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The worst plate appearance in the history of baseball

Aug 15, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

Florida Marlins v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

I’m guessing it’s possible there have been worse ones, but Jeff Sullivan makes a pretty darn good case for one put together by Santiago Casilla (batting) and Jose Ceda (pitching) yesterday.

This is why the replacement player gambit never worked back in the 1994-95 strike, by the way.  When you pit scrub football players against other scrub football players in combat like the NFL did once upon a time, you get something that still looks like football because everyone sucks equally.  In baseball, however, the crappy pitchers have to hit the same basic strike zone that the good pitchers do, and thus the illusion is shattered much more easily.

  1. FC - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    I thought Eddie Gaedel’s first (and last) plate appearance was the worst ever? I mean at least Casilla is a genuine Major League Baseball Player…

    • jimbo1949 - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      What pray tell is the criteria for a genuine Major League Baseball Player?
      As near as I can tell, an appearance in a genuine Major League Baseball Game.
      Leave us not quibble over his talent or experience, he met the qualifications, thus he was a genuine Major League Baseball Player.

      • granted42 - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:07 PM

        But Gaedel was not hired and placed on a Major League roster because of an ability to play baseball. It was because he was short and could draw a walk. It was a cheap trick. Gaedel was no where near Major League caliber, and was forbidden to take a swing. Once he reached first base, he was replaced by a pinch runner. He was not a genuine Major Leaguer, he was a gimmick.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      This was worse, because the pitcher who pitched to Eddie Gaedel had an excuse — a very tiny strike zone. Ceda had no excuse.

  2. randomdigits - Aug 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM

    I thought Angelos refusing to field a team killed the whole replacement player scheme.

  3. The Baseball Gods - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Maybe this is a little far-fetched, but what if Ceda actually intended on walking Casilla? There are a lot of situations where a pitcher has to run the base paths and then comes out the next inning and pitches horribly because he is winded. I know it’s not probable, but it is plausible.

    • FC - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM

      In that case he should have let the next batter have an extra-base hit…. then again maybe it was Cody Ross’s smart hitting that Ceda’s dastardly plan did not come to fruition… Ross saw through it and decided to pop out to end the frame!

  4. Innocent Bystander - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    Yes! Another victory for the AL in the great DH debate!!!

    • paperlions - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:11 PM

      ….because a relief pitcher had a PA in which the result was better than the average result for the best DH?

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

      Except Andruw Jones would have popped to short on the 2-0 pitch.

    • spudchukar - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      How can this even possibly be twisted into a pro-DH example? At screams, “NO DH!”

      • Innocent Bystander - Aug 15, 2011 at 6:38 PM

        Easy…in the AL, this whole ridiculous plate appearance would have been avoided in the first place. An at bat like this undermines the integrity of the game.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 16, 2011 at 9:00 AM

        You know, Bystander, I have the sneaky suspicion that you’re not familiar with the integrity of the game. Especially when you’re defending a position created by marketers well beyond 100 years after the first baseball was officially played.

        But thanks for the laugh, though. We all need humor in our lives.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    This part absolutely kills me:

    ‎”Think about this for a minute. Jose Ceda is a pitcher in the major leagues. It stands to reason, then, that Jose Ceda is one of the very best pitchers in the entire world. Sunday afternoon, he was tasked with throwing three strikes to a tall potted plant, and he fell behind 3-0.”

  6. bigleagues - Aug 16, 2011 at 2:21 AM

    No one in the living world has seen every baseball game ever played . . . or even come close for that matter.

    Thus it is IMO a tad on the presumptuous side – if not melo-dramatic – to label this the ‘worst’ at bat in ML history.

    • brewcrewchamps - Aug 16, 2011 at 5:04 AM

      Can we agree on at least top 5 worst then? I mean, it was a pretty ugly at-bat man..

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