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weakest armed outfielder of all time

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  • #31
    Juan Pierre and Johnny Damon are the correct answers.
    My top 10 players:

    1. Babe Ruth
    2. Barry Bonds
    3. Ty Cobb
    4. Ted Williams
    5. Willie Mays
    6. Alex Rodriguez
    7. Hank Aaron
    8. Honus Wagner
    9. Lou Gehrig
    10. Mickey Mantle

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Joe Barrie View Post
      I agree about Ashburn, but I was present for the last game of 1950 when he threw out Cal Abrams at Ebbets Field and kept the Dodgers from winning the pennant.
      Not to digress, but that play was the result of a busted pickoff play. A pickoff at second had been signalled, the pitcher (Roberts?- I forget) missed the call, and pitched to Snider instead. Ashburn came in to back up the pickoff. Snider lined the ball to center, Ashburn was probably 50 feet closer to the plate than he normally would be, and threw Abrams out at the plate.

      To Ashburn's credit: he DID have a weak arm- due to an offseason injury right around the beginning of his ML career. But, he was a smart guy. He worked really hard at getting to the ball quickly, getting a quick release, and making accurate throws. In other words, his arm was weak but not really that "bad".
      Last edited by BigRon; 02-25-2012, 01:14 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by BigRon View Post
        Not to digress, but that play was the result of a busted pickoff play. A pickoff at second had been signalled, the pitcher (Roberts?- I forget) missed the call, and pitched to Snider instead. Ashburn came in to back up the pickup. Snider lined the ball to center, Ashburn was probably 50 feet closer to the plate than he normally would be, and threw Abrams out at the plate.

        To Ashburn's credit: he DID have a weak arm- due to an offseason injury right around the beginning of his ML career. But, he was a smart guy. He worked really hard at getting to the ball quickly, getting a quick release, and making accurate throws. In other words, his arm was weak but not really that "bad".
        I never knew that was supposed to be pickoff play at 2B. No wonder Ashburn had crept in. I knew he had moved in further but not for that reason.
        It actually makes more sense because creeping in with The Duke AB wouldn't have been a particularly smart move by Richie.

        Yankees Fan Since 1957

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        • #34
          Although it wasn't earlier in his career, Rusty Staub's arm late in his career was terrible....he actually threw underhanded at times, like the '73 series.
          “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

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          • #35
            Merv Rettenmund, Baltimore Orioles, once said of Don Baylor that he was "our triple threat; hit, run, and lob,"

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            • #36
              Originally posted by KHenry14 View Post
              Although it wasn't earlier in his career, Rusty Staub's arm late in his career was terrible....he actually threw underhanded at times, like the '73 series.
              Got to step in on this one- Staub had a Cannon. Real RF Arm. Was actually a (-4) one Year in Stratomatic. He threw Underhanded in the 73 series because he ran into the wall in the 73 Playoffs chasing down Dan Dreissan's Fly Ball in Game 4. Frightening collision that wrecked his right shoulder.

              Lee Mazzilli- Now THAT's a weak arm.

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              • #37
                Captain Obvious here; It's gotta be someone who's the polar opposite of Roberto Clemente, whom ever that may be.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by BSmile View Post
                  I don't know if it's the weakest ever, but Johnny Damon's arm is pretty terrible.
                  My brother in law's close friend played on the 93' Rockford Royals (Single A) with Damon. He said they would rag him MERCILESSLY for basically not being able to reach second base with his relay throws from CF!!! It was and always will be a total joke. I've never seen a MLB outfielder with an arm nearly as pathetic as Damon.

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                  • #39
                    Don Baylor won this poll, right?
                    Your Second Base Coach
                    Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey started 833 times and the Dodgers went 498-335, for a .598 winning percentage. That’s equal to a team going 97-65 over a season. On those occasions when at least one of them missed his start, the Dodgers were 306-267-1, which is a .534 clip. That works out to a team going 87-75. So having all four of them added 10 wins to the Dodgers per year.
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5hCIvMule0

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                    • #40
                      There were many times in CO when you hoped that Pierre wouldn't cut off a gap hit but would just let the left of right fielder pick it up deeper. He would make this great gap cut offs and than just not be able to get it to second anyway.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by yanks0714 View Post
                        The reason Ashburn led the league in assists was that he had plenty of opportunities because opposing teams were willing to run on his weak arm. An OF'er with a strong arm might not get as many opportunities because the opposition simply didn't challenge their arm. The challenged Ashburn's quite a bit.
                        This is what Dad always said about Ashburn. Extremely weak but very accurate arm. And his range was outstanding, but artificially bolstered by pitching behind a flyball pitching staff (read: Taylor Douthit).

                        Anyway, just for fun, I decided to do a little mini-research project using BB-Ref's advanced PBP fielding data (now complete back to 1950), I compared Mays (purported strongest National League CF arm of those years) vs. Ashburn (purported weakest National League CF arm of those years). I used 1951-62, the years their careers coincided. (I attached the Excel file for those who might be interested).

                        Really, it was an exercise in attempting to prove how the often useless and misleading nature of conventional fielding stats.

                        Highlights:
                        During those years: Ashburn had 122 Assists, Mays 119. HOWEVER....

                        Single with runner on second:
                        Ashburn 456 opportunities, 41 times runner was held to third, 11 times he threw the runner out of at home (known as a baseunner "Kill")
                        Mays: 440 opportunities, 90 holds, 16 "Kills"

                        Flyout <2 outs, runner tags from third and attempts to score:

                        Ashburn 423 opportunities, 323 holds, 12 kills.
                        Mays: 339 opportunities, 312 holds, 4 kills

                        Totals of all events involving attempted extra bases taken:

                        Ashburn: 2013
                        Mays: 1799

                        Asburn Held the runner 42% of the time.
                        Mays Held the runner 51% of the time.

                        Ashburn had 63 baserunner kills (3.1% of all plays)
                        Mays had 56 baserunner kills (4.1% of all plays)


                        *Note: Mainly due to his service in the Army, Mays (1524) played fewer OF games than Ashburn (1687).
                        Attached Files

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                        • #42
                          Worst arms that come to mind of the top of my head:

                          Johnny Damon: Baserunner Kill%- 1.0

                          Here's one of the funniest stats I've seen:

                          In his 17 year career, there have been 262 instances where a runner tagged from third and tried to score when Damon fielded the ball.

                          In those 262 cases Johnny Damon AND HAS ACTUALLY THROWN OUT A RUNNER AT HOME PLATE FOUR (4) TIMES.
                          HE HELD ONLY 33 RUNNERS IN THOSE CASES.

                          How many outfielders have had arms THAT weak in history?
                          Last edited by csh19792001; 03-04-2012, 05:39 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Juan Pierre

                            -178 times in his career a runner has been on 3rd, <2 out, runners tags & tries to score: 12 holds, TWO "kills".

                            --495 times a runner has been on second when a single has been hit. 87 holds. ONE BASERUNNER THROWN OUT AT HOME.


                            Imagine how many games guys like Juan Pierre and Johnny Damon lost with their arms? And has anyone ever actually cared or studied it?

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by csh19792001 View Post
                              Here's one of the funniest stats I've seen:

                              In his 17 year career, there have been 262 instances where a runner tagged from third and tried to score when Damon fielded the ball.

                              In those 262 cases Johnny Damon AND HAS ACTUALLY THROWN OUT A RUNNER AT HOME PLATE FOUR (4) TIMES.
                              HE HELD ONLY 33 RUNNERS IN THOSE CASES.

                              How many outfielders have had arms THAT weak in history?
                              I checked two players (Bernie Williams and Juan Pierre), and they both have a poorer kill% than Damon.
                              Williams - 245 & 3 kills
                              Pierre - 178 & 2 kills

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                              • #45
                                e
                                Originally posted by Macker
                                Simply using assist totals can be misleading. Hal McRae was often described as a fifth infielder, because, unlike most outfielders, he charged in on everything. He was often closer to the infield when he had the ball than other outfielders. I'm not saying he had a strong arm, but runners would not go for the extra base with him having a short throw. Then there guys like Mickey Rivers. He had a weak arm, but he led the league in assists three times with a high of 19. People always ran on his arm. He nailed some of them, but it was a tiny fraction of those who took the extra base.
                                That's why I use/share complete pbp fielding totals. As should *everyone *.

                                Check out the fielding tab on Juan Pierre's baseball ref page (or for that matter, it's complete pbp all the way back now to 1945).

                                In 15551 innings, 1,107 runners attempted to take the extra base (delineated into 5 categories). He threw out 26 baserunners.

                                Don Baylor threw out SIX baseunners out 507 opportunities!!!! And unlike Pierre, who had as much speed as anhone ive seen in the outfield (helping him stop guys from advacing) guys ran at will on Baylor. His "hold" percentage.

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