Apologies for the late arrival of the third edition of our GIFs of the Week series, due to a series of random drug tests, we were forced to delay publication.
But, much like the man we’re attempting to nickname, we have lots of blood and urine here at B&N so feel free to cast your mind back to the wild and wonderful third week of this season through the powerful medium of graphical interchange format.
5. Eric Thames does inhuman things to the Reds
At this point we all know just how good Eric Thames has been so far this season, but it does bear repeating. His triple-slash so far this year is .370/.489/.904. He has a .904 slugging percentage!
Ryan Zimmerman is second in baseball this season with eight home runs (which is a cool story in itself) but Eric Thames has hit seven home runs against one team, those poor Cincinnati Reds.
The man affectionately nicknamed ‘God’ in South Korea will almost certainly cool off at some point, but if you aren’t enjoying this extraordinary start to the season then maybe baseball isn’t for you.
4. Ichiro homers on his return to Safeco Field
At the age of 43, Ichiro likely doesn’t have too many Major League seasons left in the tank – although he has publicly stated he wants to keep playing to the age of 50 – and so this may be the last time we see him at Safeco Field where he spent his heyday.
Therefore, it was only fitting that he brought the Seattle crowd to its feet one final time with a home run that casts the mind to that infamous Brad Pitt quote: how can you not be romantic about baseball?
Resigned largely to pinch-hitting duty with Miami, it would be great to see Ichiro roll back the years this season with that ubiquitous swing that will one day be immortalised outside the stadium he once called home.
3. Chris Davis avoids a bizarre double play
There’s a couple of wonderful moments in this GIF. Firstly the split second after Eugenio Suarez drops the ball and he can’t quite believe what he’s done.
A sprawling Manny Machado dives back to the bag as Suarez smartly throws the ball to second base, at which point an almost visible light bulb in Chris Davis’ head goes off and he hustles to the bag to avoid one of this season’s most bizarre double plays.
Once all the madness had calmed down, the umpires ruled that the catch had been made and the ball dropped on transfer, giving this play an understated description: ‘Chris Davis lined out to third baseman Eugenio Suarez’.
2. Eddie Rodriguez misses Manny Machado. Three times.
The hullabaloo erupted last Sunday, quite rightly, over Matt Barnes’ wild pitch that sailed over the head of Manny Machado.
We won’t get into that here, but what we will say is that that incident likely never occurs if Eduardo Rodriguez manages to hit Machado on one of three occasions where he tried but failed.
I suppose a small amount of credit can be given to Rodriguez for only trying to throw a rock at 90mph at a man’s legs rather than head, and a large amount of credit can be given to catcher Christian Vazquez who – bless him – sets up over the plate on each occasion only to lunge back into the batters box to retrieve the useless pitch.
1. John Lackey gets upset
Some readers may be familiar with a previously immortalised GIF of John Lackey visibly swearing after giving up runs, and to you I propose the latest addition to the collection.
Patrick Kivlehan’s first career double to clear the bases and give his side a commanding lead should be the star of the show here, but Lackey’s brilliantly obvious mouthing off can’t help but steal the acclaim.
It’s rare to see Lackey – a man with the poise and grace of a mouth-breathing neanderthal – lose his cool like this, but what fun it truly is.