Here it is: the last installment of Baseball Nation's favorite GIFs of 2012. But don't fret. There will be a new year soon, and that new year will bring new GIFs. You couldn't have predicted any of these, just like you couldn't have predicted a dude running around with a stack of cups back in 2011. And in 2013, we'll have Justin Verlander sitting on a frog, or something.
But this last installment is near and dear to my heart. These are my five favorites of the year. At least, the best five that didn't fit in any of the other 11 categories. But the top two are certainly my favorites.
For some reason, three of these are package deals. I'm not sure how that happened. To the GIFs!
5. Right in the beans!
Okay, I might be 6 years old, but that doesn't mean a baseball to the beans is an automatic contender. It needs something more.
There you go. That was Jordan Schafer's first reaction to a man in excruciating pain. It was mine, too. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in this crazy, mixed-up world.
I looked up the lyrics to Live's Lightning Crashes to see if that would help with a title for this. Did you know the opening lyrics are "Lightning crashes, a new mother cries/her placenta falls to the floor"? I had no idea, or perhaps I'd mercifully forgotten. Good gravy, what a horrible song.
Anywho, This is what happens when the biggest lightning strike in the history of the world happens next to a baseball game. The GIF is great, but don't forget the video because you need to know just how loud it was.
An underrated GIF that came out of this:
If baseball nerds ruled the world, The Beltre-Kinsler would already have become a big dance craze.
3. The Mariners' no-hitter
I can't choose between these two. They both came when the Mariners used six pitchers to no-hit the Dodgers, and they both revolved around this play:
Dee Gordon probably beat that throw, but whatever. No one really cares about combined no-hitters anyway.
That play led to these two GIFs:
Why is she so quick to stand up? How did she know before everyone else? Also, how earnest was that fist pump? Does anyone know who this mystery woman is? She's amazing. /wets thumb, smooths out eyebrows
And after the game was over, the cameras caught the Mariners and Dee Gordon having a difference of opinion over how awesome everything was.
They weren't really laughing at Dee Gordon, but that's exactly how they cut the live telecast. It was perfect.
The very best GIFs work without context, so these two probably don't qualify as the absolute pinnacle of baseball-related GIFs. But they're fun, man. They are fun.
2. Madison Bumgarner disagrees with Bruce Bochy's decision
The very best GIFs don't just work without context; they tell a story, too. And here you have a manager coming out to get his young pitcher. The young pitcher does not think he should come out of the game. There is a snot rocket and a dirty word, and the movie starts again. It is an eternal struggle, played on a loop for as long as you'll let it.
And there was absolutely no way that it wasn't going to be my favorite GIF of 2012 …
... and then Spider-Man flew out of C.C. Sabathia's butt.