.gifs From Last Night: Unorthodox Deliveries

Angels-Mariners

Last night in Seattle, Carlos Peguero hit a ball 450 feet to dead center. Somehow, this wasn’t the most extraordinary thing that happened at Safeco that evening. In one fell swoop, Angels right-hander (left-hander?) Garrett Richards revolutionized the art of pitching.

In the potentially groundbreaking .gif above, we see Mariners designated “hitter” Justin Smoak making his way to the plate. Is he trying to gain momentum by running towards the plate a la Happy Gilmore or is something even deeper going on here?

For whatever reason, Richards begins slightly offset to the left of the mound. His delivery begins with the ball in his glove, as most deliveries do. However, Richards has the glove raised and pointing towards first base. He drops his glove cautiously as if he’s catching a very delicate egg, and proceeds to whip his arm around  and release the ball with stunning accuracy. This motion clearly does not allow Richards to take advantage of about 93% of his body, as his right side is just along for the ride and doesn’t play much part in delivering the ball to the catcher. There is an unusual amount of movement in the lower half that includes several steps backward to help Richards make sure he’s still on the rubber. Let’s slow it down.

This .gif allows us to see the incredible conclusion of this play. Smoak, in all his glory, turns on the circus pitch and rips it right back to the pitcher. Richards, who is already pointing at the plate as if he’s prepared for a comebacker, snags the ball with his bare hand. The sheer velocity of the ball propels him backwards, returning him back to a more familiar position at the top of the mound.

Mechanics Report Card

richards chart

We’re gonna keep an eye out for this mystery of a motion throughout the season, but we doubt we’ll see it again any time soon. For one wondrous moment, Garrett Richards changed baseball. We hope it’s not the last time.

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A Brief Examination of Death By Yu Darvish

私はいじめっ子です

As if the Internet hasn’t freaked out about Yu Darvish enough over the last 24 hours, I’m back to take a look at two of Darvish’s victims from his days in Japan. Since half the world’s population has already seen this .gif (as they should), I’ve decided to take a different route.

When Darvish came over last year, we all scurried to our computers or mobile devices to watch some video of the half Japanese, half Iranian freak show of awesomeness. It did not disappoint. While scouring said video, I came across two strikeout victims of Darvish’s that stood out to me.  Let’s take a look.

VICTIM 1:

Darvish unleashes a true 80-grade slider to an innocent batter who simply collapses while attempting to make contact. This is a batter that probably has a wife and kids. Those beloved assumed family members had to watch him fall victim to this torturous sin of a pitch. His back leg straight up dies on him and then the rest of his embarrassed body goes down with it. I enjoy the catcher receiving the pitch and then turning away as if to avoid looking at the dumbfounded batter…or he got hit in the nuts. I can’t really tell. Anyway, I love this. But it’s not nearly as awesome as this next one.

VICTIM 2:

Darvish throws a 90 MPH fastball Up and In and the batter swings, quite literally, for his life. The fact that it wasn’t actually that close to his head makes this even better. Let’s just imagine the thoughts of each human being involved in this beautiful sequence.

  • Darvish: Okay, he wants up and in. I can do that.
  • Catcher: Up and in, Yu. Right here.
  • Batter: oh my god oh my god oh my god what am I gonna do
  • Umpire: how the hell am I supposed to call this guy
  • Darvish: *goes into windup*
  • Batter: okay man you got this just go into your leg kick and
  • Darvish: *releases ball*
  • Batter: DEAR GOD WHAT THE SHIT  *swings* *dies*
  • Catcher: *catches pitch* whoops
  • Umpire: uhhh is he breathing
  • Darvish: *sheepishly touches back of head* hehe I’m Yu Darvish
  • Batter: *is still dead*

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Daily Darvish. Get some.

Hate-Watching the 2013 NFL Draft: A Timeline

“Come forth young players of the football, and prepare for thy first concussion.”

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I don’t watch football anymore. I tried to watch the NFL Draft. This is how it went.

7:47 PM: ESPN cuts away to what is most likely their final commercial before the draft begins. There is an intense montage showcasing three athletic looking humans that I have never seen in my life. One of them is named Geno.

7:52 PM: Mel Kiper is yelling at me about Geno’s mobility. They don’t seem to be listing his home to first time, so it’s hard to say how fast he actually is.

7:57 PM:  They’re discussing potential top pick Eric Fisher who is approximately 7″4 and 478 lbs. He apparently plays on the offensive line which I assume is a line of similar 20 grade bodies who only profile at first base.

8:02 PM: Chris Berman seems already be intoxicated and I’m reminded that I know nothing about football anymore. I am delightfully content with this. “It’s as if we’re kicking off the season tonight!”, Berman exclaims. No. Just no.

8:04 PM: Commissioner Roger Goodell gives heartwarming introduction. While attempting to remember the victims of the West, Texas and Boston bombing tragedies, he is booed mercilessly by the drunken ballfoot fans of New York. USA chants break out. What the hell is this?

8:11 PM: Kiper mentions trading down for someone named Ryan Madson. I was almost positive he was on the DL, but maybe he’s draft eligible…? Not sure this would be the best career move for him. While admittedly the role as Angels closer is an intimidating task, entering the League of National Football seems ill-conceived.

8:12 PM: Barkevious Mingo sounds like an awful, awful disease. And is unquestionably straight from Key & Peele.

8:17 PM: The aforementioned unfathomably large Fisher is taken number one overall by the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s nice to be reminded that the #BARVES and the Indians aren’t the only professional teams left offending Native Americans on a daily basis.

8:20 PM: I switch over to the Reds-Nationals game and am instantly more entertained by Bronson Arroyo’s facial hair than anything that has happened in the NFL Draft so far. Bryce Harper doubles down the left field line because duh.

8:31 PM: Berman is yelling random stuff at Kiper and Jon Gruden and they literally don’t know how to respond, resulting in an uncomfortable amount of silence.

8:33 PM: The Raiders trade their pick to the Dolphins for some reason that I don’t care about but man oh man I wish teams could trade draft picks in the MLB draft.

8:35 PM: Miami takes a guy named Dion Jordan who is on the phone in tears and an underwhelming bow-tie. Gruden looks mortified. HOW COULD THEY DO THIS TO HIM ?!?!?!?!?! When asked about the trade, Jordan explains to Suzy Kolber “it surprised me, cause it’s my first time”. As opposed to…?

8:43 PM: I’m reminded that a lot of the music played over ESPN football highlights sounds like it’s straight from Mario Kart 64. The E-A-G-L-E-S take another large human named Lane Johnson. Lane’s VIP table in the back includes a young woman with braces (who I can only assume is related to Alcides Escobar) and a short old man with a 70 grade mustache and a cowboy hat.

8:47 PM: Chris Berman compares the draft to playing with Legos. Not sure where to go from here.

8:51 PM: With the fifth pick, The Lions take a guy who is apparently from Ghana named Ezekiel Ansah. He gives who I presume is his mother an extremely slow hug. He has cornrows and is wearing hipster glasses that I’m 83% sure do not have lenses. Wait no, 100% sure. Wow. Apparently he plays football.

8:55 PM: The Cleveland Oranges take Mingo. He looks like a fine upstanding citizen but more importantly HIS NAME IS LITERALLY BARKEVIOUS MINGO. HOW EVEN

9:10 PM: The St. Louis Rams take speedy WR Tavon Austin. Would Tavon be better than Trayvon in center field? These are the vital questions that ESPN fails to ask.

9:17 PM: The Jets are about to draft someone and everyone is going to boo. It’s the excessive pitching change of the NFL Draft.

9:18 PM: The Jets draft someone and everyone boos.

9:27 PM: The Titans, my favorite team as a child (RIP Steve McNair) draft an immense offensive lineman from Alabama who apparently could not find a jersey that fit him during his entire career there. Yay?

9:31 PM: I can’t take it anymore. I’m off to make more Darvish .gifs.

<3

.gifs From Last Night: Yu Darvish Breaks Mike Trout

Rangers-Angels

  • First of all, lol.
  • I’m legitimately unsure how this pitch is even possible coming from a someone that isn’t a bad high school pitcher or Barry Zito by accident.
  • Watch the guy second from the left of the chyron in the black jacket and black hat. As he sees the pitch drop into Pierzynski’s glove, he turns away slightly as if he just witnessed something literally disgusting.
  • The umpire clearly took immense pleasure in ringing Trout up on a pitch that looks frighteningly similar to Bugs Bunny’s trickery.

Stay tuned for more Darvish .gifs. Later today, I’ll examine his most vicious attacks on two unfortunate Japanese hitters.

.gifs From Last Night: The Multitasking Panda

Diamondbacks-Giants

  • If you were one of the few who didn’t think Sandoval belonged in the circus, you sure do now.
  • Pablo’s thought process: “Okay dive! alright sweet, got the ball, should probably throw it to first but hold on I gotta blow a bubble real quick…okay got that out of the way, guess I’ll go for the out now”
  • Just the fact that Pablo can hit the ground without bouncing back up is a fair tribute to human innovation.
  • That’s a lot of BIG league chew. Get it? Big. Because he’s big.
  • I love how every baseball player checks that the ball is in the glove before they throw. I guess it’s understandable, I mean you never know what else could get in there.

.gifs From Last Night: Joey Shats

Blue Jays-Orioles

  • Here we see Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion, Mark DeRosa and Jose Bautista ducking for their lives.
  • Edwin’s reaction is similar to that of a small child getting a spider shoved in his face
  • Bautista’s dodge is clearly the most impressive, as he woulda gotten that ball right in the face.
  • You have to wonder why DeRosa bothered getting out of the way; you would think as the Veteran Presence he would take one for the team to stop the team’s real superstar from getting hurt.
  • It’s unclear who that is shielding his head at the end of the frame on the far left, but that is technique form if I ever saw it.
  • The batter of this foul ball was Munenori Kawasaki, who has been responsible for his fair share of amazingly hilarious .gifs as well.

Part 5: ARE THEY RELATED ?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Click here for Part 4.

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WILLIE AND NEIL PATRICK HARRIS

Can we first just notice that Willie’s bat in that picture has Francisco Cordero’s name on it and discuss the implications of that? How unprepared was Willie for his picture day that he had to get a customized bat from another player that also happens to be a relief pitcher? Like WHAT ?! Anyway, this one is a serious stretch. Interracial is doable when it comes to ATR’s, but once you start measuring career accomplishments, it gets a little foggy. While Neil was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010, Willie was busy finishing up his time as a National with an abysmal .653 OPS. The immense difference in overall success between these two is the most telling factor.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 2%

JOHN AND RONALD McDONALD

As usual, the poses are essential in evaluating the connection. John is now with the Pirates, filling the super utility role with #grace and #sparkle. But has John inspired/scared/helped millions of people worldwide? Most definitely not. Ronald has touched kids lives across the nation in more ways that we want to know, and he has the clear edge when it comes to universal impact. In 2003, Ronald was given the “Chief Happiness Officer” of McDonald’s Corporation. Also in 2003, John slugged .280 as an Indian. Yeah, no.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 9%

BRANDON AND THE LINGERIE FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Do we really need to debate this? I guess it’s a bit hard to comprehend that Brandon is related to every single shameless girl that plays in this league. But as a whole, this is as clear as ever. Brandon is that crazy reliever with the crazier tattoos and the craziest hair. The Lingerie Football League is that crazy league with the crazier football and the craziest rules. Case closed.

% CHANCE THEY’RE RELATED: 99.99999%