Next, we're going to choose the best A's defensive play of 2014. Nine contenders, poll at the bottom. Let's get to it.
Cespedes throws out Kendrick from outer space
No reason to waste any time getting to this one. This might have been one of the best plays in all of MLB this season. Yoenis Cespedes initially bobbled a relatively routine hit to left field, then nonchalantly trotted over to pick up the ball, and then unleashed a 300-foot strike directly into Derek Norris' glove to nail Howie Kendrick at the plate with room to spare.
Here it is in GIF form, completely unedited.
Oh, pardon me, I just need to launch this baseball through time and space real quick and then we can continue whatever we were doing before.
Cespedes throws out two Angels in one inning
This came several days before the Kendrick throw shown above, but they all occurred within a two-week span. Neither of these throws is anywhere near as impressive as the previous one, but there are two of them. In the same inning. And then 10 days later, Kendrick still ran on that play above.
Where have all the baserunners gone? Gone to Cespedes, every one. When will they ever learn?
Super Sam achieves flight on full-body throw
Let's stick with throws by outfielders for now. Sam Fuld's throw isn't awesome on its own, it's awesome because it was made by Fuld. You see, Fuld doesn't have the physical gifts of most other players, so he has to put a little extra effort into things, sort of like David Eckstein putting his whole body into a routine throw from shortstop to first. In this case, Fuld put so much of himself into his throw that, for a moment, there wasn't enough left to keep him anchored to Earth's gravitational pull and he began to float away.
Fortunately, he returned to normalcy after a moment and was able to continue living on our planet.
Josh Reddick's laser cuts down Astro
George Springer stole 45 bases in the minors in 2013, so he's pretty fast. Here he is trying to advance to third on a deep fly ball to right.
Coco robs homer, rejects fireworks
We already saw this in the nominations for funniest moment. This is the one where Coco brings back Josh Hamilton's homer but the Angels still accidentally set off the post-homer fireworks show, leading Coco to shake off the pyrotechnics with a finger-wag. But for the purposes of this category, the point is he pulled back a homer.
You'd think he's Aaron Burr by the way he's dropping Hamiltons.
Donaldson throws out Hundley from foul territory
Josh Donaldson made 23 errors this year, which means he is not a good fielder. That's the official story from the mainstream baseball world.
Yep. Dude's awful.
(That's catcher Nick Hundley hitting a double down the line, and Donaldson making an incredible diving stop that few others could even dream of and then firing a 140-foot bullet to nail him at first.)
Chavez saves face with great catch
This is one of those moments in life where we can all laugh because nobody got hurt. The difference between "emergency brain surgery" and "the third out" was millimeters, nanoseconds. But since it all worked out, we can safely say HOLY S#!% WHAT A CATCH!
In case you couldn't get that first video to play, here is a dramatic interpretation.
Sonny Gray is a wizard, part 1
Did you know that Sonny Gray is a wizard? When faced with this sharp grounder, he simply cast a Primerus Baggus Deflectorus spell and summoned the ball right back into his glove to make the out. It's actually a lot easier than it looks, but only if you already know magic.
Sonny Gray is a wizard, part 2
One cool thing that not many people know about wizards is that they are excellent multi-taskers. In fact, they are even able to play two different sports at the same time. Here, Sonny practices both baseball and soccer simultaneously, as he casts a Metatarsus Deflectorus spell to kick-save a grounder up the middle and send it directly to Brandon Moss at first.
And that's the story of how Brandon Moss ended up in a post about best defensive plays.
There are your nine options. Pick your favorite and vote below!