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View Full Version : What Are The 10 Biggest Baseball Blunders Ever?



GAC
05-28-2006, 08:16 AM
After reading Spitball's thread on the Robinson/Pappas deal, I saw this poll on ESPN....

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/ballot?event_id=2189&incoming=1


20.2% Red Sox: Selling Babe Ruth to Yankees (1919)
Some writers thought the Yankees were taking the big risk.



14.9% Twins: Releasing David Ortiz (2002)
That's right. They not only didn't want him, they didn't get anything for him.



12.9% Dodgers: Trading Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields (1993)
Everybody in Montreal considered the deal a salary dump. . .



12.5% Mets: Trading Nolan Ryan to Angels for Jim Fregosi (1971)
The Angels would have taken Gary Gentry, but Gil Hodges preferred to send Ryan off.



9.2% Orioles: Trading Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch to Astros for Glenn Davis (1991)
Davis's back problems made this deal a complete disaster for O's.



9.0% Nationals (Expos): Trading Randy Johnson to Mariners for Mark Langston (1989)
Langston was supposed to put Expos over the top, but instead they finished 12 games out of first place.



9.0% Marlins: Trading every high-priced player after winning World Series (1997-98)
Moises Alou, Gary Sheffield, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter...



8.4% Mariners: Trading Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb (1997)
Nine years later, Lowe and Varitek still productive major leaguers; Slocumb went 2-9 with 4.97 ERA and 13 saves with M's.



8.2% Cubs: Trading Lou Brock to Cardinals for pitcher Ernie Broglio (1964)
It didn't work out, but at the time of the deal nobody could have known that Brock would become a Hall of Famer and Broglio's arm would fall off.



8.0% Cardinals: Trading Steve Carlton to Phillies for Rick Wise (1972)
And all because Gussie Busch didn't want to pay Carlton an extra $10,000.



7.7% Phillies: Trading Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to Cubs for Ivan DeJesus (1982)
Yes, Sandberg was essentially a throw-in.



7.4% White Sox: Trading Sammy Sosa to Cubs for George Bell (1992)
Must anything else be said?



7.2% Reds: Trading Frank Robinson to O's for Milt Pappas, etc. (1965)
Deal turned Orioles into powerhouse, might have cost Reds a division title in '69.



7.1% Angels: Signing free agent Mo Vaughn to six-year, $80 million deal (1998)
In his first game, Vaughn fell into the dugout, and eventually lasted only three seasons with the Angels, who ate a great deal of that contract.



7.0% Padres: Trading shortstop Ozzie Smith for shortstop Garry Templeton (1982)
Smith's career took off in St. Louis; Templeton's crashed in San Diego.



5.1% Braves: John Rocker (2001)
Enough said.



4.7% Diamondbacks: Trading Curt Schilling to Red Sox for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge de la Rosa (2003)
Maybe they had to trade him, and maybe they should have gotten more in return.



4.6% Royals: Trading David Cone to Mets for Ed Hearn (1987)
Cone won 194 games after the trade; Hearn played in 13 games.



4.4% Yankees: Trading Fred McGriff and others for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd (1982)
McGriff would eventually hit 493 homers; Dodd wouldn't.


4.3% Brewers: Drafting B.J. Surhoff with No. 1 overall pick (1985)
Surhoff was a good player, but Brewers could have picked Will Clark, Barry Larkin, or Barry Bonds.



4.1% Rockies: Signing free agents Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle to long-term mega-contracts (2000)
You know how well this strategy worked.



3.9% Rangers: Trading Sammy Sosa and Wilson Alvarez to White Sox for Harold Baines (1989)
Not one of Dubya's finest moments as Rangers owner.



3.5% Tigers: Letting free agent Kirk Gibson get away (1988)
The Tigers finished one game behind the first-place Red Sox, and Gibson won MVP honors with Dodgers.



3.1% Giants: Trading Joe Nathan, Francisco Liriano, and Boof Bonser to Twins for A.J. Pierzynski (2003)
Jury's still out on prospects Liriano and Bonser, but Nathan alone has made this one look pretty awful.



3.0% Devil Rays: Trading Bobby Abreu to Phillies for Kevin Stocker (1997)
In fairness, without a shortstop you'll have a lot more singles.



2.9% Astros: Failing to protect Bobby Abreu in Expansion Draft (1997)
The Devil Rays have been ridiculed for trading Abreu to the Phillies after drafting him from the Astros, but the Astros shouldn't have let him get away in the first place.



2.6% Athletics: Trading Tim Hudson to Braves for Charles Thomas, Dan Meyer and Juan Cruz (2004)
Since the trade all three ex-Braves have seen most of their action in the minors, and none look like future stars.



2.1% Blue Jays: Trading David Wells to White Sox for Mike Sirotka (2001)
Sirotka, who was injured when traded, hasn't pitched since.



1.6% Indians: Trading Brian Giles to Pirates for Ricardo Rincon (1998)
The Pirates eventually traded Giles for Jason Bay and Oliver Perez; the Indians eventually traded Rincon for Marshall McDougall.



1.6% Pirates: Trading Willie Randolph and two others to Yankees for Doc Medich (1975)
Medich won eight games for Pirates; Randolph became a near-Hall of Famer.

princeton
05-28-2006, 08:22 AM
no Tony Perez?

something about that Dale Murray guy just made teams burn HoF first basemen.

MrCinatit
05-28-2006, 09:42 AM
terrible ESPN poll, but predictable in that it would contain mostly recent transactions (save Robinson, Brock and Ruth).
What about Christy Matthewson for Amos Rusie?
What about Edd Roush, Matthewson (again) and Bill McKechnie for Buck Herzog and Red Killefer?
How about Frankie Frisch to the Cardnals with Jimmy Ring for Rogers Hornsby, who only played one season with NY?
Roger Maris and a couple of others for Don Larson, Hank Sauer, Marv Throneberry and Norm Siebert?
John Franco for Rafael Landestoy?
John Smotz for Doyle Alexander - that was a MUCH worse move than letting Gibson go.
How about the Astros dumping two starters (Joe Morgan and Cesar Geronimo), one valuable backup (Ed Armbrister) and one starting pitcher (Jack Billingham) for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart. Stewart did terrible for the Stros. While May and Helms did all right, how many pennants did they help Houston win?
How could the Brooklyn Dodgers leaving Roberto Clemente open to be drafted by the Pirates in the Rule V draft not be mentioned?
If we are going to go into bad signings, what of Andy Messersmith?
Bah, the list is way too modernized.

Spitball
05-28-2006, 10:11 AM
How about the Reds protecting Tim Costo and exposing Trevor Hoffman in the 1993 exansion draft? :confused:

Spitball
05-28-2006, 10:15 AM
Surely Bagwell for Larry Anderson is listed somewhere, but I don't seem to see it.

westofyou
05-28-2006, 11:17 AM
What Are The 10 Biggest Baseball Blunders Ever?

1. Phil Ball of the Browns letting Branch Rickey move to the Cardinals.

Stewie
05-28-2006, 11:29 AM
John Smotz for Doyle Alexander - that was a MUCH worse move than letting Gibson go.


I disagree. Doyle Alexander was fantastic for the Tigers in 1987, and did exactly what they wanted him to do. On the day they made the trade, they were a game and a half behind the Blue Jays. Doyle went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA and 3 shutouts after the trade and the Tigers won the division by two games. Admittedly, he wasn't too great in the playoffs against the Twins, but he is a big reason as to why the Tigers even got there in the first place.

I'll agree that the list is awfully current, and I'm surprised there is no mention of Houston letting Johan Santana go in the rule V, and then the Marlins promtly shipping Santana to the Twins for Jared Camp and cash.

RedFanAlways1966
05-28-2006, 12:47 PM
1.6% Pirates: Trading Willie Randolph and two others to Yankees for Doc Medich (1975)
Medich won eight games for Pirates; Randolph became a near-Hall of Famer.


I read this and thought, "Randolph a near Hall-of-Famer... you must be kidding."

Then I started comparing his numbers to Davey Concepcion. Very-very similiar. Davey hit for a bit more power than Willie and Willie had more walks and less strikeouts. But the numbers are strikingly close.

Leads me to ask REDS fans... would those who think Davey belongs in Cooperstown also support Willie Randolph's induction?

oregonred
05-28-2006, 05:15 PM
The Marlins one is a bit odd seeing that they won another WS with a rebuilt team five years later.

KronoRed
05-28-2006, 05:21 PM
Not a great list, some of these deal's wern't so bad :dunno:

Johnny Footstool
05-28-2006, 06:03 PM
The Marlins one is a bit odd seeing that they won another WS with a rebuilt team five years later.


Agreed -- saving millions of dollars by shipping out overpriced veterans is hardly a blunder.

cincinnati chili
05-30-2006, 01:57 AM
After reading Spitball's thread on the Robinson/Pappas deal, I saw this poll on ESPN....

http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/sportsnation/ballot?event_id=2189&incoming=1


14.9% Twins: Releasing David Ortiz (2002)
That's right. They not only didn't want him, they didn't get anything for him.




Every team undervalued Ortiz, including the Red Sox. The Twins non-tendered him because they didn't think he was worth his arbitration number ($3-4 million or so). Then 28 teams undervalued him by not signing him. Then the Red Sox undervalued him by initially putting him behind Jeremy Giambi on the depth chart.

BCubb2003
05-30-2006, 03:15 AM
Darren Dreifort, Kevin Brown, Cubs letting Maddux get away, the handling of David Clyde ...

REDREAD
05-30-2006, 10:21 AM
Every team undervalued Ortiz, including the Red Sox. The Twins non-tendered him because they didn't think he was worth his arbitration number ($3-4 million or so). Then 28 teams undervalued him by not signing him. Then the Red Sox undervalued him by initially putting him behind Jeremy Giambi on the depth chart.

I agree. This can not be the 2nd worse move of all time. I don't even think it makes the top 30.

registerthis
05-30-2006, 11:02 AM
9.2% Orioles: Trading Curt Schilling, Steve Finley, Pete Harnisch to Astros for Glenn Davis (1991)

Wow, that is one awful trade right there. Good grief.

And people wonder why the O's are awful.

corkedbat
05-30-2006, 11:09 AM
Where is the hiring of Dan O'Brien on this list? :D

redsmetz
05-30-2006, 11:22 AM
How about the Reds protecting Tim Costo and exposing Trevor Hoffman in the 1993 exansion draft? :confused:

This was one I thought of immediately when I saw they mentioned exposing players to an expansion draft.

princeton
05-30-2006, 11:24 AM
I read this and thought, "Randolph a near Hall-of-Famer... you must be kidding."

Then I started comparing his numbers to Davey Concepcion. Very-very similiar. Davey hit for a bit more power than Willie and Willie had more walks and less strikeouts. But the numbers are strikingly close.

Leads me to ask REDS fans... would those who think Davey belongs in Cooperstown also support Willie Randolph's induction?

no

Randolph was solid for a long time, and he can point to Bill Mazeroski's career as a reason for induction. But Mazeroski defined defense, and I don't think that Randolph even won a gold glove. Frank White was the best defender in that era, IIRC

Concepcion played a MUCH more demanding position very, very well-- five GG's that would have been 10 in a non-Oz era. Mazeroski's induction means Concepcion should make it easily, IMO. But Mazeroski did have that WS HR, which really helped put him over the top

KronoRed
05-30-2006, 03:35 PM
Where is the hiring of Dan O'Brien on this list? :D
It's in a category alone ;)

RedsFan75
05-30-2006, 04:42 PM
This was one I thought of immediately when I saw they mentioned exposing players to an expansion draft.

Same for me.

jmcclain19
05-30-2006, 05:13 PM
If we are talking overall baseball blunders, one of the all time dupes was multi year draft pick Matt Harrington - after ignoring overtures after being drafted five times - having washed away millions in potential signing bonuses, and now he works at Target, never having thrown a pitch in the minors.

BoydsOfSummer
05-30-2006, 07:36 PM
Does Canseco taking that ball off his steroid balooned dome for a homer count as a blunder? Everytime I see that I almost pee.

MikeS21
05-31-2006, 12:49 PM
Best baseball blunders ... I could start with a few of the Reds' drafts over the last fifteen years or so. And as someone alluded to earlier, giving Tony Perez's job to Dan Dreissen.

Of course, those Reds' teams from about 1981-1985 were mult-season long blunders.

Have to think somemore ...

Michael Allred
06-04-2006, 01:28 AM
The Reds trading Paul O'Neill to the Yanks for Roberto "bobby" Kelly. Boy, I wonder which team got the shaft on that one?

Tony Cloninger
06-04-2006, 03:34 AM
If it is Baseball blunders.......then having the owners not meet the growing players union, in the late 60's/early 70's, halfway on issues in regards to how players were paid and when they could become FA...has to be the No. 1 blunder.

The owners were the ones who agreed to having arbitration starting in 1973...to settle disputes and end player holdouts during ST. Little did they know how that was going to mushroom into the mess it became...where you have to pay someone based on what some other (overpaid player by the Yankees, Braves) players were being paid...who had similar numbers.
Braves overpaying for a Rick Camp in the 80's...meant that your players who was facing arb. could get around as much as this Dave Weathers clone.

The FA situation.......the owners could have agreed to what the union wanted before 1976.... at least 8-10 years service before you were allowed to be a FA. The owners did not want it at all.... then expected their own chosen arbitrator to rule in their favor. Obviously we know the rest of that story.


In regards to decisions on the player trades and signings.....

The Red Sox trading their 3 best pitchers the year after Ruth was traded....and again they traded all 3 of them to the Yankees before the 1921 season. Ruth might have tore up the leauge in 1920, but the Yanks still finished 3rd behind the Indians and White Sox...both of who had the pitching.
Getting three top line pitchers (Bullet Joe Bush....i forget the other 2) helped put them over top for the next 3 years.

The Yankees again...taking a chance on Joe DiMaggio during the depression era......when spending big bucks on a players who just wrenched his knee the year before was like overpaying for Eric Milton.... so other teams passed on taking that big of a risk.

RFS62
06-04-2006, 09:16 AM
The owners pushing for arbitration