Welcome back to our long-running segment entitled "Enjoying Kevin Kiermaier," wherein we blatantly attempt to sway the mindset of whoever it is that votes on the Gold Glove Awards by shotgunning highlight reel videos of our favorite over-eager outfielder, Kevin Kiermaier.
I understand that you've had a long day, working at the ballpoint pen factory or wherever, and sometimes you just want to come home, take off your work boots, check to make sure your goldfish are still alive, and just binge watch videos on your high-end, ultra-thin laptop. Well brother I understand you, and I'm here to help. I should also mention there's some real-life, honest-to-goodness, not-Photoshopped tweets from KK's actual Twitter account mixed in there too, because the actual things he says are weirder than any idiotic fake Joe Maddon tweets from some loser nobody likes.
When I was younger I liked to throw my body around like a ragdoll, and one of the things I'd do would be to jump from the arm of a living room loveseat onto the cushions of a nearby couch. I'd always make the jump, and it felt really cool to just hang there in the air for a while, like when you're swinging on swings and you reach the top of the arc of the swing and you're just weightless for a second. Kevin Kiermaier has apparently found a way to make a living out of the game I played with myself years ago. Either that or he owns moon shoes.
This Day in Kevin Kiermaier History
today holds a special day in my heart..12 yrs ago today i asked out my first girlfriend via instant messenger like a boss— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) July 28, 2014
Kiermaier makes a diving stop to save the first inning perfect game for his best buddy David Price.
But first...lemme take a selfie!!! My man KK!!!! I love this guy pic.twitter.com/z3ru4RB0cG— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) July 23, 2014
As we all know these two went on to be the ultimate Rays dynamic duo for many years to come.
Here's a highlight that features something that we don't think about when we think of KK: his arm. Kiermaier, charging on a ground ball on which it's impossible to take a bad route, fires an strike to Molina to nab the speedy Shin-Soo Choo at home. Seriously, it's a strike. Any variation in the path of the ball and Molina probably wouldn't have been able to switch gears in time to move his glove to tag Choo. Jump ahead to 28 seconds into the video: Molina gets knocked down by the force of Choo's big toe.
Good thing Kiermaier saved this game. Did the Rays win this one?
Something about the sweet Texas air seems to do something to Kiermaier.
shark week has been a really big let down so far with most of the shows that have been on so far it all just seems fake and made up #nobueno— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) August 12, 2014
The night after that solid throw he does this:
That's the deepest part of the park. That's where balls go to die. Staats is confused at first too: he thinks it's a home run, probably because Kiermaier does the exact opposite of pimping the catch. He basically sits down, probably thinking about the disappointment known as Shark Week, and looks more dejected than Evan Longoria when he sees Ducky's quarterly earnings.
Does he need to jump here? I honestly can't tell any more. I've basically been watching these videos over and over again, and these crazy plays are starting to seem ho-hum. It's a pretty fun day when you start arguing whether or not your best defender needs to jump, or if he takes cruddy routes to fly balls, because it's clear that he still has the incredible talent to make these crazy circus catches while learning RF on the fly (baseball pun) and he's not missing.
David Price returns to the Trop. David Price pitches a CG one-hitter. David Price loses 1-0 on an unearned run. I personally think that this is the defensive highlight of the season for the Rays, how this game ended and the emotional stakes involved what with Price's return. I saw, in my mind's eye, an injured Kiermaier leaving the game with a broken something, because that's basically how this season went, but no. He lays out, Super Sam style, and saves this game for the Rays. If that ball bounces, the run scores and the Rays lose. They just lose. I love the superman, arched-back leap back in June, but this is the video I'd put my money on.
Full speed ahead.
Fuller speed ahead
Someone likes to show off against the Red Sox.
This is the first one of the night that's an objectively bad route. But all it does is make it more awesome.
We get three different pronunciations of Kiermaier's name in this clip. I prefer "Kerr-mire," but "Keer-mar" is certainly up there too. It is a pretty fun name to read.
Say it loud and there's music playing.
Say it soft and it's almost like praying.
I'll never stop saying
The most beautiful sound I ever heard.
oh hey look another diving catch
Who among you is surprised?
It's kind of weird to end the highlight reel on this one, because it's not so much a display of defensive prowess as it is capitalizing on Garcia's wacky baserunning. Kiermaier leaps back to make a catch in deep center field, but after all of these dives and jumps this one seems almost mundane. Garcia must not have thought so, though, because he was rounding second when he realized Kiermaier caught it. He ran back to first, but on the way missed second base, so he had to run back to tag it in an impressive display of lateral movement, matched only by me one time in seventh grade Phys Ed when Coach Burroughs had us run suicides on the basketball court and I wanted to call my local congressman.
Escobar really makes this play what it is though. He throws across his body to double up Garcia at first, after Kiermaier makes a looping throw back to the infield, never expecting that Garcia would have strayed that far away from first. But hey this isn't Escobar's Gold Glove Page so get out of the way Yunel Escobar. Go
That's "all" MLB.com has in the way of sparkling defensive gems, but we all pretty much know how great he's been this year. The GG competition is tough this year, but the Twitter game is not even close. Nick Markakis doesn't even have a Twitter, and Kole Calhoun most asks people to vote for Garrett Richards for the All-Star Game, which was like 5 months ago. So Kole Calhoun has only an approximate estimation of time.
This offseason im teachin myself how to play piano like a boss and currently drinkin white wine like a boss..im so sophisticated it hurts— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) October 7, 2014
Just made a late night mcdonalds run and its one of those things where im not mad at myself.. Just disappointed— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) September 2, 2014
Man i love shoppin for random things at Target aka tarjayyy pronounced with a soft j— Kevin Kiermaier (@KKiermaier39) August 2, 2014
These are the words of a man who deserves a Gold Glove. Do not let us down.