Munenori Kawasaki, Human GIF Machine

When Toronto Blue Jays’ shortstop Jose Reyes went down with a serious ankle injury last Friday, the most hyped team going into the 2013 season appeared to be doomed. If only Jays’ fans had known Reyes’ replacement would be a human GIF factory. Meet Munenori Kawasaki. You may remember him as the guy who mounted Casper Wells last season when the two were Seattle Mariners, but Kawasaki is just as renowned for his professional courtesy as he is for his bizarre celebratory positions. On Tuesday night, the eight-time NPB All-Star continued to cement himself as an instant folk hero in Toronto by bowing to one and all. The 31-year old bowed to the umpires before the first pitch against the Chicago White Sox: Then, after J.P. Arencibia’s solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the catcher and shortstop greeted each other in the dugout like so: According to the Wiki entry for bowing, the deeper the bow, the more respect intended. Does Kawasaki respect his teammate more or less than the umpires? You be the judge. UPDATE: Two nights later, Kawasaki gave us another incredible moment. The Blue Jays’ fan favourite pulled off the high-five, bow and “lo viste” combination, with a little swagger at the end for good measure. Regardless of his impact on the field, Kawasaki continues to endear himself to fans with his enthusiasm and GIF-able behaviour.

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