If I had to attach a theme to this baseball season it would have to be the explosion of GIFs. And GIFs not just in analysis but also in humor. I learned how to make them for Astros related plays, which we'll highlight in a later post, but SB Nation also set up their own resource, division, whatever you want to call it of GIF creation. And Rob Neyer is taking full advantage of it for the playoffs.
One of the greatest minds in baseball using GIFs? yes, please!
Commentary courtesy Rob Neyer
A-Rod + Playoffs = Win (For Us)
Sunday night's American League Division Series game went pretty late, plus there was probably at least one National Concussion League game happening, somewhere. So you might have missed this:
We've Seen This Guy Before
No, Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay didn't save a home run when he caught Danny Espinosa's drive to deep center field. But this was still one hell of a play ...
This Guy Is 38 Years Old (39 In 11 Days)
The replays were pretty conclusive. Ichiro evaded both of Wieters' tag attempts, and slapped the plate to score the Yankees' first run. Wieters, in fact, never did tag him. Ichiro's done a lot of spectacular things over the years, but I suspect this one winds up on the Top 10 list.
Ahhh The Other Side Of A-Rod In The Playoffs
And then, Alex Rodriguez. One swing could tie the game. One out would give the Orioles their first postseason victory at home since 1997. More sinkers. Really hard sinkers. Silly sinkers. Rodriguez took some pitches. Missed some pitches. Fought off some pitches. Full count.
Johnson reared back. Threw his best, hardest, silliest sinker. It was an unhittable pitch, but the guy with 660 home runs tried to hit it ...
These Guys Weren't Very Good At Red Light, Green Light
Adam Jones was next, and after a long battle he sent a medium-speed ground ball toward the shortstop hole, where medium-aged Derek Jeter couldn't quite grab it. Hardy, for some reason, took a peek back at Jeter while heading toward third base. By the time he looked up to see his coaching imitating a windmill, it was too late; Hardy had already slowed down and had to stay a-huggin' third.
Here, see for yourself:
Speaking of Phillips, his baserunning might well have cost the Reds this game. He led off the bottom of the first with a single, then stole second base ... but wasn't content with second base. That same pitch got past the catcher, and so Phillips didn't stop at second base ...
Reds lost this game 2-1 in 10 innings to the Giants /facepalm
The Playoffs Haven't Been Without There Share Of Great Defensive Plays
Two potentially game-changing drives, and two spectacular catches; this time it was Yoenis Cespedes -- by the way, he drove in the A's only run -- who victimized the big first baseman. (Prince Fielder)
I can't get the last GIF to work (which is probably just as well for your systems sake) so go here to view the tremendous play by Yoenis Cespedes.
This post is sponsored by Jack in the Box.