Baseball: Is Manny Ramirez the worst fielder you've ever seen?

Admittedly, I don’t watch a lot of Dodgers games, but the performance I saw last night when my Tigers visited LA was almost comical. He straight up missed balls, jogged slowly to pick up hits (causing a bloop single to turn into a double), and just looked all around lost out there.

My question for Dodgers fans or others who see them play frequently is this: is this a representative sample of his normal play? I’ve honestly never seen someone have that much trouble playing left field.

I am a Dodger fan, and I despise him. He is a designated hitter and has no place in a national league team. Bloop singles becoming doubles are definitely not a rarity.

I’m an Indians’ fan and Manny played RF for them back in the 1990s. He killed a lot of grass standing around out there. Poor Kenny Lofton had to play all three outfield positions, playing center between Ramirez in right and Albert Belle in left.

I don’t know…has he ever had a ball bounce off the top of his head and over the fence for a home run?

I don’t think so, but probably only because he wouldn’t be near enough to the ball for the opportunity to arise.

Left field has always been where you hide your weakest fielders. First base too, to a certain extent. Not to say that there aren’t good fielders in left, but left is the place where you tend to see some very interesting adventures in the field. “Are you kidding me?” moments. The fielder breaks in, then runs back, trips, turns around twice, then desperately contorts his body into a corkscrew at the last second, as the ball bounces off his iron glove. All for a ball your center fielder would have gotten to and been waiting for with seconds to spare and a bored look on his face.

One of my favorite quotes–maybe it was about Klesko when he was moved to left field?–was from one of the coaches when asked about how the player was doing in his new position. “Well, he hasn’t killed anybody yet,” came the answer.

I can’t answer the question, since I haven’t seen him enough. I’ve seen some weak fielding from him, but from my limited perspective (whenever he plays the Phillies) it falls within the range of the normal “weak left fielder” spectrum, maybe a bit to the bad end of that already-bad spectrum. I think where Manny infuriates is his combined incompetence and nonchalance. A fielder that trips over his own feet is one thing. One who jogs lazily after a hit ball and who doesn’t appeared phased by any fielding calamity he creates is another.

If you had seen the Mike Piazza at first base experiment, you would think Manny Ramirez is a gold glover.


In Boston, it was always entertaining to see Manny laboriously trap a ball running around loose in the left field corner–we fans would yell “Third! Third!” and “Don’t throw to second base!” and other advice and encouragement, but sadly (or perversely) Manny would throw to the wrong base, and as Manny’s throw lazily rainbowed towards second base, where the runner had been dusting himself off, the runner would scamper into third base, grateful for Manny’s petit cadeau. Our response: “Dumb as bawx a rawks, but what a good hittah he is!”

Give me a break. Do you know many ballplayers, or Red Sox’ fans for that matter, who know what “petit cadeau” means? What they actually say is “Manny f***ed up again!”. :smiley:

Well,I usually sit in the “Grand Poupon” seats at Fenway.

What? When I played after school baseball in grade school, I thought the weakest fielder was always stuck in right field. Does this change by the majors? When?

Alfonso Soriano is pretty shitty. Incredibly lazy and stood around with his glove off most of the time. That was okay when he had a good bat. Now he’s just shitty all the way around. Cubbies need to flush that turd.

It changes somewhere in the college/minors as lefty hitters become over-represented compared to the general population.

Regarding the OP; I can’t really think of a worse fielder off the top of my head, but it’s sort of unfair to tar Manny as the worse ever, since he plays a position that requires a modicum of athleticism and therefore looks much worse when he screws up than the behemoths on first do when they fail. Imagine David Ortiz or Ryan Howard in the OF.

It depends on how you evaluate an outfielder.

If you’re looking for the all-time worst outfielders using errors as a guide, then Manny is 4th worst on the list.

If you’re looking for the left fielders who had the worst fielding percentages, then Manny was 68th. That’s far from the worst. Actually, close to Ken Griffey, who he beat out in the least number of errors in a career department.

He actually has some pretty impressive statistics as to number of put outs as an outfielder, and number of assists as an outfielder.

You can scout around for whatever statistics you need at

I, too, suffered through the Manny years in Cleveland. Sweetist swing EVAH in a player.

The lower the level of play, yes, that’s reversed. In Little League, where most hitters are right-handed pull hitters, you need someone sure-handed in left to field the fly balls that predominate there. Even easy fly balls are an adventure with the lesser fielders. Right field gets less action.

In the bigs, easy fly balls aren’t the problem; even Manny handles them (mostly). But your right fielder has to throw not just to second, but to third (so does the left fielder, but third is right in front of him), so in right, you want someone with a strong arm, good judgment and athleticism for cutting off balls in the gap, etc., to give yourself the best chance of keeping runners on first or second instead of one base more.

Watch, you’ll see. I’ll use my Phils as an example. Jayson Werth, our right fielder, is an excellent fielder, who plays a good center field as well. You try for an extra base on him at your peril. Raul Ibanez, our left fielder, is mediocre. Pat Burrell, his predecessor, ran like he had a refrigerator on his back. I can remember back to my youth, Greg Luzinski waddling around in left. All 3 of these guys are / were routinely replaced late in games for defensive purposes. Keep your eye on it and you’ll notice. There are exceptions (Barry Bonds, an excellent fielder), but most of the time, center is your strongest outfielder, then right, then left. And the left fielder is often where you stick the big bat whose fielding problems you want to hide as much as you can.

Boston was more ideal for Manny in the field than probably any other stadium. Very small area to cover… His errors tended to be of the more outrageous variety, but to his credit, he became pretty good at playing the ball off the green monster, an art in itself, and even led the league in outfield assists. Doesn’t mean he was a top fielder, but definitely not the worst. I haven’t seen him lately though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s having trouble in more spacious fields.

Like everyone else has said Manny is average for left fielders in ability but he just doesn’t care. He know that no matter how many errors he commits he only gettig paid to hit. As a Dodgers fan I can’t wait to see him back in the AL where he belongs.

It clarify it’s his lack of hussle that makes him horrible.

That’s the list of outfielders who are currently active. On the all-time chart, Manny is tied for 293rd as of today:

Of course, the list is dominated by old-timers, who used smaller gloves, and who didn’t have the opportunity to serve as designated hitters. Vladimir Guerrero, the active leader, is tied for 121st on this chart.

I was going to say Johnny Bench trying to play third base, but you might be right.

Manny still doesn’t hold a candle to Smead Jolley who may be the worst of all time.

Has your memory scrubbed Ryan Raburn’s fielding from it in self defense?