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

Ezra Shaw

In this episode, we discuss children and how they are a window into our own souls.

It was Nick Drake or Whitney Houston who sang, "I believe that children are our future" in 1986. And here we are, almost 23 years later, and baseball is filled with people who were kids in 1986. Some of them weren't even born, you know. That song could always make you think.

But if children are still our future, we're probably hosed. Because based on my scientific sample of kid-related GIFs, 75 percent of children today are either callous, rude, or really, really intense. Only 25 of the children today are giving us hope with their quick thinking and practicality. Here are the results of the study.

4. Can of corn

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid, I fantasized about catching foul balls. Specifically, I fantasized about catching foul balls with something that wasn't a mitt. I don't know why. Usually, it was a hat in these scenarios. There's a crack of the bat, the section starts to stand, and I know the ball is hurtling toward the earth. I look around -- not panicked, but certainly with a sense of urgency -- and realized that I need something to snare the ball. The hat. I'll use this hat.

This kid had a hat on, but it was backwards. He could take it off and rotate it, but how many seconds would he lose? Too risky. The popcorn was an even better idea, and the execution was perfect. He gets bonus points for a grown man whiffing on the ball right above him. The grown man already distributed those bonus points, as you can see.

3. "You smell like the other Chris Young, Chris Young"

These kids are brothers, I'm assuming. You can see how their entire lives will play out just from this GIF. One of them is nourished by conflict and exhibits a total absence of empathy. The other one is upset that adults are yelling at each other, and he secretly wishes they would resolve those differences.

The older brother is aggressive. The younger brother is passive. For decades, this GIF will play out in a real-life format. Good luck, kids.

Also, another way you can tell how their entire lives will play out is that they're Pirates fans.

2. Nasty, brutish, and short, like life itself

This is a GIF that needs a spot of context. This kid is laughing at the Astros. Specifically, he's laughing at them for this play, which, to be fair, was just about the greatest worst play of our lives. It deserved to be mocked.

But, still. Who can take that much pleasure in watching the Astros fail? Sure, behind closed doors, we can watch a highlight and giggle, but to do it in public, actually yelling things to the Astros and high-fiving to celebrate their incompetence? That's cold, man. I believe it was either Captain Beefheart or Don Henley who sang "This is the end … of the innocence." You just don't often see a loss of innocence captured by the cameras quite like this.

1. There is no cure for Royals fever

Just imagine what it would be like to care about the Royals that much. It would define you. It would consume you. It would simultaneously be thrilling and horrific. Royals kid doesn't care about all that. He just cares about the Royals. Like, a lot.

Maybe my favorite part is the look on on the face of the man next to him. That's the appropriate reaction to kids in general, but it was especially well-timed here.

A quick note about the game this came from: The kid was cheering because the Royals led off the bottom of the ninth in a tie game by getting a runner to second on an error. That runner was picked off. The Royals lost in 14 innings. But keep fighting the good fight, kid.

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