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The Diamondbacks 2011, In Animated GIF Format

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Twilight-clap_mediumI kinda wish I'd thought about this idea before December 30th. Will bear it in mind for next season, however, and gather appropriate examples over the course of the year, rather than running around frantically over the past couple of days. Bit of an learning experience, figuring out how to do things like speed up an animated GIF. Not exactly something you need to do every day. But after the jump, you'll find a selection of ten which, I think, sum up the positive aspects of the year just finished.

For obvious reasons, it's a bit heavy on bandwidth: those looking at the site on mobile devices probably should wait until they get home: the SnakePit accepts absolutely no responsibility for phones that explode as a result of ignoring this advice...


February 26. We should probably have realized something special was afoot from the very first game of spring training. In the contest that opened the new complex at Salt River Fields, some guy called Paul Goldschmidt stepped to the plate and tied the game up with a ninth-inning home-run. While we eventually lost, we would be hearing from Mr. Goldschmidt again...


April 12. Kirk Gibson's first managerial ejection follow ed a confrontation with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson, after a checked-swing call on Miguel Montero . Gibson said, "We disagreed, obviously. I'm not going to get into what was said or why. I think it's fairly obvious. Probably smarter not to talk about it."


June 3. Joe Saunders demonstrates his impeccable focus on the game, not even noticing when closer (and notorious prankster) J.J. Putz puts what seems to be a bubble-gum bubble on his cap during a game against the Nationals. Later in the year, Putz was also largely responsible for the "Tie-gate" prank, in which a commercial from Kirk Gibson's past came back to haunt him.


June 24. The Arizona Diamondbacks' version of the Dramatic Chipmunk occurred in Detroit, and was the result of Wily Mo Pena murdering a pitch in the eighth inning - it not only gave the visitors the lead, it was reported to be the third-longest ball hit in Comerica Park history. While Pena's stint with the Diamondbacks didn't last much longer than the need for a DH, he did give us the Dramatic Baylor. [H/T Nick Piecoro]


August 7. There's something very nice about provoking a disgruntled reaction from an opposing pitcher. Ted Lilly's glove slam has already entered SnakePit lore, and this won't be the last example here. Particularly nice when the victim is the 2011 Cy Young winner, here giving up Cody Ransom's only long-ball of 2011, and being tagged with the loss as a result.


August 11. Paul Goldschmidt had hit a tying homer with two outs in the ninth, and Chris Young walked Arizona off with an extra-inning shot. Young, the savvy veteran, managed to at least somewhat sidestep both an ice bath and a shaving-cream pie in his post-game interview. Goldschmidt... not so much! I particular like the way the reporter casually steps back as J-Up, apparently in full-in Stealth Mode, approaches to deliver his payload...


September 12. Gerardo Parra's defense had turned a Matt Kemp hit into an out earlier in the season, and after an aggressive turn, Kemp wisely opted not to try for two bases in this contest. The decision provoked the reaction above from our Gold Glove-winning fielder. A lot of opposing hitters were not so sensible. [H/T AZDBACKR]


September 23. Who knew Diamondbacks were such aquatic creatures? Arizona had just clinched the NL West, in front of a packed house, against the reigning World Series champions, and a glorious celebration followed. Hugging, spraying of champagne... Yeah, seen it all before. But an impromptu mass plunge into the outfield pool? Only in Arizona.


September 27. Only four players in major league history have hit an extra-inning grand slam with his team down by three runs: Babe Ruth, Roger Freed, Jason Giambi and Ryan Roberts Little wonder Roberts celebrated by imitating manager Gibson's iconic home-run celebration - even if he did it with the wrong arm!


October 5. Got a feeling we'll be seeing this one, any time the Diamondbacks face Shaun Marcum for the rest of his career. Marcum's frustration with the glove was likely because he had failed to field a potential inning-ending double-play off the bat of Justin Upton earlier in the inning. A walk to Miguel Montero and then Paul Goldschmidt made the error come home to roost, in wonderful fashion.

So, we end as we started, with a Gold-zilla homer - such was the circle of D-backs life in 2011...