It is fun to hate. That is part of what makes sports great. So, we wanted to find out who are the most hated players in baseball. So here are the results of our new Mt. Rushmore series.
No surprise that AJ Pierzynski and his douchebaggery was the top vote-getter out of 27 nominees.
The final results were:
In a Men’s Journal survey, Pierzynski, a professional irritant who has been a thorn in the Royals side for years now, was voted “most hated player” with 34% of the votes. “He likes to talk a lot of sh**, and I’ve heard he’s a bad teammate,” one National League told Men’s Journal. “He’s been a prick to guys on his own pitching staff. Basically, if you haven’t got five years in the big leagues, he treats you like you’re a peasant. He’s that kind of guy.”
He can be hard-headed with teammates, and grating on opponents. He runs over the pitching mound after making outs. He sometimes steps on the hitter’s bats.
He has been known to show up opponents. He has been in a couple of fights (notably a brawl with Cubs catcher Michael Barrett after a collision in 2006) and he got into it with Justin Morneau when Morneau thought Pierzynski intentionally stepped on his foot. He is kind of like that guy in Major League that beaned his own son in a father-son game.
Former manager Ozzie Guillen, summed up the situation as, “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”
There is also a spring training tale from Arizona when he was with the Giants in 2004. As the story goes, Pierzynski was accidentally struck in his private parts, and when Giants trainer Stan Conte came out to ask him how he felt, Pierzynski responded by kneeing the trainer in the groin. No one really knows if the story is true, but we like to think it is.
For Royals fans, AJ Pierzynski has been the player we loved to hate. But in 2012, a new clown emerged – Indians (now Cardinals) closer Chris Perez, when he clown-acted his way up the Royals fans hate list. It culminated with a 3-pitch strikeout of Jarrod Dyson on May 29, 2012 in Cleveland, which he followed up with John Cena’s trademark “you can’t see me” gesture: Here
He then nearly blew out his knee with a clownshow-esque jubilant celebration after covering the bag at first base on a put out. A month earlier on April 14, Perez ran his mouth off mocking the Royals #OurTime slogan and claiming, “You hit one of our guys, we hit one of yours, period,” following an 11-9 Indians win that featured two bench-clearing incidents in the second game of the Royals 10-game winless homestand. Must be nice to run your mouth when you know that you don’t have to hit.
He tweeted: “It’s Tribe Time Now. Our Time? How about What If?”
He received a slap on the wrist $750 fine from Major League Baseball for that tweet.
On May 20, 2012 Perez, when complaining about the lack of fan interests for the first-place he said, “We’re in first place. Enjoy it. We could be in last place. We could be the Royals or the Pirates and haven’t won anything in 20 years. We’re not. Enjoy it. I don’t understand the negativity.”
But the sake of making fun of Perez, there was the time that he threw up after collecting a save:
And, we all got the last laugh when Perez was arrested for mailing marijuana to his own house addressed to his own dog…But, are we surprised by looking at this squirrel?
Perez, who fell apart, much to the enjoyment of Royals fans last season, defends his douchebaggery: “I’ve been doing this kind of stuff since college. It’s just something that gets me fired up. That’s just how I am.”
Now Perez is off to be a set-up man for a Dodgers bullpen that could be elite and the Royals may not ever face him again…Although, the Dodgers do come to town this year.
We didn’t realize how much hatred there was for ARod…and it turns out its not just because of the whole performance-enhancing drugs thing, either.
He’s taken the title of “most loathed player in baseball” away from Pierzynski. It’s not just his alleged use performance-enhancing drugs over a multi-year period, but then not manning up – continuing to deny it to Major League Baseball investigators, resulting in a dozen 50-game bans. Some of those players could have taken PEDs and gotten away with it if not for A-Rod. He named names and threw players, some who were not suspended, under the bus, including own teammate Francisco Cervlli. In addition to a season-long suspension and possible legal trouble, more than that, though, it’s the sort of move that reaffirms Rodriguez’s image as one of the least likable players in baseball.
And now, a quick, non-exhaustive reminder of why basically everyone except A-Rod hates A-Rod:
- In 2000, he signed the most expensive contract in the history of sports. He opted out of that contract before its conclusion to sign an even bigger one with the Yankees, becoming the perfect symbol of that team’s win-at-all-costs mentality.
- When not cheating with PEDs, he’s tried to cheat on the field. In the 2004 American League Championship Series, he was called out for interference after:
- Though technically not cheating, he pulled a “bush league” move three years later in Toronto. While rounding the bases behind Blue Jays third baseman Howie Clark, who was camped out under a pop fly, Rodriguez shouted “mine,” tricking Clark into thinking someone else on his team had a better play on the ball. Clark let the ball drop, and the Yankees went on to win the game. During that same series, Rodriguez, who was married at the time, was spotted out on the town with a blonde stripper. That spawned the memorable New York Post headline, “Stray-Rod,” and prompted dozens of Red Sox fans to taunt him at Fenway by donning ridiculous blonde-haired masks.
- In 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. Rodriguez later confessed to using steroids years earlier, but said that he had since been and would continue to be clean.
- He allegedly has two paintings hanging over his bed of himself as a centaur.
- He agreed to a photo shoot where he kissed his own reflection.
- He threw baseballs with his phone number written on them to women behind the Yankees’ dugout after being pulled from a playoff game last October.
- And…he plays for the Yankees.
All of this, and I still own him in fantasy baseball. WELP.
There was also this: Baltimore Orioles Manager Davey Johnson accused ARod of having a corked bat, then AROD responded by:
This link tells you everything you need to know about why Royals fans hate Cano: Boo Cano
Honorable Mention: Barry Bonds, Jose Valverde, Chris Getz, Ricky Henderson, Roger Clemens, Josh Beckett, Ty Cobb, Dave Conception, Jose Guillen, Will Clark, Neifi Perez, Mark Davis, Denny Martinez, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Derek Jeter, Torii Hunter, Albert “Joey” Belle, Jack Hannahan, Milton Bradley, Jeff Francouer, Mike Jacobs, Yadi Molina