The MLB season is winding down and the NFL season is heating up. Still, there was no shortage of crummy, lousy, abhorrent, abysmal, or otherwise not-very-good plays. It's almost as if professional sports is very hard and the slightest mistake is magnified many times over!
Imagine if our lives were placed under as much scrutiny as the lives of professional athletes. Imagine if the very worst moments of your life were made into animated GIFs on a weekly bases while someone made snide comments about it. And if you're hiring, I think that sounds like a pretty sweet gig. I'd be into that. Let me know where I can send my resume.
(My resume is the below animated GIFs of terrible sports plays, accompanied by snide comments.)
Here are the worst plays from MLB and NFL games during the week of Sept. 24-Oct. 1.
Worst Pitch (Location)
Pitcher: Aaron Loup
Date: Sept. 30
Location: 41.76 inches from center of plate
This allowed the tying run to score! The Toronto Blue Jays were winning this game 5-1 at one point. They lost this game. In part because a guy named Aaron Loup threw a pitch at a guy's back ankle, causing the guy to roll around on his back in the batter's box. Probably not the best pitch to throw with a guy on third. What do you suppose the finger sign is for this pitch? Devil horns?
Honorable Mention: Bryan Morris, Sept. 26, 47.56 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) You may remember Bryan Morris from the last Week in Worst, when he heaved a pitch way over his catcher's head and to the backstop. This time he ... heaved a pitch moderately over the batter's head and to the backstop. Points for consistency!
Honorable Mention: Jim Johnson, Sept. 29, 43.76 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) Just act nonchalant. Nobody saw that. Nooooo body saw it. Nope. Just your standard pitch, heh. Heh. Heeeee.
Worst Pitch (Result)
Pitcher: Jeremy Guthrie
Batter: Austin Jackson
Date: Sept. 26
Result: 115.8 mph home run (speed off bat)
It seems to me that if you throw a pitch right over the dang middle of the plate, someone is going to just demolish it. Especially in the American League, where everyone is a professional, major-league hitter (or Jeff Mathis). Austin Jackson really lambasted this ball. He hit a faster home run than any home run that Prince Fielder has hit this season. Look at that catcher flinch. Someone hits a home run that fast that close to your face, you probably feel like you've been shot.
Batter: Alcides Escobar
Date: Sept. 26
Location: 34.98 inches from center of plate
Alcides Escobar swung at a pitchout, because there was a hit-and-run on. He did not hit. The runner ran. The pitch was not a pitch for swingin', it was a pitch for takin'. The runner was going to be dead to rights either way. Look at that little back foot come off the ground. Alcides Escobar probably would have swung at a pickoff throw to first.
BONUS! Here is the full result of that swing-and-miss-at-a-pitchout.
Worst Defensive Play
Team: San Francisco Giants
Date: Sept. 28
Funny story: the Giants are heading to the playoffs. See the first baseman who tossed the ball well into center field? That's Brandon Belt. First base is his natural position. He'll be asked to play left field at least once during the playoffs. See the guy in left field, attempting to throw the ball into the third-base dugout? That's Xavier Nady. He has the defensive range of Rob Ryan carrying Rex Ryan and two full trays of Hometown Buffet grub. He'll be making the majority of the left field starts in the playoffs.
... I guess that wasn't that funny a story if you're a Giants fan. Sorry about that, guys!
If you're so inclined, you can click here to view a different angle of the play; one that shows just how high Belt winged that ball over the head of shortstop Brandon Crawford. It's nearly impressive. It's also decidedly the worst.
Worst NFL Play
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent: San Diego Chargers
Date: Sept. 30
This was either an on-purpose trick two-point conversion play executed just insanely horribly, or a for-real awful extra point snap that they tried to fake was a trick play on the fly. Either way, woof. Look at that acrobatic frigging pirouette executed by the guy receiving the snap. Look at his piss-poor lob directly to the one Chargers player he sees in the end zone. Look at the half-assed "fake kick" by the kicker. Just look at this. I order you to. This is why you can't have nice things, Kansas City. Except barbecue. But you're on thin ice. More "plays" like this and we'll take that away, too.
Honorable mention: Chargers vs. Chiefs, Sept. 30. (Click here to view.) Really, the "worst play of the week" could have just been the entirety of the Chiefs-Chargers game. Just a VHS tape of the game, that you watch and then seven days later, you die. At least, that's what I'm taking away from these two GIFs.
Date: Sept. 30
Thank good the replacement refs are still here. That way, we can blame them for all the horrible blown calls that go wrong, like this Darren Sproles fumble that was ruled a not-fumble!
What's that? The real refs are back?
Player: Tony Romo
Date: Oct. 1
Tony Romo has a problem. He's a fine quarterback. Really, he's great. He just ... he just sort of has a problem. This pick-six came in a game that was rife with crummy playing on both sides. For the first three quarters, it was like watching two teams fight over who didn't want to win more. Interceptions, fumbles, tariffs, probably a secession in there somewhere.
But Tony has a problem. He should see a specialist or something.