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Old 07-13-2011, 07:38 PM
Location: Albuquerque, NM
13,285 posts, read 15,302,626 times
Reputation: 6658


The 100 Worst Baseball Players Of All Time: A Celebration (Part 1)

1. Mario Mendoza, 1974-1982 (Pirates/Mariners/Rangers)
Mario Mendoza is the bad player all other bad players are measured by. The Mendoza Line, a .200 average, has been the benchmark of failure for the legions of weak-hitting infielders who came after him. His career average was .215—making him the rare player for whom "lifetime .215 hitter" means he was better than you thought.

6. Michael Jordan, 1994 (Birmingham Barons)
Some people might think walking into a AA ballpark at the age of 30, after not having played competitive baseball for a decade, and hitting .202 with 30 stolen bases is impressive. Not on a per-dollar basis: During Michael Jordan's baseball stint, Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf continued to pay his basketball salary. That, along with the absurd standards Jordan set for himself in the NBA and the Veeckian nature of his endeavor, are enough to land His Airness on this list.

31. Jose Lima, 1994-2006 (Astros/Tigers/Royals/Dodgers/Mets)
There is no player more deserving of celebration than Jose Lima. He made failure a jubilant spectacle and success a hyperbolic joy. Lima was responsible for some of the worst-pitched seasons in baseball history—in 2000 he went 7-16, 6.65 and in 2005 he went 5-16, 6.99—and his durability as a starter was a reflection more on the addictive nature of Lima Time than his actual effectiveness as a pitcher. He sang. He danced. He pitched a miracle shutout in the 2004 playoffs to give the Dodgers' their first postseason victory since 1988. He also usually stunk; it was part of his mystique. Jose Lima is tragically dead. Long live Jose Lima.
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Old 07-13-2011, 07:47 PM
Location: Minneapolis
2,526 posts, read 3,051,326 times
Reputation: 4343
This is a great list, thanks!

I especially like no 44, Tony Suck: "Tony Suck sucked long before the word "suck" came to mean suck."
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:14 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,119,848 times
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Not really scientifically organized, but as a fun piece it is decent. I would think it obvious that # 68, Ray Oyler, desrves a far higher ranking, as does # 77, Neifi Perez.

As for ommissions, the list loses legitimacy by overlooking the nine season, .234 .246 .312 .558 career of Rob Picciolo, who in 1720 plate appearances, walked but 25 times. Not only was he skilled at avoiding reaching base, once there he knew how to erase himself, getting caught 11 times in 20 career stolen base attempts.
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Old 07-13-2011, 10:47 PM
Location: Long Island,New York
8,164 posts, read 15,142,695 times
Reputation: 2534
I don't see the fat toad...Hideki Irabu. Interesting list though.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:57 PM
Location: Hometown of Jason Witten
5,985 posts, read 4,378,519 times
Reputation: 1922
The list is interesting and amusing, but like George Gershwin said, "it ain't necessarily so." I suppose Eric Nusbaum had to include some fairly decent players to maintain interest, and there are lots of writers who never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

The one thing that really bugs me is Nusbaum's tendency to equate high ERA's and bad win-loss records with lousy pitching. He should read this forum and become enlightened.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:32 PM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 24,119,848 times
Reputation: 21239
The endeavor is misnamed. It isn't really an attempt to identify the 100 worst ballplayers of all time, rather it is a list of 100 ballplayers, some of whom were famously inept hitters or had spectacularly poor defensive skills, some of whom were okay players but became infamous for other reasons, and some of whom weren't bad at all, just overrated. Worse, they are clumped together by common traits, for example, numbers 52 through 62 all made the list as "Notorious Or Unpleasant Individuals." And these guys all happened to rank one after another on the list of the 100 worst? How was it determined that scapegrace behavior made for no worse than the 52nd worst and no better than the 62nd?

If it had been called "100 Crappy Ballplayers" and made no attempt to rank them in order, I'd have no complaint.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:44 PM
Location: Cook County
5,289 posts, read 7,488,150 times
Reputation: 3105
It's deadspin...things like this are what make it awesome, they don't worry about crap like that.4

"Marvelous Marv" was the worst player on the worst team of all time. Playing for the 120-loss 1962 Mets, Throneberry set a record for lowest fielding percentage by a first baseman. He once hit a triple, but was called out after missing both first and second base while on his way to third.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:51 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,968,624 times
Reputation: 36644
I only have an expert opinion on the worst players that played for my favorite team, mostly acquired in trades for superstars:

Neil Allen (acquired in trade for Kieth Hernandez)
Sixto Lezcano ( for Ted Simmons)
Rick Wise (for Steve Carlton)
George Brunet (for Nelson Briles)
Bobby Del Greco (for Bill Virdon)
Gino Cimoli (for Wally Moon)
Dave LaPoint (for Rollie Fingers)
Charley Smith (for Ken Boyer)
Felix Jose (for Willie McGee)
Pete Falcone (for Ken Rietz)
Tom Brunansky (for Tommy Herr)
Vic Raschi (for Enos Slaughter)
Don Cardwell (for Lindy McDaniel)
Cash (for Jose Cruz)

Paradoxically, several of the players that the Cards traded away for worse players are on the OP's list. I can assure you that Ken Rietz was a much MUCH better player than Pete Falcone.

There is one Cardinal that genuinely belongs on the list, that I remember from radio games in my childhood. Jay Van Noy walked in his first plate appearance, so I hope he saved the ball. He then struck out 6 times in a row, then finally put a ball in play for a ground out, and went back to the minors.

Last edited by jtur88; 07-14-2011 at 11:18 PM..
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:52 AM
Location: Brooklyn
40,050 posts, read 34,600,599 times
Reputation: 10616
There should be a Fictional Division to that list, wherein we would definitely find the 1943 Ruppert Mundys (see Philip Roth's great American novel called, not surprisingly, The Great American Novel).
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:08 AM
Location: Philaburbia
41,959 posts, read 75,183,468 times
Reputation: 66916
Fun read. Some of that verbal skewering was a thing of beauty.

Although the population of New Richmond, Ohio, is collectively drawing in its breath in horror at the inclusion of beloved native son Todd Benzinger.
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