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Who were/are baseball's WORST fielders?

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  • Who were/are baseball's WORST fielders?

    There have been many major leaguers who have something in common with Michael Jackson. They wore a glove on one hand for no apparent reason. These guys couldn't catch a cold if they were soul-kissed by someone with tuberculosis in the middle of the flu season! One of my favorite all-time baseball quotes came from Pirates pitcher Joe Trimble in 1952 who, upon watching a wind-blown candy wrapper settle in the glove of the Yankees' Nick Etten, who had laid his glove in foul ground near the first base bag, quipped, ""Nick Etten's glove fields better with Nick Etten out of it."

    Now, I wouldn't put Etten anywhere near the top of my list of all-time bad fielders. There have been much worse.

    Who was the worst fielder you ever saw? I can't honestly say I think Dick Stuart is the worst fielding first baseman ever because I never saw him play, but from everything I've read, this guy was to fielding what Etch-a-Sketch is to art! I mean, can nicknames like 'Dr. Strangeglove', 'Stonefingers' (inspired by a James Bond movie of almost the same name) and 'Clank' (the nickname his teammates preferred) possibly be wrong?

    I also never got a chance to experience the heinous 'skills' of Babe Herman, Pete Browning or Hector Lopez, but I've heard tell.....

    Among those I have seen, I think I can honestly say that Bobby Bonilla is almost in a class by himself. Oh, there were probably worse. He's just the one I fondly remember as consistently throwing to the wrong base and playing every ground ball like it was a charging bull. It either gored him or... OLE! I recall one game (when he was a Dodger - GASP!) when he misplayed a popup into a double, threw the ball away at third on the very next play trying to nail the runner at third and failed to act as a cutoff man on the very NEXT play, allowing the runner he allowed on third to score. And that was just ONE INNING! Dude was born with DH tattooed on his forehead!

    Yes, yes, I know... Butch Hobson was worse. No... Pete Incaviglia was worse. No, no... Jose Offerman was worse.

    I saw them all and, trust me, they were ALL worse!

    Who are some of your favorite butter fingers in the field? Guys who weren't really fielders but just played one on TV?

    This is not a poll. Just askin'.....
    Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

  • #2
    You already mentioned one on my list, Incaviglia. One of the funniest things I've seen at a ballpark was a group of Rangers fans out in the left field bleachers at the old stadium there in Arlington took one of those big foam rubber #1 hands, cut the index finger down and drew/painted on it to make it look like a big mitt. And when Inky would trot out to left field, they'd hold this thing up and yell for Pete to come get it and use it Incaviglia was real classy and laughed at it, even talked to the fans a little bit.
    Never confuse character with geography --- Red Smith
    Astros Daily

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    • #3
      Pedro Guerrero, even by his own admittance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Old Sweater
        Pedro Guerrero, even by his own admittance.
        I once saw a mock interview in which Tom Lasorda was 'interviewing' Pedro Guerrero. I don't have transcripts, but it went almost exactly like this...

        Lasorda: "With me now is Pedro Guerrero. I've got him playing third base this season, and so far he doesn't like it. Pedro, tell me, what are you thinking about out there at third base?"

        Guerrero: "I am thinking don't hit the ball to me."

        Lasorda: "Is that all??"

        Guerrero: (after a moment of thought) "I am also thinking don't hit the ball to Steve Sax, too!"
        Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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        • #5
          Joel Youngblood was a good outfielder with a strong arm. But when the Giants stuck him at third base for the 1984 season, he fielded .887 with 36 errors.

          Lonnie Smith's nickname "Skates" appears to have been earned when he was suffering his substance-abuse problems.

          The experiment with Todd Hundley in left field was one of the worst fish-out-of-water things I've ever seen.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by VIBaseball
            Joel Youngblood was a good outfielder with a strong arm. But when the Giants stuck him at third base for the 1984 season, he fielded .887 with 36 errors.

            Lonnie Smith's nickname "Skates" appears to have been earned when he was suffering his substance-abuse problems.

            The experiment with Todd Hundley in left field was one of the worst fish-out-of-water things I've ever seen.
            Speaking of Giant third basemen, I also saw Darrell Evans at third for SF. A bull in a china shop. When he'd trot off the field, the groundskeepers had to drag the infield two or three times again just to remove the divets and cover the blood. There were more craters around third base than there were on Evans' face. I remember fans jokingly referring to him as Darrell E-5ans.
            Last edited by Dodgerfan1; 03-15-2007, 10:10 AM.
            Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dodgerfan1
              Speaking of Giant third basemen, I also saw Darrell Evans at third for SF. A bull in a china shop. When he'd trot off the field, the groundskeepers had to drag the infield two or three times again just to remove the divets and cover the blood. There were more craters around third base than there were on Evans' face. I remember fans jokingly referring to him as Darrell E-5ans.
              I would have given him the Gold Glove in at least 1974 AND 1978 :noidea
              Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
              Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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              • #8
                Let's not forget Jose Canseco.
                Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KCGHOST
                  Let's not forget Jose Canseco.
                  (Quick: Someone needs to insert the pic of a ball bouncing off ole Jose's noggin' here....)
                  Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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                  • #10
                    I'd say Manny Ramirez is the worst fielder in today's game.
                    Originally posted by Domenic
                    The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Westlake
                      I'd say Manny Ramirez is the worst fielder in today's game.
                      While I understand the inclination to name him such, I'd have to disagree. He has a strong arm, and I'd count that in his favor.

                      Speaking of debacles in Fenway's left field, though, how's Lastings Milledge doing these days?
                      "Anything less would not have been worthy of me. Anything more would not have been possible." - Carl Yastrzemski

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SoxSon
                        While I understand the inclination to name him such, I'd have to disagree. He has a strong arm, and I'd count that in his favor.

                        Speaking of debacles in Fenway's left field, though, how's Lastings Milledge doing these days?
                        A couple things...

                        Is a player's arm included in rating whether he is a good or bad 'fielder'? When you think of a 5-tool player, fielding and arm are seperate, aren't they?

                        And I don't really think Manny has a strong arm. I think his assist totals are inflated because SO many people run on him. I have seen him make many good throws to nail runners at home, but I wouldn't call his arm any better than average. But I understand others see it differently.
                        Originally posted by Domenic
                        The Yankees should see if Yogi Berra can still get behind the plate - he has ten World Series rings... he must be worth forty or fifty million a season.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Westlake
                          A couple things...

                          Is a player's arm included in rating whether he is a good or bad 'fielder'? When you think of a 5-tool player, fielding and arm are seperate, aren't they?

                          And I don't really think Manny has a strong arm. I think his assist totals are inflated because SO many people run on him. I have seen him make many good throws to nail runners at home, but I wouldn't call his arm any better than average. But I understand others see it differently.

                          You make a good point, Westlake. Defense and arm quality are often looked at separately (in regards to 5-tool), though in the real world, that doesn't make much sense. If the arm isn't counted, then you have a real argument about Manny.

                          You're also right about Manny's assist totals, but I'm not basing my feeling on his arm on that. Manny has a nice, quick release when he's throwing, and I think he has above average strength, too. I'd actually like to see him do some throwing from right field, just to evaluate it better.
                          "Anything less would not have been worthy of me. Anything more would not have been possible." - Carl Yastrzemski

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SoxSon
                            You make a good point, Westlake. Defense and arm quality are often looked at separately (in regards to 5-tool), though in the real world, that doesn't make much sense. If the arm isn't counted, then you have a real argument about Manny.

                            You're also right about Manny's assist totals, but I'm not basing my feeling on his arm on that. Manny has a nice, quick release when he's throwing, and I think he has above average strength, too. I'd actually like to see him do some throwing from right field, just to evaluate it better.
                            Jose Canseco had a cannon for an arm, but I don't see anyone disputing his inclusion on this list of worst fielders.... Just my two cents. To be honest, I've never really seen him make that many bad plays in the OF, just that famous ball-off-the-noggin clip that was played to death.
                            Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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                            • #15
                              Doink!



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