Welcome to THIS WEEK IN GIFs, everybody. Voting will remain open until Sunday at 11 p.m. Eastern, and that's totally a formality anyway, because I know which one we're voting for:
DAMN IT, ASTROS: PART 7
(Via Baseball Nation's Grant Brisbee)
Jonathan Villar is already a THIS WEEK IN GIFs superstar, having appeared twice already (most notably for trying to bunt by throwing the bat at the ball). I reckon I'll need to add this one to the Astros section of the GIF ORACLE.
I know that y'all are gonna vote for this one, and that this week's poll is largely ceremonial. The rest of the field is actually very strong this week, but they shall wither in the cold shadow of this grand ass-face spectacle.
Orlando's CBS affiliate aired this ticker in response to all the local football fans who called in to complain that the Jaguars game was being shown. They do have a point: while Jacksonville is about two hours away from Orlando, the city was only about 45 minutes from a man in overalls chopping firewood, stacking it neatly in cords, and wiping his brow at regular intervals. If you've never seen Jeff Mitchell go to work, it really is something. Sure can chop.
This might be the first time in the history of professional baseball that a baserunner was tagged out while literally sitting in the batter's box. It would have been futile to run to first, certainly, but he really should have taken advantage of that dirt path and made a run for the mound. If he had slid in safely, he could have stalled for leverage and perhaps negotiated his way to first. Or anything else, really. In 2006, Johnny Estrada was safe-at-mound and demanded a Nintendo cartridge retrofitted into a harmonica, which he promptly received.
But there is one thing for which you can never, ever negotiate. In 2011, Willie Bloomquist slid into the mound, and then he slowly rose to his feet and doffed his cap as his eyes filled with tears. "I don't want to play," he sputtered. "I don't want to play baseball anymore." The players, coaches, and umpires present exchanged silent glances before cackling aloud in unison. "No," they said, "you cannot quit. You must play baseball forever." He stared at his little yarn-knit mittens, which the commissioner's office mandates he wears in lieu of batting gloves, his lip quivered, and he thought of home. He is still playing. Also his baseball glove is made of yarn too. What an asshole.
I'm going to give you a little bit of context and then just get out of the way. This is the last play of the game. Utah (in red) is leading Oregon State (in white), 48-44.
I get that opportunities to pick off a throw are relatively few and far between, and requires instincts and reflexes so ingrained that you can't turn them off easily. But this might be the greatest/worst "college defensive back unnecessarily tries to intercept football" moment since the Bluegrass Miracle. That moment was so great, it stole the title from the original "Bluegrass Miracle," which was the time my friend and I borrowed his dad's automatic rifle, set a can of gasoline in a field, and shot it until it exploded. On one hand, that is easily explained and thereby not actually a miracle, but what you almost must remember is that shut the f*** up.
FLETCHER COX/PHILIP RIVERS
Philip Rivers isn't just surprised that his opponent wouldn't help him up. He's, like, STARTLED by man's cold indifference to fellow man. If Philip Rivers designed a haunted house, it'd probably be well-lit and filled with families sitting at dining room tables and refusing to pass the salt. He could never bring himself to watch Candyman, because the way people talked about it, he assumed it was a man who brought candy, but not enough for everyone.
MAN RUNS OVER CHILD AGAIN
We already have a section of the GIF ORACLE that's largely made up of kids who suffer physical/emotional harm because adults can't stop being dumb assholes. This is one of those times I drop my whole "happy contrarian" thing. I can't deal with kids being hurt and placed into danger. The job of that uniformed guy to the right should be to punch that guy in the face. Like, his application for employment should have been a single check mark, is what I'm saying.
Before the Astros GIF arrived on the scene, I was pretty much certain that Johnny was going to win this week. That is so not true anymore, but that doesn't make this any less amazing. He chucks the ball 40 yards for a 10-yard gain.
Check out the back judge and cable-camera trying to get the Hell out of the way, since they clearly didn't expect Manziel to draw the stage that far back. If he went any further, we would've seen Terrence Malick sitting cross-legged in a director's chair at the 25-yard line, and football would've suddenly made complete sense.