Auto Out was one of the most Punch-less Dodgers ever

Top Ten LA Dodger Bums 3: Auto Out (Garret Anderson)


Every once in a while a player comes around that’s a five tool Bum. It is very rare to see a player like this, but occasionally it does happen. A five tool Bum is a player that has absolutely zero value in any way whatsoever. A player that has no Baseball skills, and who cannot perform any Baseball related action without complete and total failure nearly every time. A player that is bereft of any power, a player that can’t hit, field, run, or throw the Baseball. A five tool Bum brings nothing to his team except by wasting a roster spot that could be occupied by a real major leaguer.

On March 3, of 2010, the Dodgers signed Garret Anderson to a minor league contract. He made the team’s opening day 25 man roster that season.

Once upon a time, Anderson was one of the better hitters in the American league for over a decade for the Angels. Extreme age, uselessness, and decline would befall Anderson, as he had one of the most punch-less seasons in LA Dodgers history. This is the story of the number 3 LA Dodger Bum of all time….Garret Anderson is the Automatic Out…….

Garret Jospeh Anderson was born in 1972 in Los Angeles. Anderson was a left handed hitter, 6’3″ 190 pounds that played the outfield. He mostly played left field, although Anderson played all three outfield positions throughout his career. Auto out went to high school in Granada Hills, and was drafted by the California Angels in the 4th round of the 1990 draft. Auto Out made his MLB debut on July 27, 1994, as he went two for four against Oakland.

In Auto Out’s second season he finished second in the AL rookie of the year voting. He hit .321 that year in 106 games with 16 home runs and 69 RBI. Over the next eight seasons Auto Out had over 600 at bats, and drove in at least 90 runs, and hit 20 home runs five times. In each year he either hit .300 or came close.

In 2002 when the Angels won their first and only World Series Championship, Auto Out finished fourth in AL MVP voting. That season he hit 36 home runs drove in 123 runs, hit .306, and scored 93 runs which was a career high. In 2003 he was selected to the all-star game, and not only won the Home Run Derby, but also won the all-star game MVP. Only the second player to do this ever (Ripken Jr. in 1991). Auto Out, in 2004, signed a 48 million dollar four year contract extension with the Angels through the 2008 season.

Auto Out began to suffer various injuries during the 2004-2005 seasons. He suffered from arthritis, rustiness, and plantar fasciitis. This meant Auto Out had to see more time as a DH in order to keep the wear and tear down on his aging body. Still in 2006 he managed to have another productive year. From 2004-2006 he averaged around 17 home runs, and at least 85 RBI. In 2007 Auto Out, started out slow but got hot. In the second half he drove in 10 runs in one game, becoming only the 13th player to ever have 10 RBI or more in a single game. That game included a grand slam home run and a three run home run.

Anderson had a streak in 2007 where he had and RBI in 12 straight game. During that stretch he drove in 22 runs. In 2008 Auto Out spent his final season with the Angels. That year in 145 games, Auto Out hit .293 with 15 home runs and 84 RBI. On October 28, 2008, the Angels exercised their three million dollar buyout on Auto Out, and he became a free agent. In the spring of 2009 Auto Out signed a one year 2.5 million dollar contract with the Atlanta Braves. On October 1 of 2009 Auto Out collected his 2500th base hit while with the Braves. Overall that season he would hit .268 in 135 games with 13 home runs and 61 RBI.

Then in the spring of 2010 Auto Out signed a one year deal with the Dodgers. In his first at bat he got a hit off Brendan Donnelly who was a teammate of his when he was with the Angels. That hit was nothing more than a foolish mirage. Auto Out would struggle as we watched him flail away at the plate. As the weeks went on we dreamed of the day when we would hear the announcement of his designation for assignment. One game Auto Out went 0 for 5 whiffing four times and hitting into a double play in the lone at bat he didn’t whiff.  Anderson had 155 at bats for the Dodgers in 80 games. That’s 28 for 155. That’s right, Auto Out only had 28 hits on the season. He only had 5 walks, and he whiffed 34 times. That’s six more times that he had hits.

Anderson’s line was one of the worst we had ever seen. Auto Out finished with a 2010 line of .181/.204/.271 He hit two home runs and had 12 RBI. His OPS was .475. This means that Auto Out’s 2010 season with the Dodgers ranks as one of the all time most punch less seasons ever. Just barely finishing ahead of Bill Bergen’s .139 performances in 1909.

Actually, Auto Out that season ranked inside the top ten of most punch-less seasons ever for a Dodger in the last 100 years. Auto Out never even came close to sniffing the Mendoza line.  As the weeks went on we continued to be forced to watch Auto Out hit. The then 38-year old outfielder seemed like nothing but a walking corpse in left field. He provided nothing but a wasted roster spot and mega failure. This prompted Stacie and I to don him the nick name of the Automatic Out, or Auto Out for short, after we were nearly awestruck by his historic incompetence.

Despite having one of the most punch-less years by a player ever, he still holds many Angels franchise hitting records. He is the current leader in games played, at bats, hits, total bases, singles, doubles, grand slams, extra-base hits, RBI, and consecutive games with an RBI. He was a career .293 hitter, with 2,529 hits, and 287 home runs. Auto Out was a three time all-star with the Angels, a two time silver slugger winner, and the sporting news rookie of the year in 1995.

We had finally accepted that we would have to be subjected to his uselessness for a full season. Until August 8, 2010, when the Dodgers finally designated Auto Out for assignment. In typical Auto Out fashion, his exit was underwhelming, much like his plate appearances.

Then Dodgers manager Joe Torre had said he had meant to cut Anderson weeks earlier, but had just “never gotten around to it.” Apparently Torre had fallen asleep inside his office and Anderson had gone ignored for several more weeks. On August 8, Auto Out was eating breakfast when Torre broke the news to him that he was DFA’d. Auto Out, just looked at him and quietly thanked him for the chance to play, cleaned out his locker and left.

Auto Out officially announced his retirement from Baseball on March 1, of 2011. The statement was issued by the Angels, which was fitting. Five tool Bums do not come along very often. When they do they must be documented. Nice job Auto Out, for becoming one of the most punch-less Dodgers of all time, and proving it is possible to waste 155 at bats.

Tags: Dodgers Garret Anderson