This Week In GIFs: Mothers, Referees And Infielders Will Fail You

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Week 15 of THIS WEEK IN GIFs is underway, and it's one of the strongest field of contenders we've seen so far. Vote, and help us decide the greatest.

Welcome once again to THIS WEEK IN GIFs. We took a break last week to concentrate on the ever-important GIF TOURNAMENT II, so we have a backlog of GIF miracles to get to. If this isn't the strongest GIF lineup we've had so far, it sure is close.

As usual, voting will remain open until 11 p.m. Eastern on Sunday. The winner will receive an automatic bid into the GIF TOURNAMENT III bracket, which I reckon we'll probably do in February or March.

Before we get started, here's a rundown of this week's lineup courtesy of myself, Matt Ufford, and Dan Rubenstein:

Here are your GIFs:

BARRY ZITO

(Via Grant Brisbee)

MLB's GameDay service tries to describe a pitch description to every pitch thrown -- slider, splitter, whatever. In the event of a misfire, they still try to guess what the pitch might have become one day. But this time, as Grant noted, GameDay just gave the Hell up.

So did the batter, Carlos Quentin who just walks away without a moment of hesitation. It's like the scene in every gangster movie, where the protagonist has an "I never signed up for this, this isn't the way I do business" moment and threatens to leave the game. In this case, we'll need to replace, "blowing up a minivan full of kids" to, "messing up at baseball," which shouldn't be too terribly difficult.

REPLACEMENT OFFICIALS

Hey_medium

(Via Bill Hanstock)

I understand why y'all are so concerned with the quality of replacement NFL officials. If I weren't such an easy-to-please idiot, I would be too. I'll take them as long as they're unbiased ... which, actually, even that might be compromised, given the possibility that refs would be more liable to please the crowd. Well, shit. I really hope I don't have to form an opinion about ****ing officials. It's just so dad-in-the-1960s.

Anyway, laughin' hard at Bumblin' Baxter up there. His body language suggests like he takes gross offense, like anyone would dare toss a football at him. Defensive backs are wide receivers who can't catch, so I guess referees are defensive backs who sucked at the tire drill.

NELSON CRUZ

Mnhks_medium

(Via Baltimore Sports Report. Submitted by @BMoreBirdsNest)

Uh, look at the position of Nelson's glove. It's snapped shut and the opening is facing away from the baseball. I don't really think that catching the ball was even part of the plan here, was it? Guessing he thought he could jump through the State Farm ad and disappear into a President Palmer-narrated parallel universe full of savings and folks who treat you like a customer, not a number. I can hardly imagine how massively disappointed he must have been.

DAMN IT, ASTROS: THE SEQUEL

Astrosderp2_medium

We're, uh ... we're gonna go through this again, Astros? Just last week, we sent your GIF to the Final Four of GIF Tournament II, and here you are again, doing the exact same shit.

As I said in the video, these guys are on like DEFCON-28 levels of apathy by this point. They're on pace to lose 112 games, which no team has done since the 2003 Tigers. You have to go all the way back to the 1965 Mets to find the team before that.

It's also baseball -- August baseball -- we're talking about, so I think we ought to forgive them for reasonable levels of nonchalance. But not, like, "I am going to continue physical locomotion and not care whether I collide with someone/something" levels of apathy. Doesn't seem healthy.

LUIS SUAREZ

Suarez-free-kick2_medium

(Via @bubbaprog)

Unreal. Any GIF in which a human being can put English on a soccer ball with his foot is likely to make it into THIS WEEK IN GIFs.

PABLO SANDOVAL/BRANDON CRAWFORD

(Via Grant Brisbee)

God, I love baseball's No Man's Land. This area in foul territory, 50 feet or so behind third (or first) base, is where some of the weirdest fielding in baseball occurs. The outfielder is the only one with a clear vantage point, but he's often too far away to make a play, leaving the third baseman, or shortstop, or pitcher, or God-knows-who to snag the ball.

Wow, that's two "impressive play" GIFs in a row. I'm really sorry about that, everyone.

THANKS MOM

Ouch_medium

(Via Grant Brisbee)

I'm gonna say what Grant said: this GIF ends at the most unflattering possible time for this woman, who almost certainly tended to her child once she realized what had happened. By no means is this the woman who grabbed a foul ball from a little kid.

Regardless: amazing. I can't tell, but it looks like the kid got straight-up beaned. The issue, though, is this: the still image from this moment might actually be more valuable than the GIF. That's pretty rare. Can such a GIF win THIS WEEK IN GIFs? I suppose we'll find out.

VOTE!

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