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Who is the most hated player in your team’s history?

Apr 25, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

John Rocker

I try to ac-cent-u-ate the positive and e-lim-i-nate the negative as much as possible, but it’s a long baseball season so it’s easy to get negative.

I tend to get the most negative about my own team when they’re not playing well. Oh, if you could take a man’s life for the thoughts that’s in his head I’d have been on that execution line many a times over the past 25 years. Between Robert Fick and Lonnie Smith I’m surprised I’m still living.

Jim Moore over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer goes through the exercise with respect to the Mariners today, trying to figure out who the most hated Mariner of all time is.  He settles on Bobby Ayala but thinks that Chone Figgins is closing fast. Only Mariners fans can judge, though, because such assessments are inherently subjective. Only fans of a given team can speak to who that team’s most hated player is. Those on the outside just can’t understand.

I don’t know who the Braves’ most hated player is. Robert Fick was only there a year, but I truly hated him. It’s not Lonnie Smith. He was actually the only good player they had for a while there and I think people forgive him for his World Series (and other) transgressions. It might be John Rocker, but I bet that’s more because he embarrassed Braves fans more than he was actually hated, because he pitched pretty well while with the Braves.  I have to give it some thought.

In the meantime, what say you?  Who is the most hated player in your team’s history? Or at least recent history.  Show your work, please.

218 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. cup0pizza - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    Dodgers. Jon Broxton. Easy.

    • echolmberg - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Not Jeff Kent? Not Kevin Brown?

    • itripledogdareyou - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      cup0pizza – as a fellow Dodger fan, you have been spoiled too long with our bullpen if you think Broxton can be the most hated Dodger ever. Even with an awful 2nd half last year, his ERA was below the league average. Just last July, he was the NL closer in the All-Star game. Only a fan who’s watched for half a season would think Broxton deserves that title…c’mon.

      • clydeserra - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        Tom Neidenfuer was probably a bigger disaster in the bull pen

    • hep3 - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM

      Darryl Strawberry. Ruined the Dodgers for years in the 90’s. They never should have signed him.

  2. rmalmstrom - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    Braves – Dan Kolb

    • echolmberg - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:37 PM

      Totally agree. Though I remember hating Kenny Lofton cause we traded Justice and Grissom for him. Then the following year he signed back with the Indians.

      • Lukehart80 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        Hating Kenny Lofton is NOT cool!

  3. ngearhart1981 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Royals: Is probably Jose Guillen, but I think it should be Neifi Perez. Awful, awful baseball player.

    Astros: Brad Lidge? Gotta be Brad Lidge. I bet Carlos Lee will be there ‘ere his contract is up though.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Not even close for Royals fans. Try Mark Davis or Ed Hearn.

    • aarcraft - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:53 PM

      I’d say Derek Bell is leading the way for the Astros. As long as Lee doesn’t criticize the beloved manager on the day he comes back from a Grand Mal seizure, and then say a trade to the Mets is like Christmas, I think Bell will keep his title a little longer.

      • Lukehart80 - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:44 PM

        aarcraft, is your name a reference to the aircraft part service corporation?

      • aarcraft - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:27 PM

        Nope. A reference to my first name being Aaron and my last name being Ashcraft.

      • Lukehart80 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:59 PM

        Ah ha. Thanks for clarifying.

  4. jamie54 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    Think Gary Sheffield could be nominated on quite a few teams.

    • skipperxc - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      It’s undeniably Sheffield for the Brewers, the way he took a dump on the franchise and the city the moment he left. Hadn’t played on the team in fifteen years and he still got booed in Milwaukee every time he came. Hitting his 500th home run off them was just an extra kick in the nuts. At least that came on the road — there might have been a riot if it had been in Milwaukee.

  5. udscott - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Another one for the Phillies’ fans: Mitch Williams, if for nothing else than serving it up for Joe Carter in the World Series.

    • cur68 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:46 PM

      And this is why we Blue Jay fans love us some Mitch. C’mon Mitch, throw another slider!

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        Josephine, the prancing little school girl.

      • cur68 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        DEEP over the wall in left; touch ’em all Joe!

        So there!

      • missthemexpos - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:50 PM

        Mitch Williams – Joe Carter, forever linked. The last part of the late Tom Cheek’s call was classic “You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life”

      • cur68 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:34 PM

        Did anyone ever hit a bigger homer than Joe off of Mitch? IMO no.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 26, 2011 at 8:18 AM

        Leave Mitchie Poo alone!!!!! sincerely Philthadelphia

    • xmatt0926x - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      You must not live in Philly. Mitch williams has been forgiven and is a well-liked ex-player in Philly. He’s not even close to being hated.

      • leftywildcat - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:29 PM

        Adam Eaton was very incompetent and Von Hayes very over-rated, but most hated Phillie of the recent years has to be J D Drew. He wouldn’t sign! Over-rated and hated!

    • professor59 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

      Mitch was persona non grata here for a couple of years, but he has come back to live here. He does local radio all the time and is very popular now. Did you move from Philly in 1995?

      I’d go with Travis Lee. Traded for him, and he refused to play or even give a damn. Stole money and was booed forever.

      It might have Pete Rose (as an opponent) until the Phillies got him in 1979. Then it was all lovey dovey.

      • snowbirdgothic - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        Does J.D. Drew count? I mean, they drafted the guy.

        Rick Schu got a lot of “oh, God, not this guy” hate for the simple crime of not being Mike Schmidt.

        But I have to go with Von “Five for One” Hayes.

  6. Matthew E - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    For the Jays, it’s hard to say. Dave Stieb and George Bell and Shea Hillenbrand rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, as did David Wells in his second go-round. Clemens may be disliked now but he wasn’t hated while he was here. A lot of fans had disdain for Joey Hamilton and Esteban Loaiza. Jack Morris and Jim Acker were disproportionately hated during their poor final seasons with the club. Raul Mondesi wore his welcome out. The fans were a little too eager to run Eric Hinske and Lyle Overbay out of town, but “hated” is a bit strong.

    I can’t come up with a better answer than “George Bell”, although he was liked as much as he was hated, and I think he’s generally remembered fondly. I always liked him as a player.

    • derpdederpdederp - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      i would say eric hinske wins this one

    • fuggles7 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      I’d have to go with Hillenbrand here.. no class and a big mouth doesn’t garner you much love.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:24 PM

        Hillenbrand was an azz, as was Derek Bell who has also been nominated for another team. George Bell is welcome when he returns to Toronto. Eckersley was not a fan favourite playing against the Jays especially when he was caught on TV with a foreign object in his glove. My all time least favourite opponent was Mussina because he tried to show up Gaston during an All Star game.

  7. missthemexpos - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Having a real hard time thinking of a most hated Expo. Now management, on the other hand trading away so many good young players over the years, (Mike Marshall, Ken Singleton, Randy Johnson, Cliff Lee, to name just a few) is a whole different story! Maybe a future column on most hated GM’s is needed.

    • cur68 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:38 PM

      I love all Expos. They were all gents and I miss them even more every time I see your blog-handle.

  8. jwinn006 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    I can’t speak for all O’s fans, but i have a strong hatred for Miguel Tejada. He complained about being in Baltimore, lied about his age, took steroids (although, i know, i know, everyone did) then they brought him back! I love watching him fail.

    • madhatternalice - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:07 PM

      I’m having a hard time deciding between Tejada and Albert Belle. Yes, the O’s got most of that money back, but man were they hamstrung at the time. I can’t fault Mussina, and Glenn Davis was just injured a lot, even if he was a crybaby.

      And then I remembered Sydney Ponson.

      • APBA Guy - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:57 PM

        Definitely Sir Sidney for the O’s. Made me forget about Daniel Cabrera.

  9. dfeltz - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    As a Cubs fan I hate Leon Durham. We all know why. Does bartman count?

    • Lukehart80 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

      Steve Bartman, are you serious?

  10. Loren - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    It’s hard for me to come up with a truly hated A’s player.
    Canseco is the easy answer, but while he was with the A’s I laughed at him more than hated him (and he was really good for most of that time).
    It could be Todd Van Poppel, but that seemed more like disappointment than hate.
    Jeremy Giambi for not sliding?
    I think I’ll go with Aurthur Rhodes for blowing 5 saves in 14 tries, but I don’t see a really good candidate.

    • clydeserra - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      Eric “just step on home plate, dummy” Byrnes? Terrance “what is this wooden thing on my shoulder for ” Long?

    • madhatternalice - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:10 PM

      gotta be chavez, right? how many other players were passed up because the eric chavez experiment was in full swing?

      • clydeserra - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM

        Except Chavez was better than Tejada, and there was not heir apparent to 3b like Crosby.

      • tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM

        Who would hate Chavez?? Dude didn’t **want** to be injured. I hope you’re not an A’s fan because they tend to be a classy bunch in my experience.

      • madhatternalice - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:24 PM

        nope. not an a’s fan. just making a suggestion, based on four guys who live across the street from me. a’s fans from oakland, and they have an eric chavez effigy in their living room.

        i also have no idea wtf “I hope you’re not an A’s fan because they tend to be a classy bunch in my experience” means. feel free to take your trolling elsewhere, thanks.

      • tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:37 PM

        What I meant was that anyone who would hate on a player for being injured through no fault of his own is a douche, and the A’s fans I know are not douches. But your neighbors certainly are, so one of us knows a skewed sample.

        By the way, you don’t seem to know what “trolling” means. Enjoy the Internet!

      • madhatternalice - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        wow, tomemos, so much to respond to! thanks for giving me something to do this afternoon!

        first, i’m not buying the strawman argument. the passion of fans doesn’t always intersect with logic, and while YOUR OPINION that “anyone who would hate on a player for being injured through no fault of his own is a douche” is just that, your opinion, i don’t think you can speak for every baseball fan. look at the phillies comments here…phillies fans who hate mitch williams REALLY hate mitch williams, because all the good he did for the team (and rest assured, he was a good player for them) was undone by 1 pitch. one might almost blame fregosi for keeping him as the closer, but what’s done is done.

        second, i never proclaimed “i hate eric chavez.” i made a suggestion, to which you immediately cast aspersions on me, inferring that i am not “classy” for suggesting chavez. and players don’t have to be in the farm system to be passed up. i am fairly certain that, if i went back to the a’s amateur drafts of the first few years of chavez’s career, we’d see at least one third baseman they didn’t draft because of chavez.

        is it chavez’s fault that he was hurt? of course not, and your comment that “dude didn’t want to be injured” is ridiculously insulting. you can hate a player for what s/he did without hating the person. i shouldn’t have to explain this to a ph.d. candidate.

        finally, i’d suggest you get a dictionary. trolling = “One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.” by responding with such venom to a post that wasn’t heated, but merely offering a suggestion, you, sir, have trolled. you may disagree (and that’s the wonderful thing about people, they can disagree), but i didn’t antagonize anyone with my post. i have no personal interest in the a’s other than as a baseball fan, but to read your first response, you’d think i decried moneyball, or beat up trevor cahill in high school.

        take a few deep breaths and remember that this is a message board, and we’re all baseball fans. we can disagree on things without making it personal.

      • tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        Thanks for visiting my blog, that is flattering.

        Look, I think we got off on the wrong foot. I didn’t intend “Dude didn’t want to be injured” to be insulting and to be honest I still don’t see how it is (let alone “ridiculously insulting”). Calling you unclassy…I mean, it’s a personal remark, but is it “venomous”? I was surprised to see what you said because it’s a pretty standard article of faith among baseball fans that you don’t rag on a guy for being hurt, all else being equal. Plus, I spend a lot of time on this board (do you?) and “not classy” is well within the range of something you can call someone here without being thought a monster. But I don’t have any beef with you and I wasn’t being intentionally provocative.

        Our disagreement is still pretty obvious. You say, “You can hate a player for what s/he did without hating the person,” and give the example of Mitch Williams. But what did Chavez “do”? Mitch Williams made a bad pitch in a crucial spot. Chavez developed injuries he couldn’t recover from for several years. I just don’t see a comparison there. And from the ones that I know, I think A’s fans feel all kinds of things about the Chavez situation–regret, bitterness, etc.–but not hostility towards the player.

  11. Travis - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Shea Hillenbrand or Wil Cordero for the Red Sox

    • colorinfusion - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM

      For me Roger Clemens for the way he left. I loved him before that.

      • Travis - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        im basing it on while playing for the team, the hatred for Clemens came immediately after he left, and trust me the hatred still fills me. That said, if we were basing it on after leaving I would tend to hate Damon more because of what he did last year when Boston claimed him on waivers.

    • hermitfool - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      Doesn’t Julio Lugo have to be in the BoSox conversation? By the second year of his contract the only Julio Lugo jersey that existed inside or outside of Fenway park was being worn by Julio. You wanta crack up a Yawkey way vendor just ask for a Julio Lugo jersey.

  12. Eternal Optimist - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    We Chicago Sox fans are really fickle. First, we couldn’t get enough of Frank Thomas when he was putting up Lou Gehrig-type numbers in his early years. Then we rode him out of town on a rail when he kind of lost control of his life, got sulky and couldn’t hit his weight. Now that his playing days are done, we love him again. Go figure!

  13. maxieblog - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:53 PM

    Ex Cards manager…, Eddie Stankey

  14. Dan in Katonah - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    As a Mets fan there are so many, where to begin?
    Boby Bonilla was mentioned and is an obvious choice.
    Armando Benitez imploded in the 2000 series and generally was coronary-inducing on his best days.
    Ollie Perez is the most-recent hated Met (far more than Castillo who merely played poorly, but Ollie was such a douche about it).
    Victor Zambrano evokes night sweats since we dealt Kazmir for him (although Kazmir has since fallen off the cliff).
    Hampton generally sucked and Glavine ended up an agent-provocatuer for the Braves sabotaging us before leaving.
    And historically, who can enjoy the memories of over-paid grouches George Foster and Dave Kingman (who gets bonus points for being hated by Cubs fans too)?
    Pretty long list, but I guess sketchy performance breeds contempt. Of course another good question is who is the most hated individual player on an opposing team. Then I can gladly point to Rocker on the Braves (Chipper is “hated” but respected, especially for naming his kid Shea (middle name?)).

    • clydeserra - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:05 PM

      No non love for Mo?

      • Dan in Katonah - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:28 PM

        He was fat and injured, but did not do or say enough to evoke strong feelings, at least in me.

    • grafe2 - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:52 AM

      Hampton largely sucked? What? I wasn’t aware that 217 innings of a 142 ERA+ was sucky!

  15. jtorrey13 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    It’s probably not rational considering it was only a little over one year, but I hated Juan Agosto for the Cardinals. When he came into the game, it felt doomed. Looking at the stats, I can see why. More BB/9 than K/9 and a WAR of -0.4. A -1.31 WPA tells the story – when he came into the game, he made it harder to win.

  16. smorris793 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    Yankees: Cliff Lee.

    • Travis - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      If we’re playing like this the Boston answer gets so much easier…. Bucky Dent.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:26 PM

        Along those lines, it’s JD Drew for the Phightins.

    • professor59 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:31 PM

      OK, but maybe if the Yanks would have mentioned to the fans (who harassed Lee’s wife) not to hate him BEFORE he signed, he’d be pitching for you today!

    • isu1648 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      A yankees fan knowing the name of a player on another team is impressive enough.

  17. wurst2first - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Based on a snapshot of fellow Brewers fans, I’d say the consensus is Jeff Suppan in recent memory, with Bill Hall following closely behind. People hated Jose Hernandez in the early aughts because he stayed out of the lineup to avoid setting the single-season K record, and going back a few years I’d have to say that the sting of how Gary Sheffield left town hasn’t left a lot of people’s minds.

    • Dan in Katonah - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      What about Sheffield loafing his way off the team?

  18. Ken Arneson - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    I did a Top 25 Least Favorite Oakland Athletics post on Catfish Stew back in 2006. Most hated: Ruben Sierra, followed by Terrence Long, Esteban Loaiza and Buddy Groom.

    The reason Canseco’s not on there is that I had a rule that I had to hate him while he played for the team. My hatred for Canseco only developed after he left. If I could include post-A’s-tenure hatred, the list would be very different.

  19. mromang - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    For the Jays, Hillenbrand definitely left a baaaad mark. But I think I’ll go with Russ Adams, never really liked him or his attitude.
    But if he’d been a ML-ballplayer: JP Ricciardi. by far

  20. losburrosinblue - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Over 75 comments and no one mentions A.J. Pierzynski?

    • kirkmack - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:13 PM

      I can’t speak for Giants fans, but when AJ is on your team, you love him. If he is on another team, you hate him and wish him dead.

      • chisoxpurdue - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:20 PM

        Exactly, he is the most hated player currently on the white sox; just not by his fans. But any team with AJ knows every other team hates him.

      • tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        Uh, when he was on the Giants we hated him the entire time. Didn’t he lead the league in GIDP that year? Also he kneed the trainer in the groin. Plus consider what we gave up to get him (though that’s Sabean’s fault, not his).

      • kirkmack - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        tomemos- that was why I said “I can’t speak for Giants fans”- because I know he was hated by them. But when he was here with the Twins and now with the Sox, home fans love him, it is everyone else that hates him.

      • tomemos - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:29 AM

        So you can speak for Giants fans, quite accurately in fact.

  21. deathmonkey41 - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Red Sox- David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez. Two cheaters who weren’t man enough to own up to it.

  22. tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    So we’re saying hated by the fans of that team, not by other fans? The Giant hated most by the Giants is A.J. Pierzynski. The Giant hated most by everyone else, of course, is Barry Lamar Bonds.

  23. PierzynskiAteMyKitten - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I’d say Juan Gonzalez for the Tigers. If we include front office people, then Randy Smith, hands down, no contest.

    • Travis - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      what about umpires? lol

    • ignorantwretch - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:07 PM

      You mean the Randy Smith who would only trade with the Padres or Astros? We sure get our share of deadbeat front office types here in Detroit.

  24. dkirchhoff - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Rockies – Denny Neagle – he managed to embarrass an entire state. Plus, he was terrible and (along with Mike Hampton) scared ownership from ever signing high profile free agent pitchers for the remainder of my lifetime.

    • roscoebasil - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:44 PM

      You have that right. Neagle and Hampton are 1 and 1A on the most hated list. I have to give the edge to Mike Hampton as most hated, since more was expected and less delivered by him.

  25. everybodydoingthefish - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Florida Marlins: Renyel Pinto

    • addictedzone - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      I scoured my mind for a Marlin and truly there are none so hated as to make the top of the list. Guess that’s what happens with a young team that wins the World Series anytime they make the playoffs. There is just no strong hatred towards anyone other than H Wayne Huizenga.

      That being said, if just considering players, the pinto bean would definitely garner a vote or two.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:30 PM

        Aye mio! Renyel Peento ees cambio pequeño, hermanos. Assuming you can’t include an owner’s name here – and Feesh fans detest all three of ’em, for various and sundry reasons – you have got to clown Kevin Gregg. He’s the Prince of Dorkness, the Big Fail, Mariano Rivera’s brood parasite, the Dinger Daddy, entropy encarnate, the Arson Animal. He’s the veritable un-Conine.

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