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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. Mark Armour - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:25 PM

    For the Red Sox, Eric Gagne is an option. Heat of the pennant race, big trade, given a high-leveraged role, crapped the bed.

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

      he was damaged goods when he was traded though, right?

      • Jack Marshall - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:25 PM

        I think hating a guy like Gagne, who just stunk for less than half a year and didn’t hurt the team in the long-run, is unfair. He certainly doesn’t rank with the quitters brigade, for example—Reggie Jefferson and Bartolo Colon, who both jumped the team during play-offs; or Joe Azcue and Jay Payton, who refused to play to force trades. (I know, I know…Manny. But nobody should hate Manny in Boston…he gave too much to the fans before the crash.)

    • sneschalmers - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:36 PM

      Red Sox – Roger Clemens. How is there even a discussion?

  2. yourrealmom - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    not sure if real time requirements are needed..but as an Angels fan..most recently I cannot stand Teixeria even tho we had him only a year..Bobby Abreu is annoying as hell cause he never swings until he is 2 strikes in the hole…Brandon wood(gone now thank god) and Scot Shields…ty for retiring..and Donny”let me choke” Moore

    • tomemos - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      Abreu hasn’t OBP’ed under .350 since his first full year in the majors. I’m sure it’s nervewracking to watch him, but learn to appreciate what you have.

    • addictedzone - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM

      Based on what has transpired, I find it rather tasteless to mention Donnie Moore on this topic.

      • itripledogdareyou - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:14 PM

        Agreed addictedzone. And the hatred for Moore wasn’t warranted either. Angel fans easily forget he was a great pitcher that year for them and it took the “entire team” to blow the next two games that series.
        But every team needs a goat…

    • xmatt0926x - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:31 PM

      yourrealmom, people were critical of abreu for the same thing in Philly along with his fear of catching balls against the wall. It is nice to have a high OBP but I know that there were times where Phillies officials were said to wish he would be more agressive at the plate and sacrifice some walks for maybe some more RBI’s when the situation called for it. He is the exact type of player where he annoys you because of the little things.

  3. thekingdave - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Astros- At this point it’d have to be Carlos Beltran for the impression he left with the fans that he wanted to be here. Brad Lidge frustrated us, but his meltdown came at the tail end of the teams success. He was lights out in the 04 playoffs and most of 05, there were no hard feelings when he was dealt. However, Carlos Lee is sure to take the title this year.

    • aarcraft - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:22 PM

      Weren’t around for Derek Bell? I can’t have anything but positive feelings for Beltran after his postseason performance.

  4. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Apr 25, 2011 at 5:35 PM

    Hard to pick from so many Indians players, but here are my top choices:

    As mentioned previously, Jose Mesa. Blowing the 7th game of a World Series will get you on this list no matter what team we are discussing.

    Albert “Joey” Belle – May be my favorite and my most hated player. Loved him when he was here, hate him for leaving that mid 90’s Indians team one year after our first WS appearance in 41 years to follow the $$.

    Keith Hernandez – for stealing his $1mil + in salary from the Tribe for the 1990 season while playing only 45 games, batting only .200 with one home run and eight RBIs. Douchebag…

    • ippy369 - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM

      When I was in school in Cleveland in 1999, I got tickets to all the games of one series against the Orioles. Our seats were down the left field line, well within earshot of Albert Belle. For the entirety of the series (all 4 games!) , each top half of the inning, an Indians fan sitting a few rows behind me shouted in repetition “Hey Joey! I ****** your mother, Joey!” That’s hatred.

      • mentalotherhalf - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:21 PM

        Or a very complicated form of love.

  5. gregcon - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Texas Rangers-Juan Gonzalez. Big, strong, overpaid dumbass. The Rangers had the audacity to bring him back for a 2nd tour. He quit halfway through the season. Rangers placed him on DL because they didn’t want him around the team.

  6. bcopus - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    I had a hard time accepting Mark Lemke on the Braves when I was growing up. If I trusted my childhood (and I don’t), then Lemke’s numbers would be something like 0-55 in clutch situations, all 55 AB’s being popups to 3rd base. Of course, that’s just me, definitely not a consensus.

    Rocker was painful to hear about anywhere off the field. The David Justice – Halle Berry thing made an impression on me also. Kerry Lightenberg was laughable with his sideburns. I seem to remember Lockhart, Nixon, Tucker, Eddie Perez, and Quilvio Veras as being disappointing….but nobody to “hate” really.

  7. uuddlrlrbastart - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:45 PM

    The hatred shown to Mets of recent vintage, your Luis Castillos and Oliver Perezes, is nothing compared to that suffered by Doug Sisk. It’s said that he was booed when he would leave his home. Castillo and Perez were booed because they were terrible and overpaid. Sisk was just terrible.

  8. notapot - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:48 PM

    Royals- Ed Hearn or Juan Gone

  9. mgflolox - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    My rule is, you have to hate the guy while he’s actually playing for your team, not after he’s left. In that regard, I think it has to be Johnny LeMaster (aka Johnny Disaster) of the Giants, and Todd Van Poppel of the A’s. Van Poppel had to be the dumbest pitcher I’ve ever seen. He averaged around 5K/9in. with about a 1:1 K/W ratio, and he continued to labor under the impression that he was a power pitcher. All he did like a power pitcher was walk people.

  10. gostros19 - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:14 PM

    Astros. Look no further than Carlos Beltran. Totally blue balled us.

  11. smarterthangirardi - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:25 PM

    yankees: pavano… ’nuff said

  12. 18thstreet - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    My Red Sox nominees: John Wasdin, Mike Lansing, Jose Offerman, Shea Hillenbrand, and Edgar Renteria.

  13. westcoastfan - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:04 PM

    Dodgers – As far as contract and performance are concerned, it has to be Darren Dreifort. But Jason Schmidt and Andruw Jones are pretty close runners up.

  14. APBA Guy - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    For the A’s: I have to say Jose Canseco, but not because of his on-field performances with the team. Strictly because of what he became, and the type of person he is.

  15. royhobbs39 - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    As a Red Sox fan, I immediately think of Jose Offerman and Edgar Renteria. Renteria was frustrating due his decent level of play before and after his stint with the Sox. But he was only a waste of space for one season. Jose Awfulman was a waste for what seemed like forever.

    And forget Boggs. Anyone who can down 67 Miller Lites on one cross country flight will forever be a god in my eyes!

    • royhobbs39 - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:57 PM

      And as a Nationals fan, I would have to say… Ryan Langerhans?

      (Sorry, I just wanted to be the first one to ever utter the words “As a Nationals fan” on this site.)

  16. JB (the original) - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    Twins: either Ron Davis or maybe Tom Herr

    • luckywi - Apr 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM

      Don’t forget Chuck Knoblach….

    • luckywi - Apr 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM

      But I forgot about the firestarter. Talk about going to the mound with a can of gas and a couple of bluetips…I think Herr was more hated by teamates than fans.

  17. ignorantwretch - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    For the Tigers, Bobby Higginson. He had one year of .300, 30HR, 100RBI and turned it into, what was for then, a huge contract. He did not do a thing after that, became a malcontent and ruined the club house of an already bad team. Juan Gonzalez and Edgar Renteria are up there for me too. Speaking of the Tigers, off topic I know, but I can’t stand Rod Allen and the radio tandem of Dickerson and Price. I suppose I was spoiled by all those years of Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey on WJR and George Kell and Al Kaline on the TV side of it.

  18. xmatt0926x - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    For the Phillies a few people have already brought this clown up but I will again. Adam Eaton. He was terrible and had all the attitude to back it up. To top it off he was basically shelved for the 2nd half of 2008 and didn’t sniff the field during the playoffs as he was left off the playoff roster yet he shows up all dressed up for the ring ceremony and stands there with a big fake smile on his face as if he contributed anything to that team. and then he signs with baltimore after that and he’s getting frustrated with a reporters questioning him and he says “yeah well I won a title last year too. Do you want to talk about that?” I almost threw up my lunch when I read that.

  19. sedettiger - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:45 PM

    Tigers: Bobby Higginson. He never came close to living up to his huge contract and then he would bitch about how bad the team was while he was part of the problem. I can’t stand that guy.

    • Detroit Michael - Apr 26, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      This is about the third post on the Tigers.

      I think Juan Gonzalez is the Tiger player that Tiger fans hate the most. Admittedly, he was involuntarily traded to the Tigers and didn’t owe the fans any loyalty and he did us a HUGE HUGE favor turning down the contract offer. Still, he was a phony and didn’t try hard after we mortgaged the farm system to acquire him.

      Edgar Renteria and Bobby Higginson were nominated by others. I disagree. Renteria didn’t work out at all, but I don’t remember any hate. Some folks didn’t like Higginson, but I thought he was merely an overpaid blue collar guy.

      Guillermo Hernandez sure wasn’t liked at all his last couple of years in Detroit, but one has to balance that out with the Cy Young / World Series season. That might be going back too far for some posters.

      Ruben Sierra wasn’t liked at all in Detroit, but he wasn’t prominent enough to make this list, plus “the village idiot” should be a candidate for most hated elsewhere too.

      Randy Smith and Rick Rizzs are candidates in the nonplayer category, although neither of them rise to the level of “Matt Millan” hatred.

      Detroit is a bit midwestern — we don’t specialize in hating here. Claude Lemouix (sp?) in the NHL is probably the most hated opposing player in recent Detroit sports history.

      • sedettiger - Apr 26, 2011 at 11:41 AM

        Gonzalez slipped my mind. Although his time in Detroit was short, I still might need to change my vote.

  20. thekingdave - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Aarcraft,

    I was around for Bell. Some of my fondest childhood memories happened at the dome. I was there at Game 4 in the 99 NLDS for the dome’s last game.

    Anyhow, I never liked Bell mainly because his acquisition cost us Caminiti, Steve Finley, etc. But the reality is by the time he left he was merely a throw in to the Mets in the Mike Hampton trade. Beltran’s performance in the 04 playoffs was phenomenal, which is why it stung so bad when he hung us out to dry. I don’t believe the Astros have negotiated with a Scott Boras client since then.

    • aarcraft - Apr 26, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      He was more than a throw in. Astros wanted him gone so bad that we demanded any trade for Hampton include him. The way I remember it, Dierker had a near fatal grand mal siezure, was out for a while, comes back and the Astros had an appreciation day. Bell then gets a confrontation with him about his place in the lineup, and criticizes him in the post game. Then he says getting traded to the Mets is like Christmas for him.

      As for Beltran, looking at what the Mets got in that contract, are you really going to hold that against him? I’m thanking him.

  21. raysfan1 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    Rays: Jose Canseco. They had plenty of has-beens getting paid for crappy play in their early years, but most at least still appeared to be trying. Others just couldn’t stay healthy. Manny reminded us of those years but wasn’t around long enough to qualify. Canseco still causes Rays’ fans nightmares and embarrassment with pictures of that ball bouncing off his head & over the wall.

  22. flpunx - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:34 PM

    Rays – Pat Burrell. Though some others come to mind like Elijah Dukes for being a douche and BJ Upton for constantly living down to his “potential” that is rumored to be there, Burrell was a 9 million dollar dump for next to zero production. Then he returns to the NL and becomes the unsung hero of the Giants, basically hitting them through the stretch, into the World Series, then promptly going 0 for 20 in the series. At least that looked like the Pat we saw night in and night out in St. Pete.

  23. pipkin42 - Apr 26, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    As previously mentioned, Benitez is probably a good choice for the Orioles, but don’t rule out Jay Gibbons and (especially) Albert Belle.

  24. grafe2 - Apr 26, 2011 at 4:57 AM

    I can’t believe the amount of good players mentioned who said they’d like to remain with the team then have the complete gall to sign with a different team. Do Rangers fans completely hate Cliff Lee?

  25. grafe2 - Apr 26, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    As for me, I can’t think of many players I really hate. I guess at the top would be Jeff Francoeur after watching him flail away at everything for four entire years before being mercifully traded. At the same time though he also debuted and homered on my 18th birthday to complete a sweep of a doubleheader against the Cubs, so I can never hate him too much for that.
    There really isn’t much, I really hate Rocker and his dumbass beliefs or whatever, but he wasn’t around long. But hell, I’ll pick Rocker.

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