Welcome, as always, to THIS WEEK IN GIFs! Voting, as always, will remain open until 11 p.m. Eastern. Enjoy! And next week, look out for a TOP SECRET GIF PROJECT I'll be launching.
The greatest-ever athlete response to debris-chucking fans was that of Lonnie Smith in the 1980s. I know it's unusual for me to form tangents while writing THIS WEEK IN GIFs, but bear with me for a minute. In the early 1980s, Smith -- who, and I'm being serious here, was one of the most fascinating athletes of the late 20th century -- was playing in Philadelphia.
Before the game, the Phillie Phanatic started making fun of Smith and his tendency to slip and fall for no apparent reason, so Smith ran over and tackled him. The guy in the costume broke both his ankles, but Smith, for some reason, was still allowed to play. Upon trotting out to left field, Phillies fans started throwing beer bottles at him -- like, glass bottles, because it was the 1980s. So Smith turns around, throws up his arms, and starts taunting them, daring them to hit him. They sure did try, but they didn't hit him, not even once. Days later, Smith checked into a rehab clinic.
Above, Landon Donovan sees a pair of sunglasses an opposing fan threw at him, then decides he may as well wear them. This might be good for second-best.
If you told me that a Yankees fan went for a foul ball in an empty section, with zero competition, and somehow managed not just to drop it, but to launch it into the air, and asked me to guess what he was wearing? I'd probably go with "Dion James jersey and a sleeping bag," but "Bernie Williams jersey and plaid shorts" is pretty close.
(Via Yahoo! Sports)
Shaving bat handles down to kebab skewers has its drawbacks, apparently. You know who I want to see someday? An enormous power-hitter type, like a Jim Thome or Adam Dunn sort of dude, who goes up there with a bat that's just as wide as the handle as it is at the barrel. Ideally, he would hit 27 home runs and bat .140, and he would be my favorite baseball player.
(Via For The Win)
DAAAAAAAMN. I'm probably forgetting something somewhere, but this is maybe the best throw-to-first pickoff I've ever seen.
You know what's awesome about baserunning? Yes, there are guys like Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines who turned it into a science, but for most players there is almost nothing to think about that takes more than three words. "TAKE SMALL LEAD." "LISTEN TO COACH." "TAG UP PLEASE." "PLAY BASE BALL." Meanwhile, the other team is baiting them and tricking them and faking them out like a bunch of old-ass oil tycoons going pheasant hunting.
(Via Amazin' Avenue)
Dude on the right straight-up looks like he's using The Force to wave that baseball out of reach. Or, hey, maybe he's trying to catch the baseball with the back of his hand.
Hey, as long as we're talking about The Force, I'd like to use this pulpit to argue once again that Star Trek, particularly TNG, was vastly superior to anything that ever happened in Star Wars. Every single character in every single movie is made entirely of wood, with the exception of Harrison Ford, who is basically just "Harrison Ford hangin' out." The irony here is that, despite the universe's reliance on spirituality on mysticism, almost nobody can muster up enough soul for a grammatical contraction. On the positive side, it was admittedly interesting for them to place the story in the distant past instead of the distant future, and X-Wing was a really fun computer game.
Bonus: David Price trying to Xbox Kinect his way into a double play.