Friday, July 15, 2011

Tommy Lasorda Makes The Top Five Worst Baseball Players Of All TIme

Deadspin just posted its "100 Worst Baseball Players of All Time", and our own Tommy Lasorda makes it at #5, among other notable Dodgers past and not-so-far-in-the-past-like-how-about-as-of-this-month (part 2, with #52-100, is here):

5. Tommy Lasorda, 1954-1956 (Athletics/Dodgers)
Behind the manager and spaghetti hound, the awesome and profane tirades, and the flailing, falling appearance at the 2001 All-Star Game, there stands a pitcher. A pitcher who posted a 6.48 ERA in 26 games over three seasons. And a pitcher who made the most of his brief career by, in 1956, sparking a brawl between his Kansas City A's and the Yankees by volunteering—yes, volunteering—to go throw at the heads of the Yankee hitters.

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.

64. Jose Offerman, 1990-2005 (Dodgers/Red Sox/Royals/Twins/Mets/Phillies/Mariners)
As a child in Los Angeles, I associated defensive lapses in baseball with Jose Offerman. I remember vividly watching groundball after groundball roll between his long, useless legs. Now, as an adult, I associate psychological lapses with Offerman. I remember vividly hearing about the time he went crazy at a minor league game with a bat; the time he punched a Dominican Winter League umpire in the face.

73. Enos Cabell, 1972-1986 (Astros/Tigers/Dodgers/Orioles/Giants)
There is only one player on this list who has been sued by Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young and that player is Enos Cabell. Before he surreptitiously trademarked Young's initials and nickname after the 2006 Rose Bowl, Cabell was a corner infielder in the 1970s and 80s. He rarely got on base—career .308 OBP—and he rarely hit for power—just 60 home runs in over 6,304 at bats—but Cabell did once get suspended for an entire season after pleading guilty to cocaine use. So at least there's that.

85. Juan Castro, 1995-2011 (Reds/Dodgers/Twins/Phillies/Orioles)
Baseball-Reference's EloRator project presents fans with random combinations of players and asks them to select which is better. It's a simple concept. Some 1734 hitters are rated in order from top to bottom. No. 1 on the list is Babe Ruth. No. 1750 is Juan Castro. He was a terrible hitter through 17 seasons, right up to his retirement last month. In his best years, Castro was worthless. In his worst, his badness tested the woe-measuring limits of both conventional and newfangled stats. In 1998, for example, he batted .195 in just 220 plate appearances. In sabermetric terms, he was worth 19 runs less than your average Quadruple-A level player that season.

87. Fat Andruw Jones, 2008 (Dodgers)

89. Billy Ashley, 1992-1998 (Dodgers/Red Sox)
In the early ‘90s, when he was the prize of the Dodgers' wealthy farm system, the words Billy and Ashley carried the weight of Paul and Bunyan. Billy evoked his Midwestern roots and his corn-fed appearance—it was Ashley as in Ash, the wood baseball bats are made of, the wood Billy Ashley used to regularly crush home runs out of minor league ballparks. The folk hero was unable to perform under brighter lights. He struck out in more than a third of his major league at bats. He stumbled in the field. By 1999 Ashley was out of baseball. A few years after that, he appeared in a short-lived reality show called "Househusbands of Hollywood." This was Billy Ashley.

Seven notable Dodgers out of 100. Sort of sounds like Juan Uribe's batting average, now that you think about it.


Fernie V said...

How dare you mess with Lima Time.

Fernie V said...

Billy Ashley, I have his rookie card.

MR.F said...

More like a "Worst Baseball Players who played in x amount of games" list.

Jason said...

If Fat Andruw Jones in 2008 can make this list, they how can GAARP 2010 not be on it?

PenosCabell said...

What! No! I should be number ONE on that list!

DanGarion said...

Offerman is way better than one of the 100 worst players. He had some decent offensive seasons in KC.

Delino DeShields, Sr said...

IF that was a meatball, he would have caught it