can't catch up to fastballs, swings at everything ... he's looking more like Aaron Rowand with less-poopy pants.

A couple of quick thoughts to put A-Rod's 2012 postseason woes into perspective. First: Chris Carpenter now has more postseason doubles than Alex Rodriguez. Second: Curtis Granderson has been even worse than A-Rod this postseason.

Wait, I may not know how perspective works.

Worst Defensive Play

Player: Nick Swisher

Date: Oct. 13

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Long story short: it hasn't been an awesome week for the New York Yankees. After they tied Game 1 of the ALCS in the ninth inning on that Ibanez homer, Nick Swisher lightly misplayed a fly ball, which allowed the Tigers to retake the lead, which they would use to subsequently win the game.

I love pretty much everything about this GIF. The Swisher whiff, the commando roll, the center fielder flying into frame right after Swisher rolls out of it. What's great is that there are a minimum of five angles on this play and they are all fantastic. All of them. Like this one. Or maybe this one. Or perhaps you'd prefer this one. It's like a cornucopia of Swisherwhiff and it's a wonderful time to be the guy who compiles the Week in Worst.

Worst Blown Call

Game: Yankees vs. Tigers, ALCS Game 2

Date: Oct. 14

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The look of shock on Omar Infante's face after being called safe on this play is just the best. And not just because he looks like Jesse Pinkman at the very end of the GIF. Joe Girardi got thrown out of the game after arguing this call, which is understandable. But the game was 1-0 Tigers before this call and the Yankees ended up losing 3-0. So it's not this umpire's fault that the Yankees just kept having a horrible, terrible, no-good, very bad week.

Worst Pass

Player: Christian Ponder

Date: Oct. 14

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Now, this technically may not be a pass, but come on. Just look at that. This trumps the four Phillip Rivers interceptions or whatever other standard bad passes we may have seen this week and is just a flat-out chucklefest. Great job, Christian Ponder. You're well on your way to a storied GIF career. Although you have plenty of catching up to do if you want to make it to Matt Cassel levels of bad.

Worst Punt and/or Worst play

Team: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: Oct. 14

Garoreturns_medium

Michael Koenen: Okay, the punt was just a little blocked. It's still good, it's still good!

Michael Koenen: Okay, the ball just fell in the end zone a little. It's still good, it's still good!

Michael Koenen: Okay, the ball was just intercepted a little it's still good, it's still --

Edgar Jones: LOL

Michael Koenen: Awwwwwwwww.

Worst Tackle

Team: Oakland Raiders

Date: Oct. 14

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We kind of expected to see a lot more of the Raiders in the Week in Worst at this point. The thing is, for the most part they haven't been hilariously bad, or spectacularly bad, or the absolute outright worst at anything in particular. They've just sort of silently been regular-bad. Just one of the worst teams in the league; no big d.

But this, though, is in Rollerblading-Raptor territory for abject sadness. It's also an early candidate for the most Raiders GIF of the year. See that sad little flag being thrown at the end there? That's an unnecessary roughness penalty, on the Raiders. For something not related to their punt returner getting completely laid out by a teammate. You should probably take a moment to watch the reverse angle and sideline reaction. Oh, Raiders.

Worst Missed Tackle

Player: Carson Palmer

Date: Oct. 14

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Hey, now you're picking up some steam, Raiders! Maybe you'll end up being the Week in Worst All-Stars we always believed you could be!

You've got to give Carson Palmer an "A" for effort in attempting to prevent his pick-six from turning into a pick-six. But you've got to give him an "F-" for execution as he managed to tackle precisely jack poop. This is not eligible for being the most Raiders GIF of the year, as it does not include a penalty on the Raiders.

Worst Reporting

Reporter: Ian Rapoport

Date: Oct. 14

Result: Football to the face

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"That's right, Fran. The Packers will need toOH JESUS HUBBAHGUDDAWAHHheh hehhhhhh back to you."

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