INSIDE PITCH hereby presents the Iron Glove Awards, given to those fielders deemed to be the worst at their positions in a confidential poll of players and coaches:
C—Donnie Scott, Mariners. He once had a passed ball on a ceremonial first pitch.
1B—Glenn Davis, Astros. A converted outfielder, Davis has 11 errors in 93 games. "He doesn't think out there," says a teammate.
2B—Steve Sax, Dodgers. Twenty-one errors. "He's got it. hands down," says another Dodger.
SS—Julio Franco, Indians. "Making 40 errors a year [he has 37] is ridiculous," says one coach. "I'd try him at third or second, and if that doesn't work, get him to the outfield." Franco narrowly beats out Roy Smalley of the Twins, whose nickname. The Mummy, is self-explanatory.
3B—(tie) Wayne Gross, Orioles, and Ron Cey, Cubs. "The only kind thing to say about Gross is, he can hit," says a player. Cey, who never had much range, has 21 E5s this year.
OF—Lonnie Smith, Royals. Sample comment: "Absolutely the worst. Can't throw, can't judge a fly ball." Can't stand up, either.
OF—George Foster, Mets. An opponent says, "The worst in our league [pause] now that Lonnie Smith is gone." Somewhat lacking in hustle.
OF—Reggie Jackson, Angels. Seven errors in only 79 games. He used to be even worse.
P—Tommy John, A's. He can no longer move. According to one player, "He goes after bunts like they were live grenades."