Monday, April 21, 2008

Your SKO Random Third Baseman of the Day: Todd Zeile

Name: Todd Edward Zeile
Ht: 6'1'' Wt: 190 LB
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Years as a Cub: 1995

Todd Zeile watches one of his pop-outs to third.

Todd Zeile is part of a very esteemed list of former players who played effectively for the St. Louis Cardinals, and then played as utter disgraces for the Cubs. This list includes such players as Dave Veres, Ernie Broglio, John Mabry, Alan Benes, and many other I care not to name. Zeile was acquired by the Cubs for Mike Morgan on June 16, 1995. At the time the Cubs were 25-21, 4 games out in both the Central and the Wild Card, and their group of third baseman included an aging and worthless Howard Johnson, and aging and even more worthless Steve Buechele, and a young and mostly worthless Jose Hernandez.

Zeile proved an utter disaster for the Cubs in the second half of 1995, as he hit just .227 avg./9 hrs/ 30 RBIs/.271 OBP/.371 Slugging in 79 games. He also fielded the ball like his glove was made of iron and threw with Cade McNownish accuracy. The result was 11 errors in just 75 games played at third, for a .939 fielding percentage.

Now, normally you'd just dismiss Zeile as a trade gone bad. I, however, suspect sabotage. At the time of his trade, Zeile had a .291 avg./5 hrs/22 RBIs/.378 OBP/.457 slugging line with the Cardinals. Just two years before he had 103 RBIs for St. Louis. In 1996 Todd hit 25 homers for the Phillies and Dodgers. Clearly, Todd deemed it his goal to take down the playoff hopes of the 1995 Cubs. Mission accomplished, Todd. Mission accomplished.

Todd retired in 2004 as the all-time home run leader. For people with a last name beginning with Z. Musta been hard with such esteemed competition as Julio Zuleta, eh Todd?

Todd has now started his own film production company, and starred in the movie Dirty Deeds. I didn't watch it. Neither should you.