The word Bum was originally created by sports cartoonist Willard Mullin. During the early 1930’s, while on a cab ride, the driver asked Mullin “how did those Bums do today”? Mullin decided to draw a version of famed circus clown Emmett Kelly to represent the Dodgers for his cartoons in the New York World-Telegram. The nickname caught on. A Dodger yearbook that was created from 1951-1957 featured a Mullin illustration of the Brooklyn Dodger Bum.
Webster’s dictionary has many meanings for the word Bum. You would be surprised at how many different ways you can use the word Bum in a sentence. We use the word Bum to describe a bad player. Mullin created this image of the “Bum” almost 70 years ago. Little did he know that seven decades later there would be a player that would personify in every quality the traits of a true Bum.
We’ve had a good time revealing the top ten LA Dodger Bums of all time. Lets review the list real quick before we move on to the number one Bum of all time.
10.Jose Offerman (Bummerman)
9.Billy Ashley (over hyped flame out)
8. Dave Goltz (blew the 1980 NL west playoff game)
7. Hee-Seop Choi (Hee-Seop Out)
6. Darren Dreifort (Bumfort)
5. Delino DeShields (DeBum)
4. Dave Anderson (Bumderson) (his back hurts again)
3. Garret Anderson (Auto Out)
2. Andruw Jones (Fatso)
1….The number 1 LA Dodger Bum of all time is……
While many players on this list were once good and transformed into a Bum once they donned a Dodger uniform, Castro has made an entire career of being a Bum. Imagine Garret Anderson or Eugenio Velez, but instead of just one or two terrible seasons, you have an entire career of being an automatic out. Ive just described Castro, the biggest Bum in LA Dodger history.
Castro’s career has been remarkably unremarkable. Castro played for 17 seasons, not one of them even close to being anywhere near average. Castro was born in 1972 in Los Mochis Mexico. He was drafted by the Dodgers in 1991, and began to slowly move through the minor leagues. Castro played with the Bakersfield Dodgers, San Antonio Missions, and the Albuquerque Dukes. He was selected as a Texas League all-star in 1994. Castro batted and threw right, the 5’11 and 190 pound infielder mainly played shortstop, second and third base throughout his career.
Castro made his MLB debut on September 2 of 1995 with the Dodgers against the Montreal Expos as a defensive replacement. He didn’t get his first career hit until the final game of the season on October 1 against San Diego. Castro continued to play at a level of suck like we had never seen before. In 1996 Castro played in 70 games for the Dodgers going 26 for 132 for a .197 average, and a .254 OBP. The utter incompetence didn’t stop. In 1997 Castro played in 40 games for the Dodgers going 11 for 70 with a .147 average. He scored only three runs in 84 plate appearances. The next year in 1998 Castro still couldn’t reach the Mendoza line. While playing in 89 games he “improved” to a .195 batting average, with a .245 OBP. He did hit his first career home run that season.
Castro played in only two games for the Dodgers in 1999 because of injury. After five seasons of historic failure, Castro was traded to the Reds on April 1 of 2000 for Kenny Lutz. Castro played with the Reds from 2000-2004. He was primarily a utility player coming off the bench. Over the next five seasons for the Reds Castro played in no less than 54 games, and no more than 113. He posted up batting averages of .241, .223, .220, .253, and .244. He never had an OBP higher than .290 during his entire tenure with the Reds. In 2003 he hit 9 home runs, which was his career high.
When 2005 rolled around, Castro signed with the Twins to backup Jason Bartlett at shortstop. Bartlett struggled and Castro saw more playing time. He was still a Bum. That year he played in 97 games, hitting .257, with a .279 OBP 5 home runs and 33 RBI. In June of 2006 Castro was traded back to the Reds for minor league outfielder Brandon Roberts. He played in 54 games for the Reds in 2007 hitting .180 (Auto Out territory) On April 21, 2008, he was designated for assignment by the Reds. He played for a little while with the Rockies triple-A affiliate before being traded to the Orioles. He finished the season with Baltimore. He was terrible hitting .205 in 54 games for the Orioles.
Castro was so devoid of any talent, or usefulness at all, he never became a starter or played in more than 113 games in his career.
In January of 2009 Castro signed back with the Dodgers, we still don’t know why. He entire season with the Dodgers as a bench player. That year he hit .277 with 1 home run in 57 games. He signed with the Phillies in 2010 filling in for Jimmy Rollins for a short time. He played in 54 games for Philadelphia and was predictably pathetic. Castro had a line of .194/.237/.233 Good god man that is just awful. Once the Phillies had seen enough of him, they released him on July 17, 2010.
Late July of 2010, Furcal’s back injury was acting up again forcing Jamey Carroll to fill in at shortstop. This opened up a vacancy on the Dodger Bench, They needed another infielder. Guess who they signed? Yes it was Juan Castro. The Dodgers somewhat fascinated by his failure of a career signed him to a minor league contract on July 27 2010. This was Castro’s third stint with the Dodgers. He played in only one game for the Dodgers in 2010 and was 0 for 3. On August 21 of 2010 he was designated for assignment, and ended up back in Albuquerque. The Dodgers had actually intended on bringing him back for a September call up if you can believe that. However Castro chose to stay home to take care of an ailing family member. Castro may suck as a Baseball player but he seems like a very nice guy.
We thought we had seen the last of Castro, we were wrong. Dodger fans could only watch in horror as Castro had his contract picked up yet again, for a fourth stint on May 13,2011. It seemed we would have to suffer through one last fruitless season watching Juan Castro play. Again the Dodgers needed another infielder because of injuries and they went with someone they knew oh so well. Dodger fans were again subjected to his useless at bats. It was like a moth to flame, the Dodgers just couldn’t part with Castro. Castro played in seven games in 2011 and went 4 for 14. One of Castro’s final at bats with the Dodgers wound up being a hit, and one that gave the Dodgers the lead in extra innings. On May 20, 2011 the Dodgers were playing the White Sox in Chicago. With the game tied 3-3 in the 10th inning, Castro is allowed to bat with the bases loaded. Once our nausea subsided we saw Juan Castro, yes Juan Castro get a hit with the bases loaded that gave the Dodgers the lead. I know I know I almost still don’t believe it myself. Check out Stacie’s game recap on DBF, from that night to believe it for yourself.
Castro was designated for assignment on June 6, 2011. For another few weeks we were still scared that he might want to make one more comeback. Fortunately for our sanity, Castro retired as a player on July 10, 2011. After a 17 year career of futility, Castro finished with a career batting average of .229. In over 2,627 at bats Castro only had 601 hits. His OBP was a disgusting .268, and he hit 36 home runs.
As a child Castro idolized Fernando Valenzuela and had always wanted to play for the Dodgers. After he retired as a player, (we rejoiced when we heard the news) he accepted a job with the Dodgers as a special assistant to the general manager, with involvement with player development and talent evaluation. Castro should provide the Dodgers with much needed Bum advice. After all who better to recommend future Bums than the biggest Bum of all time?
We have reached the end of the line for the LasordasLair top ten all time LA Dodger Bum list. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading this as I had writing it.
We will never forget past players whether they were good or not. So many players leave lasting impressions on us. Some we may never forget.There are a lot more Bums, too many to remember and mention. Let’s give acknowledgement to other Bums like, Mark Belanger, Tom Prince, Terry Mulholland, Rafael Bournigal, Dioner Navarro, Rafael Landestoy, Jeff Hamilton, Todd Worrell, John “two pitch” Candelaria, Mark Sweeny, and many more. So the next time you are at a game and you hear a fan yell out “ YOU’RE A BUM!” just silently nod and salute. LasordasLair and all Dodger fans salute you Juan Castro, you are the number one LA Dodger Bum of all time.