Hello again, everyone, and welcome to Week 56 of THIS WEEK IN GIFs. As has been previously established, one or more of these GIFs is eligible for inclusion to the GIF ORACLE, should we decide it worthy. If you haven't played around with the GIF ORACLE, a browsable index of over 200 sports GIFs, please do so!
As always, voting will remain open until Sunday at 11 p.m. Eastern. As always, enjoy.
JARED BURTON/BRIAN DUENSING
I'm gonna shut up for a minute and just let you enjoy this one. Come back when you're ready.
OK. When the Twins' bullpen realized teammate Chris Colabello was hitting one over the fence, they quickly sprang to action.
"As soon as it was hit, [Brian Duensing] goes, 'Come on. Punch me. Punch me,' " [Jared] Burton recounted proudly. "I gave him the right hook and knocked him down."
Burton intentionally whiffed the punch, but was able to sell it perfectly to the camera capturing the home run. It should be noted that the Twins' relief pitchers have been trying to execute this for a year, and made a couple failed attempts last season that apparently didn't make it on camera.
This is completely amazing, and I think it has wheels. Planking, for example, started as absurdist tomfoolery, but it was also very easy to do by its very definition, so it over-saturated the shenanigans market by a factor of 400,000. This particular shenanigan is funny as Hell, especially when you consider how it looks to the uninformed observer, and it can only happen when a home run lands in the bullpen, thereby placing a cap on the rate of shenanigan-inflation. For now, I want to see every bullpen homer end this way.
This is what Alex Rodriguez does. Our Yankees blog, Pinstriped Bible, has provided us with an exhaustive GIF history of his obsession with catching helmets thrown during home run celebrations, which I wasn't at all aware of until this week.
Concerning Mr. Rodriguez himself: throughout his career, but especially lately, there's been a lot of sentiment along the lines of, "he's so hated, and yet he wants so much to be loved." He probably does, since most human beings do, but all I really have to go on is the two percent of him that comes down the media pipe. Does he want to be loved more than most human beings? How the Hell am I supposed to really be able to know that?
Maybe the people who say that really did get to sit with him and have a beer and talk about where the stars come from, but I didn't. I guess that's where The Dugout and my weird-ass athlete fan fiction come from: they're early and complete surrenders in my quest to feel like I actually know any of these people, especially since they can, should they choose, complete their entire career as a celebrity without saying a single meaningful word. It's completely OK to not know things.
CLEVELAND FAN ON FIELD
This just barely counts as a streaking, since this gentleman's undies fell down only about a second before he was tackled. I'm considerably more interested in the tackling methods employed by stadium personnel. The dude in white slowly cuts in like a marauding hawk, placing himself in the perfect position to throw his shoulder into the streaker.
Meanwhile, the dude in the khakis just stands there, still as a stone, and straight-up kicks him. At first I figured he was just trying to trip the guy, but the more I watch it, the more it straight-up looks like a field goal attempt. Maybe that's how they roll in Cleveland. No mace or tasers. Their idea of nonlethal force is just to kick you right in the christophers.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly scoffed at a player who said the gauntlet apparatus was positioned backwards, and then this happened. Those bags are supposed to open up when you run into them, not stay locked like that.
Alternately, please feel free to interpret this as a burglar trying to break into the world's shittiest house.
It's like watching a version of Jeff Francoeur that can do literally any other thing well.
He threw a perfect strike, underhanded, with velocity, at an angle of roughly nine o'clock, while diving and barehanding it. All in a single motion. That might be the coolest infield play I've seen all year.
I'm struggling with whether to file this in the "DAMN IT, ASTROS" category of the GIF ORACLE. It's pretty dumb-looking to just stack a bat on top of a pile of air and start running, but one could argue that if you just want your bunt to drop dead, that's what you do. With less resistance, maybe the bunt would just fall right in front of the plate, where nobody's around to get to it. Ah, wait, the catcher. OK never mind, this shit is stupid.