PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 7: The glove of Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates flies off against the Chicago Cubs during the game on September 7, 2012 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Every week, we make GIFs out of the worst sports plays we've seen. This week, we celebrate the very worst in baseball and football.
Welcome back to the Week in Worst, where we celebrate really terrible things that happened in sports over the past seven days ... in GIF form. This week, we're expanding the Week in Worst to include football, now that the 2012 NFL season is finally underway.
You may see some of the football categories fluctuate from week to week as we hunt for the very best of the crud each week. The football plays will also be decidedly less scientific than the baseball plays, but hopefully no less hilarious.
There are a whole lot of worthy GIFs and angles this week, so in the interest of not killing your computer, there will be a liberal sprinkling of links to extra images throughout. Consider these to be like "Easter eggs" on DVDs, when we used to watch DVDs. Or like "Easter eggs" on Homestar Runner, when that used to exist. Or like actual Easter eggs, if you want to be weird about it.
With that thrilling introduction now firmly in the books, we move on to the very worst plays for the week of Sept. 3-10, 2012.
Pitcher: Josh Lindblom
Date: Sept. 4
Location: 65 inches from center of plate
This pitch made the Reds' television broadcaster say "Holy Moses." That's pretty much the same reaction everyone else watching had. He's saying what we're all thinking!
Honorable Mention: A.J. Burnett, Sept. 7, 48 inches from center of plate
A.J. Burnett winged this pitch literally four feet wide of the plate, allowed a runner to advance and then made a "The f***, bro?" hand gesture. He may have actually been saying those words. We'll never know. Either way, this is possibly the most unrepentant worst pitch we've seen in this column.
Worst Pitch (Result)
Pitcher: Andrew Bailey
Batter: Anthony Gose
Date: Sept. 8
Result: Home run, 119.0 mph speed off bat
At first, I thought there was a problem with this GIF. You may think there is, too. But this is just Bailey serving up a pitch on a platter and Gose -- who I have definitely not heard of before this -- hitting the fifth-fastest home run of the year off of him. You may remember that last week Edwin Encarnacion of the Toronto Blue Jays hit the fifth-fastest home run of the year. Now his teammate has bested him.
Here's a better look at how juicy that pitch was. I like to imagine the home plate umpire is grabbing his head in shock and horror at the force of the home run. "AY-YI-YI!" says the ump. "THAT'S A SPICY MEAT-A-BALL!"
Pitcher: Evan Scribner
Batter: Mark Trumbo
Date: Sept. 3
Location: 32 inches from center of plate
Mark Trumbo has been in some kind of a slump lately. This was not his first strikeout of the day. The catcher wanted a high fastball and Scribner obliged by throwing one EXTRA-high. Take that, Trumbo.
Also, Trumbo apparently does this when he steps into the box. Hypnotic and lewd.
Honorable Mention: Bronson Arroyo, Sept. 8
Did you know that Bronson Arroyo is a pitcher? True story! This may actually be the first time the Houston Astros have appeared in the Week in Worst and have not been the ones doing something stupid. Congratulations, Astros!
Honorable Mention: Pedro Ciriaco, Sept. 5
Kevin Millwood would later win this game. That win was the fifth of the year for Millwood. He now has five wins. He has started 27 games. Kevin Millwood is 37 years old. He pitched the first leg of a six-pitcher no-hitter for the Seattle Mariners earlier this year.
Mariners have four more wins than the Boston Red Sox in 2012. This is a picture of one of the best hitters on the Red Sox swinging and missing at a pitch three feet away from the middle of the plate that was thrown by the worst starting pitcher on the Mariners.
We're down the rabbit hole, people.
Worst Defensive Play
Player: Josh Harrison
Date: Sept. 7
Remember that A.J. Burnett pitch up there? The wild pitch that allowed a runner to advance? Funny story: here's how that runner got on first base to begin with. This happened mere pitches before the wild pitch we've already seen.
At first glance, this doesn't look like anything spectacularly awful, but this play improves with each new camera angle. It's like the Rashomon of suck. Click here for a somewhat better look at what's going on with this foolish fielder.
Not convincing enough for you that this is an awful play? How about this angle, where it looks like Harrison is barfing up his glove?
Still not good enough? Then let us turn our attention to the Pirates' glorious AGH slow-mo cam, which is also the sound that Harrison makes when this ball hits him square in the armpit.
Honorable Mention: Detroit Tigers ballboy, Sept. 4
You may say that this play shouldn't count because the Tigers ballboy is not a professional athlete. But check out out snagging this ball and giving the Cleveland Indians a double while basically staring straight at the umpire calling the ball fair.
- "Fair ball! Fair ba--WHAT DID I JUST SAY? HEY! HEY! Ugh, DOUBLE."
The kid tries to pass off like the ball was TOTALLY FOUL YOU GUYS WHADDAYA MAD AT ME FOR. Unfortunately, he passes it off about as well as this surreptitious butt-pick.
Brennan Boesch can't stop watching BAT BOY pop his shorts out of his butt. Can't blame him; the image is mesmerizing.
Passer: John Skelton
Date: Sept. 9
Well, this has gotta be Sunday's John Skelton shovel-pass, doesn't it?
The pass was so bad that the intended receiver just died on the spot. Sad, but still funny. The Cardinals somehow won this game. Maybe that's the funny part.
Worst Dropped Pass
Passer: Andrew Luck
Intended Target: Donald Brown
Date: Sept. 9
All things considered, Andrew Luck's debut was pretty solid. Imagine how well he would have done if the rest of the Indianapolis Colts didn't pretty much stink on ice. Here's him trying to gently place the ball in the hands of a wide-open man from like 4 yards away.
"Oh good gravy, I'm open! Heave it to me, Andrew! Look at me, I'm running backwards with no one around me a-tall! I'll surely be able to reel it AW NERTZ."
The sad little head-tap by thatdefender as he jogs by is a nice, heartbreaking touch.
Team: Oakland Raiders
Opponent: San Diego Chargers
Date: Sept. 10
The Oakland Raiders got to debut on Monday Night Football, where they wasted absolutely no time at all in reminding everyone that they continue to be the Oakland Raiders. In the Raiders-iest play of the game, they Raiders-ed all over the place with this ... whatever the hell this was.
Bonus points for the Chargers' defense absolutely obliterating Taiwan Jones at the end there.
Kicker: Ryan Succop
Date: Sept. 9
While there may have been some field goals this week that missed the goalpost by a wider margin, none of them was quite so spectacular a failure as the Kansas City Chiefs on this Ryan Succop 40-yard attempt.
Look at where the ball begins and where it ends up, as it clangs sadly against the right upright. Not sure why he was overcome with the sudden need to bend it like friggin Beckham but he uh ... probably shouldn't have done that. Succop really puts the "suck" in field goal attempts am I right?
Team: Washington Redskins
Opponent: New Orleans Saints
Date: Sept. 9
Robert Griffin III and the Redskins stunned the world by upsetting the Saints on Sunday, but they also stunned their punter in the second quarter by just straight-up letting a mess of dudes through the offensive line for a blocked punt and subsequent touchdown.
Oh, no one! Okay, that makes more sense. Whoever was supposed to block that guy should change his name to Chuck No-block, if you see what I did there. Wait, that's a baseball joke. Crap.
Worst Touchdown Celebration
This week we're going to give it to Vernon Davis and his amazing vertical.
Check that out, man. VD could play for the Warriors with moves like that! No, really, he could start for them. They should look into this.
Lastly, we won't be delving into college football too often here because there is just too much to reasonably track from week to week, but the below GIF, via 30fps, will get the honor of becoming the first-ever
The perpetrators in this play are the put-upon Kent St. Golden Flashes, who tried to give a handoff to Dri Archer in order to get out of their own end zone against the Kentucky Wildcats. What they should have planned to do was to have quarterback Spencer Keith get his friggin clownshoes out of the way first.
- Desperation attempt by Archer to sprawl and try to break the plane of the end zone going OUT, even though safeties don't work that way
- Keith nearly going down in the end zone as well due to tripping someone
Great job to all our participants this week. You really crapped things up exceptionally.
Who stunk up the joint the most?
Josh Lindblom (30 votes)
A.J. Burnett (9 votes)
Andrew Bailey (10 votes)
Mark Trumbo (43 votes)
Bronson Arroyo (6 votes)
Pedro Ciriaco (6 votes)
Josh Harrison (47 votes)
Donald Brown (24 votes)
The Arizona Cardinals (39 votes)
Ryan Succor (7 votes)
The Oakland Raiders (133 votes)
The Washington Redskins (15 votes)
Vernon Davis (46 votes)
Kent State (65 votes)
480 total votes