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The worst game of the 2011 season has been identified

Jan 30, 2012, 12:40 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus has done the dirty work: he has sifted through the 2,400+ major league games of the 2011 season and has determined which of those games was the absolute worst.

Maybe the picture here spoils it, at least for Tigers and Giants fans who might remember it, but the real value of this article is (a) how he describes the game; and (b) the methodology he employed to identify it.  Can’t agree more with Sam regarding what makes a bad game a bad game and what can redeem an otherwise bad game, saving it from consideration for the worst or the worst.

I’m just sort of bummed that the game took place on a Saturday. Kept me from saying something pithy about it in an “And That Happened” post. Because as you all know, ugly games are way more fun to riff on.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

    I’m just sort of bummed that the game took place on a Saturday. Kept me from saying something pithy about it in an “And That Happened” post
    A special edition post was in order perhaps?

  2. cur68 - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Stupid paywall. I was interested in this, too. Now my inherent cheapness prevents me from ever knowing the “truth” about the “least entertaining” ballgame of 2011. Further to that, the repercussions will echo through the upcoming season as now I’ll not know a terrible contest when I see it this season. Bummer.

    • Old Gator - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

      Come on Cur. The US and Canadian dollar are at virtual parity right now. Go for it! Yes, it’s true that the Canadian dollar might be much stronger against ours in the near future but you can’t be sure that Santorum will win.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        I am all for decorum, and I am sure that Santorum will lose.

      • cur68 - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        Ive been keeping track of your Republican Nomination race via the news (Daily Show & Colbert Report) and comedy network (FOX) and I have to say that you folks do just a wonderful lineup of political cartoony candidates. Each one is a bigger cliche than the previous. From the context of your jobless rate and economic situation each $10, 000 bet live on air, each new allegation of sexual harassment, each joke about being jobless while being filthy stinkin’ rich, each upbraiding of media members who dare question the candidates request of an ill wife (his 2nd with wife 3 in the on deck circle with lots of BP) for an open marriage, each long awkward pause about personal tax rates, each smarmy comment to minorities needing to be taught how to want a paycheque…this stuff can’t be real can it? Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert must surely be having me on. If this is real, I then fear nothing of the greenback: it aint going nowhere but down.

      • mondogarage - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        As Ron Paul would say, “Gold [standard], Jerry, Gold [standard]!!!”

      • Old Gator - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM

        To hell with jobs and energy independence! Moonbase Now!

  3. - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Yet, if this game were on today we would all watch it. Beccause bad baseball is better than NO baseball.

    • mondogarage - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      And because bad baseball is better than any NBA basketball.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 30, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    “And the most exciting player in the sport, Barry Bonds, homered. And the Giants’ ace, Shawn Estes, got the win, and as he was chasing 20 wins that season this was exciting to me.”

    Chasing 20 wins? What’s the big deal about chasing 20 wins? Blasphemy I say…

    Also, this is a pay site, so I only got to read the first part…Craig, I think you should always advise that a site is a pay site when linking to one(just a very very very minor beef)

  5. randomdigits - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    Only three Oriole games in the bottom 20 WTG guys!

    • mondogarage - Jan 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Peter Angelos was out of town for the other 159.

  6. amadorjon - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    funny, I turned that game on my package today..I had forgotten about it! rain delay then tejada has a grand slam immedietely after game starts again!!!!! whoa…

  7. shanabartels - Jan 30, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Stupid pay wall. I wanted to read the whole article, but not if I have to pay for it. So I don’t know why the September 22 Rays at Yankees game was eliminated from contention, but I did attend that game, ugly as it was. At least I got to witness Betances’s big league debut in person. But yeah, the rest of this article, I’ll never know. If the “winning” game in question was the game when Zito came back and pitched again after the rain delay and Brandon Crawford’s second big league homer almost got erased, then yes, that was a hilarious game as I recall. I hate pay walls.

  8. normcash - Jan 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Interestingly, that 15-2 Giants/Tigers game on July 2nd was preceded the night before by one of the more entertaining games of the year—a game I happened to attend. On July 1st, the Giants got a 5th inning run on a Pablo Sandoval double and it held up until the bottom of the 8th when a Maggio
    Ordonez two-out single knocked in the tying run. A wild pitch put runners on second and third when
    Miguel Cabrera lined a screamer that was speared by the first baseman. The 9th inning was a doozey, with both teams’ closers (Jose Valverde and Brain Wilson) having to be relieved—when was the last time you saw THAT happen? The Giants scored 3 runs off Valverde (perfect in saves for the year but notoriously bad when he wasn’t in a save situation). The Tigers came back, scored two runs to make it 4-3, and had runners on second and third with one out. Brennan Boesch hit a liner to the left of second. The shortstop snagged it coming toward the bag which he tagged to double off the runner and end the game.

  9. kalinedrive - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    The game summary is still available on ESPN, use the flyout menu for MLB, select Scores, then select July 2, 2011.

    The game was delayed by a thunderstorm in the third inning for 2 hours, 36 minutes, and it ended after midnight.
    … The game-time temperature was 97 and it dipped into the 70s by the final out. … The Tigers sold 38,983 tickets to the game and more than half of the fans didn’t wait out the delay.

    • tebowspeech - Jan 30, 2012 at 7:04 PM

      I went to this game – I left in the 3rd inning.

  10. stex52 - Jan 30, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    I also didn’t go behind the paywall, but I already know the article was wrong. Not a single Astros game on the list. I promise you I turned off at least 20 Astros games last year in the middle innings.

    What are the odds?

  11. jwbiii - Jan 30, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    Barry Zito threw six shutout innings in that game. A singular accomplishment like that should dismiss from the list of Worst Games.

  12. ceadderman - Jan 31, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Dump the ads or stop charging to read the articles. Until it’s one way or the other I won’t be reading it.

    I really hate the paywall because when you pay to read one article you basically bought one article at 1/3 the cost of a magazine. Had I the ability to recoup all the money I’ve wasted on online subscription fees I could probably buy and build a new computer for myself. That’s a lot of wasted money for something I would rarely use. In this economy? No more.

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