Best of '12: Baseball Nation's favorite GIFs, part II


In this episode, baseball players and fans are doing things they didn't have to do.

Welcome back to Baseball Nation's favorite GIFs of 2012, a collection of the best moving images used in a Baseball Nation story or post this year. When I was going through the repository of hundreds of GIFs, I realized that, say, some of these are related in an abstract way. And this was the grouping of GIFs that made me realize it.

Because all of these people are doing things they probably didn't have to do.

4. Moisés Sierra isn't helpful

What you have here is the story of two different outfielders doing two different things. Colby Rasmus is trying to a) catch a baseball and b) stay alive. Moisés Sierra is trying to a) stop before running into a wall and b) thrust himself into the nook between the "G" and "E" of a GEICO ad. The first three things are probably necessary. The last one probably is not.

Most players do the jump-kick in a situation like this, stopping their momentum by jumping up and propelling themselves in the other direction, kind of like something from Mario 64. But Sierra decides at the last second that he's going to hit the wall and look cool doing it. Look at that last-second thrust. It's an obvious grab for style points. Then he turned around and realized his teammate went face-first into the wall because of physics. Whoops. And because of this, they combined forces to open a gate into the bowels of Tropicana Field, where Kevin Stocker was playing a gigantic pipe organ.

3. Yellow card

First of all, Devin Mesoraco is from Punxsutawney. So remember that as you watch this clip over and over. Ned? Ned Ryerson?

There's no shame in deceiving an umpire. Well, there's a little shame, but it's a part of the game. Every player does it, some more than others. Mesoraco should have been yellow-carded for this one. Here's a still from the above video:


GAAHHHHHAHARRRRGGHHH oh man where am i and why can't i feel my legs oh no no no no no … oh, wait, I can score? Cool.

And, yes, Mesoraco was awarded home on this. A little subterfuge goes a long way, kids. Remember that in Little League, where the umpires are much, much worse.

2. "Sometimes, when I get nervous …"

One of my favorite moments of the 2012 season was Chris Davis striking out Adrian Gonzalez. The Red Sox were still thinking they were contenders. The Orioles were still wondering what in the heck they had. And in a 17-inning game, they had an epic struggle that included Chris Davis, first baseman, outfielder, and strikeout artist, getting Adrian Gonzalez to wave through an absolutely perfect changeup.

But, wait, what was that going on in the background? ENHANCE.

There are hands to faces, hands raised above heads, shouts of disbelief and anger. And in the middle of it all, one dude squeezes his own armpit. Tenderly, even. It's enough to make you uncomfortable. But if there was a theme to the 2012 Red Sox, it was probably "My god, the Red Sox are so awful that I find myself doing a lot of things I wasn't expecting to do", so the goateed armpit bandit was just a radio receiver picking up that cosmic signal.

1. Jonny Gomes and the Electric X

How many "X"s do you think there are on the outfield walls of Major League Baseball parks? I guess there could be a couple of Fox ads, and Xfinity probably didn't limit their ads to Oakland. But there probably aren't that many. So for a player to run into the "x" at all is something of an event. Hey, look at that, he ran right into the "x."

Then think of how many players react like someone threw an electric eel down their pants during the course of a season. There are a few, sure, but someone making that face up there would be worth of a GIF regardless of where it happened on the field.

But because these things happened in concert, this becomes more of a seminal event than a silly GIF. "Then there was the time when Jonny Gomes martyred himself on the electric X", we'll tell our grandkids in 2055. "He was a good man. A great man. It's a damn shame what happened to him. "

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