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Daily Dodger in review: The failed Garret Anderson experiment

November 29, 2010 |  7:19 am

GARRET ANDERSON, 38, outfielder

2010 stats: .181 batting average, two home runs, 12 runs batted in, .202 on-base percentage, .271 slugging percentage in 155 at-bats.

Contract status: Free agent.

The good: Yeah, this is a tough one. I was going to skip Anderson, not wanting to hammer him any further after the Dodgers released him Aug. 10. But he spent more than half the season with the team. Highlights? He was five for 10 in Boston? Was four for nine when swinging at the first pitch?

The bad: Ugh, where to start? I was willing to give the Anderson experiment a go, but he was consistently horrible all season. His across-the-board numbers are almost frighteningly bad.

They were so bad that when the Dodgers cast him adrift, Mike Petriello of MikeSciosciasTragicIllness.com dubbed it the worst offensive season in Los Angeles Dodgers history. He based this on a minimum of an admittedly arbitrary 160 plate appearances, but that’s a decent sample size. On his list of all-time worst OPS+ (combined on-base and slugging percentage adjusted for ballpark and league), Anderson is the only Dodger who played after World War I (the immortal Bill Bergen, career .170 hitter, appears seven times).

What’s next: Retirement, hopefully. Anderson hasn’t been heard from since the Dodgers released him, so you hope he’s ready to call it a career.

The take: Listen, I was going to skip Anderson because he had a wonderful career and didn’t deserve more harping on the worst season of his 17-year career. And throughout his difficult season, he remained a classy figure in the clubhouse, which partially explains why it took the Dodgers so long to waive him.

Still, there’s no denying it happened, or that the Dodgers allowed it to happen long after it was clear he just wasn’t going to get it done. Anderson was a starter throughout his career and never could make the adjustment as a part-time-player and pinch-hitter, although he hit slightly better as a pinch-hitter (.240).

His locker was next to Matt Kemp’s, so there was also the hope he would rub off in some professional way on the young outfielder. That did not appear to happen.

Anderson is a local product who oddly seemed much more relaxed during his brief time in the Dodgers clubhouse than the 15 seasons he spent with the Angels. He was, however, respected wherever he was. He has a career .293 batting average and 287 home runs. That’s a lot of great seasons to look back on, and only one to forget.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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