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There were plenty of mishaps in professional sports this week. Here's a roundup of the worst plays ... in GIF form.
Welcome back to the Week in Worst, where we look at animated images of the worst plays of the week. It's kind of self-explanatory, actually. Carry on.
This week was really something else, as far as bad moments go. In the NFL in particular. You can probably guess at least one of the things that will be on this list. Yeah. But other than that (and including that!), let's laugh about all the lousy-looking crud that we were treated to this past week. Sports is great. Especially when it's awful.
There were a lot of honorable mentions this week, so in the interest of sparing your browser's valuable cache of grist or whatever, please make use of the lovely links to bonus GIFs that are sprinkled throughout. It'll be like finding the bonus fries in the bottom of your fast food bag. They're the best fries of all.
Here are the very worst plays from the world of MLB and the NFL for the week of September 17-24.
Worst Pitch (Location)
Pitcher: Bryan Morris
Location: 47.48 inches from center of plate
This one, admittedly, is assisted by Michael McKenry leaping and whacking the ball off into the Pittsburgh night. Still, it's hard to argue with selecting this pitch as the worst of the week. Look at McKenry! He jumps all the way out of his helmet and mask! That's incredible. You should also take a moment to click here and watch the reverse angle of this pitch. It's well worth your time.
Honorable Mention: Tyson Ross, September 22. 53.292 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) This one came in a pretty hairy situation, as the bases were loaded in the bottom of the 14th inning and Ross very nearly heaved the ball into the backstop. The reaction from the catcher is pretty priceless here.
Honorable Mention: Travis Blackley, September 22. 32.4 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) Boy, the Oakland Athletics sure are showing up in this Week in Worst a lot. This is from the same game as the Ross pitch! Boy, you'd think they had some sort of catastrophically bad week or something. Spoiler: they show up in this column again.
Honorable Mention: Frank Herrmann, September 18. 31.2 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) That, my friends, is a terrified catcher. Although this wasn't the worst pitch of the week, this one may be one of my favorite GIFs this time around. That catcher is just so scared. There's a lot going on here. The batter is pretty scared, too, but he plays it off a lot better. And the umpire looking back at the ball. This is like a Rembrandt of suck.
Worst Pitch (Result)
Pitcher: A.J. Griffin
Batter: Miguel Cabrera
Date: September 18
Result: 115.1 mph home run (speed off bat)
You shouldn't uh.
You probably shouldn't throw a pitch to Miguel Cabrera there. Perhaps you've heard that Cabrera is going absolutely bonkers this season re: crushing the bejeezus out of baseballs. Perhaps you should extrapolate from that not to throw a hanging breaking ball directly in the center of the plate, perfectly belt-high to Cabrera. That's what we might affectionately term "his wheelhouse." He's gonna clobber that ball. Then him and the catcher and the umpire are gonna be like "HOLY--"
Don't do that, A.J. Griffin.
Batter: Martin Maldonado
Pitcher: Gio Gonzalez
Date: September 21
Location: 30.66 inches from center of plate
Sure, that's a pretty bad swing. It's half-assed and he swung at a pitch way out of the zone. But that's not why this is the worst swing of the week. This is the worst swing of the week because the pitch that immediately preceded it was this pitch:
That Gio Gonzalez pitch and the pitch that Maldonado swing were exactly the same distance away from the center of the plate, just in completely different directions.
But let us take a moment to appreciate the terrible Gio Gonzalez pitch, which was NOT the worst pitch of the week, but which WAS most likely an homage to the roller blading Raptor GIF that we all know and love. This is getting meta as heck.
Honorable Mention: Prince Fielder, September 17. 26.64 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) Prince Fielder swung at a pitch that bounced in front of the plate. When Fielder is mashing taters, he looks like an absolute beast. When he's swinging at pitches in front of the plate, he sort of looks like Jiminy Glick. Things are tough all over.
Honorable Mention: Bryan Petersen, September 18. 26.22 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) Sometimes you reach your arms way out to try to hit a pitch far away from you. But you don't want to jump toward it, so you just end up sort of leaning and sticking your butt out. Keep in mind that, as bad as this swing was, it is miles better than any swing that Aaron Rowand took in 2011.
Honorable Mention: Jose Iglesias, September 18. 27.42 inches from center of plate. (Click here to view.) Sometimes you just have a run-of-the-mill bad swing. Move along, everyone. Nothing to see here.
Worst Defensive Play
Player: Wilin Rosario
Date: September 18
At first glance, this play does not look like anything more than your standard passed ball that allows a run to score.
However, if we look closer, we can observe a strange phenomenon that can simply be titled "Wilin Rosario attempts to field a baseball."
Wilin Rosario is an amazing batting talent. He's sort of like Giancarlo Stanton with slightly less power and significantly less "totally looks like The Rock." The downside of Rosario is that he plays the catcher position like someone has told him the ball is lava and he fields the first baseman position like he is actually covered in lava.
Also, he was born with magnets in his hands that are the opposite polarity of a standard MLB baseball.
Admittedly, that's a problem.
Worst NFL Play
Date: September 23
This GIF is way, WAY too big to include in the body of this article, so please click this link right here to see the very very worst combined play of the NFL's Week 3. I don't even know how to tackle this one (football term). Jay Cutler throws an interception to Cortland Finnegan, who fumbles it back to the Bears, who attempt to fumble it once more. Just a total clusterfrig of terrible here. Everyone should be ashamed of themselves for being a part of this. I don't know who won this game, but I hope no one did. I hope that, after this play, the game was called on account of sucking so bad.
Team: Miami Dolphins
Date: September 23
The Dolphins were attempting to ice the kicker of the New York Jets in overtime, which is already a stupid and bush league move. The joke was on them, though, as the Dolphins accidentally(?) blocked the field goal as Joe Philbin was calling a time out. After the time out was taken, the Jets kicked a field goal to win the game. Probably shouldn't have taken that time out, is my suggestion.
Date: September 24
Kind of inevitable, I guess, but if this can't make Week in Worst, then what is the point of anything? You got one ref calling a touchdown and the other ref calling a timeout or something and a player trying to remind the second ref what the signal for "touchback" is. This is a brand-new play they've invented called a touchception. A backdown. a timetouch. Whatever it is, it was hilarious and awful all at once. Just as it should be.
Worst Use of a Hat
Date: September 23
Come on, man. That's not where a hat goes. Come on. Knock it off.
Who made the worst play of the week?
Bryan Morris (0 votes)
Tyson Ross (0 votes)
Aaron Laffey (0 votes)
Travis Blackley (0 votes)
Frank Herrmann (1 vote)
A.J. Griffin (1 vote)
Martin Maldonado (0 votes)
Gio Gonzalez (33 votes)
Prince Fielder (1 vote)
Bryan Petersen (0 votes)
Jose Iglesias (0 votes)
Wilin Rosario (4 votes)
The Bears and Rams (28 votes)
The Dolphins (10 votes)
Touchdown call refs (219 votes)
Hat-throwing ref (67 votes)
364 total votes