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The player you (irrationally) love to hate

Jul 22, 2011, 11:35 AM EDT

Kansas City Royals Photo Day Getty Images

I’ll admit it: my hangups about Jeff Francoeur aren’t entirely rational.

OK, you probably knew that already.

But I’m not alone! Fans of every team have a guy they simply can’t be rational about. The guy who sticks in their craw no matter what his case is as a ballplayer on the merits. Just ask any Mets fan to assess Carlos Beltran‘s contributions and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Today, over at the Platoon Advantage, Bill takes a stab at identifying the guy on each team whose fanbase simply can’t deal with him on rational terms.

Good stuff! I’m proud to say that my Francoeur Derangement Syndrome helped inspire it.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    “This one isn’t universal, as I think a lot of the stat-savvy fans appreciate Howard more or less fairly for what he is. But he’s so wildly overrated by most Phillies fans that he’s an easy choice here. Commenters here suggest he’s better than Pujols (because RBIs, duh).”

    LOL…so he says “a lot” of the stat-savvy fans appreciate Howard for what he is…then proceeds to say he is “so wildly overrated by most Phillies fans”

    Which one is it? Maybe this guy is trying to take Craig’s title as the “master-bater” of Phillies fans…..

    • Old Gator - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      There are ten thousand stories in Craig’s Jeff Francouer creche. This was the ten thousand and oneth.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM

        Craig doesn’t fool me. I know he’s been anxiously hitting refresh on all the websites about potential trades, waiting to see if his Braves have worked out a trade with the Royals, all ready to pull on the #7 Francoeur home jersey, which he checks daily to make sure it still fits and didn’t pick up any dirt.

    • Paul Zummo - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      You can think a player is good and still think he’s overrated. See Derek Jeter. Most fans acknowledge that the guy is a Hall-of-Famer, but at the same time the media adulation far exceeds his true talent. Ditto for Ryan Howard – great player, but not even the best player on his own damned team.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        But he isn’t over rated by fans, and he isn’t hated by fans, I don’t see how the Phillies example of Howard works. He’s over paid, which isn’t what this is about. The fact is he’s one of the best cleanup hitters in the game and he does it without any selfishness. He gladly hits flyballs for the sac all the time, and rarely hits into double plays. Strikes out a lot? yes. Hits into the shift a lot? yes. But he has a plethora of RBI’s on a team with a not so good at OBP. That tells me he’s doing his job better than most are.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        That was in response to Chris above. Dooohh!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Paul, my comment was purely rhetorical and nothing more. I won’t debate the merits of your statement about Howard not being the best player on his team. All I was doing was pointing out the stupidity of saying, on the one hand that ” a lot of people” do one thing fairly then on the other hand, can’t resist taking a shot and saying “he is overrated by most Phillies fans” when nothing could be further from the truth. Some do…of course. And some Marlins fans overrate Mike Stanton…and he hasn’t done jack-shit yet. Some Braves fans overrate Brandon Beachy. Some Mets fans overrate Mike Pelfrey and some Yankees fans overrate Derek Jeter. Notice I didn’t use the word MOST anywhere there, because I am not a “master-bater” like the writer of that article.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        And FYI, regarding his idiotic statement that “Commenters here suggest he’s better than Pujols (because RBIs, duh).” he should know that philly.com did a poll a while back on who was the better player Howard or Pujols and I believe Pujols won 96% to 4%. So yeah, I guess, in a local hometown website, seeing the results of that poll would surely make me think that most people overrate, no wait…WILDLY overrate Howard, and that “commenters suggest he is better than Pujols” Maybe those commenters were Ryan’s family members because I have NEVER heard or seen a Phillies fan say that Ryan Howard is a better player than Pujols.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Ryan Howard is not “one of the best cleanup hitters in the game.” IMO. I think that quote proves the authors point.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        I’d pick Kyle Kendrick. He’s hated on universally by Philly fans, but he’s better than the hate deserves. Am I hanging my head in shame right now? Yes.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:48 PM

        KK is the Frenchie of the Phillies.

      • ditto65 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        Wouldn’t he be the Phrenchie of the Phillies?

    • IdahoMariner - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      “And it occurred to me that for every team, there has to be one guy the fanbase just can’t possibly be rational about — whether it’s irrational love, or irrational hate, or (in more cases than you’d think) healthy measures of both.”

      Chris, I think Bill at The Platoon Advantage was classifying Howard in the “healthy measures of both” category…and he started with the qualifier “this one isn’t universal…” – and he started the whole thing with “So, with a lot of subjectivity and heavily informed by my Twitter friends, here’s your list” AND he differentiated between the “a lot of the state-savvy fans” and “most Phillies fans”, starting it all with “I think” — so if you want to rag on him, go ahead, but I don’t think he was under any delusions about what he was trying to do. I think he just viewed it as a fun exercise.

      But if you want to be offended or parse things to the nth degree just so you can make your “master-bater” joke, twice, carry on.

      • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        Wish I’d seen this before writing mine below. Yes, exactly.

    • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Chris, please read what you copied-and-pasted again. Yes, if I said “a lot of fans A, but most fans B” (A and B being total opposites), that would be pretty inconsistent and dumb. But that’s not actually what that says, at all. You’ve got “stat-savvy [Phillies] fans” on one end, “most Phillies fans” on the other. Talking about very, very different groups of people.

      And I didn’t say most Phillies fans thought Howard was better than Pujols; the link was just an extreme example. As pretty much all the links were in the whole piece. It’s great how you can do the same thing to all 30 teams at once and Phillies fans will still find a way to take it personally.

      But yeah, Howard is crazily overrated by the average Phillies fan. He’s about an average first baseman, and that’s what he’s been for most of the last five years.

      • seanmk - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        above avg for more then that, just the last 2 he’s been avg. he’s now in the .250/.330 30-35 HR zone. i have a hard time saying someone hitting 40 HRs is just avg, though i agree with everything you said about how people view him but that might be a media thing too. HRs and RBIs preminent slugger of our time!

      • seanmk - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        i’d also like to point out utley could fit into this as well for the opposite side, of “he who can do no wrong,” even if he’s not playing well. you critize the guy and you get backlashed

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        See Bill, guys like you, and sometimes Craig, always have to go that extra step. Dig the knife that extra little inch. See up until you wrote this…

        “He’s about an average first baseman, and that’s what he’s been for most of the last five years”

        I was OK with what you wrote. But you had to go and say that. I guess he has been about an average first baseman for most of the last five years…if the average first basement the last 5 years had these #s…

        38 HR, 121 RBI, .900 OPS and 133 OPS+. I guess if that’s average, then you and I are watching two different sports. In my wild opinion, I think Howard is at worst a top 5 1st baseman.

        Pujols
        A-Gonz
        Votto
        Fielder
        Howard

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:31 PM

        I figured I forget someone..Cabrera is better too.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        “He’s about an average first baseman, and that’s what he’s been for most of the last five years.”

        LMAO!!!

        You do know that does include 2006 and every season since. Don’t you? Yeah, 6+5 = 11. Yeah, I’m sure of it. Don’t you know you can’t use Puljos as the just above avg line don’t you? Because Howard has been far from average for his position. In 2006 his WAR was 5.8. Since when is that avg.? And it’s been above 2 or more in every one of those seasons as well. Maybe everyone not in Philly under rates this guy?

      • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:41 PM

        2007
        2008
        2009
        2010
        2011

        That’s five.

        Here’s Howard’s OPS+ followed by the average NL first basemen’s:
        2007 144 123
        2008 124 124
        2009 141 131
        2010 128 124
        2011 118 122

        In all? A little above average. But just a little, and with below average defense.

      • seanmk - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        howard is maybe the 7th best 1st baseman out there now

        pujols
        cabrera
        gonzalez
        votto
        teixeira
        fielder

        who’s next howard then? or you have paul konerko. Would you rather have ryan howard or eric hosmer for the next 5 years? So it’s pretty hard to say he’s not top 10 but saying he’s top 5 is a bit of a stretch. Also i’d like to point out 2006 ryan howard isn’t coming back anytime soon.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        Bill, I have made the fatal mistake of allowing you to bait me into arguing the merits of Ryan Howard. Damn you sir……damn you to hell with Calcaterra and the rest of the Phillies-fan hating world!!!!!!!!!

        But in all seriousness…are you really saying that a guy who is at worst in the top 10 at his position is “average”? I thought there were 32 teams in this league.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        I’m not hating, I thought you did a pretty good job on your post Bill. It’s not easy to pick guys in this case, it’s not like there’s a system for measuring misplaced displeasure. And to take a stab at it you did. But I think most fans of Philly are aware he’s no sir Albert, and he’s no A-Gon, but he’s good. And sometimes great.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:57 PM

        Jonny5, the words “great” and “Ryan Howard” are not allowed to be contained within the same sentence. What is wrong with you? Because you have typed them in and hit Post Comment, you are now a part of that group of wildly overrating Phillies fans who take everything personally!!!!

        p.s. I agree 100% with everything you said…I enjoyed Bill’s post immensely…about the other teams. He is dead wrong about Howard though.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        2011 isn’t over!!! Bill, you’re trying to squirrel your way out of the truth. 5 seasons ago Howard was half way his 2006 season

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

        And he’s had below average dwar for 2 out of those 5 seasons as well. That’s just about avg I’d say not “below avg on defense”

        And yes, we’ll not see 2006 Ryan Howard again.

      • seanmk - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        jonny 5 2006 was 6 years ago.

        2011 that’s 1
        2010 that’s 2
        2009 that’s 3
        2008 that’s 4
        2007 that’s 5
        2006 that’s 6

      • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Let’s go to a better stat; Howard’s WAR

        Year…WAR…Rank (among all 1B in MLB)
        2011 .8 16
        2010 1.3 16
        2009 4.6 9
        2008 3.0 11
        2007 3.7 9
        2006 6.2 3

        So, as Bill said, slightly better than an average 1B.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        YES!!! Another “WAR is all that matters post” Woo Hoo!!! I think HBT has hit a record today. That’s about the 12th post I’ve seen quoting WAR as the be-all end-all stat. Excellent.

      • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        Well, considering it is the best single stat to evaluate a player, that’s a good thing right? Its both a rate and a counting stat, it compiles offense and defensive capabilities and includes the value that the player brings to the team because he is either capable, or incapable in some cases, of playing valuable defensive positions.

        Now, do you want to argue that it does a poor job of evaluating clutch, you can, and that’s true, it doesn’t do much with that. However, Howard isn’t all that clutch – especially compared to his other first baseman.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:33 PM

        Let’s teach all of you guys to count back “years”.

        today is
        July 22, 2011 -
        July 22, 2010 =1 yr ago
        July 22, 2009 =2 yr ago
        July 22, 2008 =3 yr ago
        July 22, 2007 =4 yr ago
        July 22, 2006 =5 yr ago

        At this time 5 years ago Howard had a WAR of 5.8 which is far above average (probably never to be seen again)

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        He is, at WORST, the 7th best 1st baseman in the Major Leagues…

        pujols
        cabrera
        gonzalez
        votto
        teixeira
        fielder
        howard

        How exactly is that “average”? I think what people are doing when they look at the numbers is they are forgetting that Pujols skews the #s. Sure, the position is very top-heavy. So while Ryan maybe be only a couple points higher than the overall average of 32 1st basemen, that is only because guys like Pujols, A-Gon and Carbera are much better and skew the #s.

        Look, I know Howard is declining and he isn’t as good as he was his first 4 years. But he’s above average. On a scale of 1-10, Pujols is a 10, Gonzalez and Cabrera are 9s, Votto is an 8, and then Fielder, Tex, and Howard are low 7′s. He’s not the best by any stretch, but he’s above average. To say he is “about an average first baseman” is just plain dumb.

      • nps6724 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        While Pujols and Gonzalez and Cabrera may increase what the “average” is, guys like Casey Kotchman and Lyle Overbay and James Loney bring it back down.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        WAR is such a bullshit statistic. I’m tired of seeing people post it thinking it is the be all and end all of a statistical debate. It is an impossible thing to quantify. Any attempt at doing so is ridiculous and lends itself to such a large degree of error that it is laughable.

      • nps6724 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        Care to explain what exactly makes WAR a bullshit statistic? Otherwise, your comment comes off as “It doesn’t agree with my thinking so it’s wrong!”

        Do you also find wOBA, wRAA, and UZR to be bullshit statistics? Because those are the stats that lead to WAR.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:50 PM

        Yeah, I think all of them are bullshit statistics that are impossible to quantify. People can think what they want, I don’t care for it. You are using statistics to calculate how many more wins than a “replacement” a guy gets. Are you accounting for specific game situations in the run of a game that play a part in that outcome? Does a replacement player make that play? Who the hell knows. So, instead you use faulty defensive metrics and values that encompass runs in general not specific to unique game situations. It is like the Castrol Ratings in soccer. They are faulty and misleading.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:09 PM

        Yep that .313 average for Howard with RISP and .927 OPS make him look like quite the choker. Do me a favor, before you spout off about a player at least try to look up the numbers instead of going by what you hear on ESPN.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:54 PM

        So much anger. It’s called standard deviation. Of course WAR isn’t perfect. It doesn’t have to be. It just has to be better than the “rose colored eye test” that is so popular.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        If people want to sight it, whatever that is fine. But to insinuate it is the king of all statistics is ridiculous in my opinion. Sorry about being a bit nasty. I do apologize for that. The 105 degree temperature is starting to get to me, but that is not an excuse.

      • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        ” I thought there were 32 teams in this league.”

        That’s all I wanted to pull out of this. I count 30. :)

        But Chris, if there’s a sin in calling a “top 10″ first baseman slightly above average, it’s much less offensive than stressing that he’s “top 10.” Because as the numbers show, he’s a lot closer to the league average than he is to the guys you’re trying to put him up there with. Pujols, Cabrera and Gonzalez skew the numbers, yeah, but those guys are more than 10% of his competition, so their numbers count when you’re assessing Howard’s place in that world.

      • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        @drmonkeyarmy

        WAR is “not the king of all statistics.” However, it is the best statistic developed to evaluate a player. Is it absolutely perfect – no – it is, however, perfect for ranking players relatively because it includes park effects and defensive skills.

        Remember, we’re not saying Howard is an average ML player. We’re saying he’s an average 1st baseman. First baseman in MLB are producing a disproportionate amount of the offense right now. Howard simply producing slightly less than what you consider to be his peers in a park where it is easier to hit. He’s also slightly worse defensively than the average 1B. Scouts and analyst actually give him worse evaluations than the stat gurus.

        I also wonder who you are talking to when you ask us to look up the number and not listen to ESPN. I haven’t watched espn in some months and we’ve brought all the numbers. As for his clutchiness, I went and looked at your RISP numbers. He’s actually trailing Vottao, Texeira, Pujols by a lot, and right in the middle with Adrian, Cabrera, and Fielder (Career RISP). However, Adrian and Cabrera both play(ed) in much more difficult scoring environments (Pectco and Comerica) than the Band Box that is Citizens Bank.

        As for does WAR include “would a replacement player make that play?” ON the defensive side it does include that evaluation, but it goes to average player (at that position!) not replacement player. Yes, it is asking those questions, and it is attempting to answer them. It is a much better judge than any other stat that we else have.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 22, 2011 at 6:12 PM

        On Howard: Not comparing his RISP stats against others. I’m just saying you can’t say a career .282, .976 isn’t clutch….you just can’t. Like I was eluding to above, sorry for the attitude and the “ESPN” remark. I apologize. I’m aware of how they calculate the UZR, but even you have to admit that there are wild fluctuations in defensive metrics. It is not something that is remotely accurate outside of giving a general idea of ones defensive capabilities. Furthermore, it tends to vary greatly from year to year more so than offensive metrics. Here is what I think about WAR in a less confrontational manner: it is incorporating a bunch of iffy statistics into a much larger iffy statistic that is misleading. Whether or not it is the best they can do to incorporate various factors is irrelevant. If one wants to use it as a general guide, whatever….but to squabble about such small differences in WAR is dumb because of the large inherent error in calculating it. Although I am relatively young, I am old fashioned when in comes to baseball statistics, I do like OPS however. Just like I don’t like the notion of a hit is as good as a walk for a non-power hitter. It isn’t. A walk doesn’t get a guy from 1st to 3rd or drive in the run from 2nd. The “newer” statistical models have their place, but people act like they are the only things that matter and that is not true. I like RBI’s and stuff regarding driving in the guy from second…which Howard is good at. That is concrete data that does not make assumptions and are subject to performances deviations but not subject to error regarding statistical measures. It is concrete data. Finally, I am not saying Howard is better than so and so. I’m just saying he has been a very good 1st baseman during his major league career and people (particularly in Philadelphia) need to appreciate him more.

  2. briandoneal - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Nick Swisher – he’s played for almost every team I dislike
    David Justice – same deal . . . slightly different teams

  3. wonkypenguin - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    I hated Jim Edmonds for approximately no reason.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Boooo!!!

      I loved Jim Edmonds. Complete, irrational love. I would excuse away anything terrible he did and start conversations with strangers with “Jim Edmonds is the best center fielder not named Ken Griffey, Jr since the decline of Mays!” (it’s true you know. Unless you think Andruw Jones defense closes the hitting gap between the two).

      That same loved extended to Ray Lankford, who frankly, was a bit harder to love. Especially with those two paternity suits in 2004.

      I hated, *HATED* Chipper Jones, mostly due to his performance in the 1996 NLCS (in which the Cards were leading 3-1, then proceeded to lose the next 3 by an overall score of 32-1. It seemed like a schoolyard bully letting you *almost* win at arm wrestling, only to destroy you to make it that much more humiliating). I considered him the most overrated douchebag on the planet (note: Chipper Jones is not overrated). Plus, he was called “Chipper”! I’ve since gotten over it.

  4. IdahoMariner - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:05 PM

    Yuni Betancourt made me INSANE when he played for the Mariners… but I think that was pretty rational.

    • randall351 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      I agree, Betancourt was by far the player I hated the most for the Royals the past couple of years.

  5. b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    It’s very depressing when a blogger won’t even bother spending time trying to figure out who is most hated on your team. I will say that I got real sick of watching Kouzmanoff swing at sliders down and away. Thats my guy right there for the Pads.

    • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      Sorry! I looked around Padres blogs and such, couldn’t find any real consensus. Most people seemed to think Kouzmanoff was all right, if only because of his defense. I should’ve reached way back and gone with Garry Templeton.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        No worries, thats just life as a Padres fan, that little AAA+ team way down there in the southwest corner of the country. Just personally, my irrational hatred would be Kouzmanoff/Burroughs though Burroughs is probably rational. My love would be Quilvio Veras. Loved that guy.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        What about Peavy…I remember his agent doing an interview in Philly and it seemed like the Padres had their best deal to move him to the Phillies a couple years back. But he frowned on the deal because he didn’t want to move out here. Then the following year, he OK’d a lesser deal to the CWS. I could be mistaken though.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        You would probably find more pro-peavy folks here than anti-peavy. For the most part we understand that we only get about 5 years of our superstars’ careers. Can’t expect them to pass up a huge deal. Everybody I know is rooting for Jake to stay healthy and AGon to win the AL MVP. For you, it would be like living in Reading and watching Utley, Howard, and friends come through Municipal Stadium (is it still called that?) and being proud of watching them succeed.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        Sad, b7, that you are a fan of a Major League Baseball team who feels that way. Yeah, baseball doesn’t need a salary cap. I bet you guys in San Diego don’t think that way.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        This is me being difficult, but I am not a pro salary cap guy. Salary caps tend to come with salary floors, which would likely be well abpve $45 mil (pads payroll). The likely result would be either a rich owner saves the team, or they move out of SD.

  6. cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    Was there a crack about Canadians not being able to hate? Because if there was I’m here to point out that we can SO hate. Hate with the best of them. Just not baseball players. I don’t know why it is so, but I am convinced it is. I can’t think of any Canadian baseball fans whom I know who has indicated a sustained dislike about a member of the Blue Jays or the Expos.

    As for Big Roy; good luck to him. He did his best for the Jays, never took a game off, pitched like a machine, got paid well and, as far as baseball goes, earned his paycheque.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      I just can’t see Bob and Doug McKenzie pulling out the hate stick.

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Ask them about Western Canadian hockey teams. They’d tell you who they thought were hosers.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Vernon Wells should have been the one for the Blue Jays…wildly loved, then wildly hated after the contract.

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:43 PM

        Ahh, Wells. He’s like that nitwit cousin everyone has. The guy with tons of potential but can’t seem to stay out of trouble long enough to do a decent job. For myself and my friends, we tried to like the guy but were mostly happy when he left, but basically we put up with him because we had too and hoped like crazy he’d finally produce every time he came off the DL from his latest bout of turf toe. Mostly we all seem to wish him well in LA. We were sitting around at a bar not long back when Wells hit a tater. Every one of us raised a glass to it.

    • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      I’m gonna need some proof cur. What do Canadians hate? Warmth? Oak leaves? The spelling of the work paycheCK? Vermont “bogarting” maple syrup fame?

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Well, a goodly number of us have no time for the English royalty. Western Canadian’s detest Quebec and Toronto, but only because they deserve it. As for the rest of our hate, we save it for whatever party is currently in power, whichever team is playing our home team, and Brian Mulroney.

        Vermont doesn’t make maple syrup. If you have to put HFC in the stuff, it isn’t ‘real’ Maple Syrup any more. No reason to dislike what is better suited to pity, now is there?

        What is this “warmth” of which you speak?

        As for how we spell, well we use The Queen’s English, even if we tend to have no use for the Queen or her whelps. That there version of spelling you all…sorry; Y’ALL do down south isn’t English. Its english (small ‘e’). A useful vernacular verging on patois, best suited for admiring livestock and evaluating Ned Beatty for his similarities thereof. I won’t diss you lot or it. In fact I quite admire y’all for your abilities to add a dipthong to words never before dipthonged. Can’t beat a good dipthong IMO.

      • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

        You had me rolling in my office. My co-workers have to know I’m not doing any work now. Well said.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM

        They hate losing the Stanley Cup—or infrastructure.

        As for warmth, Seisenta y ocho, if I could bottle some of this 40+ degree (Celsius or centigrade for all you Fahrenhaters) weather down here and ship it to you, I would.

        And Canadians are all apologizey and stuff anyway, remember?

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        Hair! Howyadoin’? Noticed you stayed out of the raging Ryan Howard debate. Good for you. I sense nothing but a quagmire of lies and deceit therein.

        You can bottle up all the +40 you can lay your shortin’ covered paws on, my friend. Its raining and miserable here. I slept in after staying up till 3AM struggling with an intractably skewed data set and am now contemplating a day of rain, mosquitos and a wet dog following me everywhere demanding I do something about the biblical flood so she can go play frisbee instead of run around the block hopping puddles.

        Alas, losing the Stanley Cup wasn’t a national issue, just the chance for some Vancouver locals to let off some winter steam and nothing more. I promise you, a Canucks victory would have produced the same riot. They just like to riot over there in lotus land.

        Care to posit a guess as to how the Beaver Boys fare against the mighty Rangers this afternoon or are you going to LEAP to Ryan Howard’s defence instead?

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Meh…people are going to rip on Ryno.01 no matter what, so I have tired of the fight.

        It’s gonna be hotter ‘n jabaneros down there in Arlington, man, so what happens when the Beavers get all hot and bothered?

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        Hot an bothered Beaver is a good thing, my friend. A good thing, aye. Wether it translates into hitting, stealing bags, and adding to the major league lead in home runs is another matter. No chance in heck that this is going to be a pitching duel because Jojo Reyes doesn’t duel. He surrenders: hit after hit. If the bats and legs don’t show up my boys are doomed. Doomed I tell you. Think the Phills would loan us Doc for one game? Be nice to have a another win streak longer than 3, especially against the fearsome Rangers.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM

        After the outing in Chitown, I highly doubt Doc’s going to Texas. Besides, he gets Sunday afternoon—when it’ll be a nice crisp, chilly 90 degrees around here…oy.

      • spudchukar - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        Speaking of diphthongs, what about ABOUT?

      • cur68 - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:49 PM

        You say ‘about’, Eastern Canadians say ‘aboot’ and I say ‘mine’s a Heineken if you’re buying’.

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:05 PM

        You can have all the Heinekens you can get your furry little beaver paws on, Seisenta y ocho—they shan’t be found in my possession, as long as i can find any options, barring few.

  7. hittfamily - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    Vlad Guerrero. Everytime he hits a pitch that is in the same stratosphere as the strikezone, I want to scream at the pitcher “Bounce the ball, throw it behind him, throw it over his bleeping head. He will swing at anything”.

  8. offseasonblues - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Thanks for the link to a fun read, Craig.

    I think he missed a couple though – JD Drew belongs on the list alright, but it’s Phillies fans with the irrational thing going on. They boo him every time he comes to bat no matter the score. Get over it already!

    In Boston it’s the other JD – Damon was adored and then he signed with that other team. Nuff ced.

    (I’m speaking based on observation, not personally)

    • b7p19 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      The Damon situation is bordering on rational as opposed to irrational. JD Drew in Philly though? Probably irrational, 100% agreed on that one.

    • thinman61 - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      Like a lot of other players on the list, what (some) Boston fans hate about JD Drew is the size of his contract relative to the performance he’s given for it.

    • Bill - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM

      Guys who could legitimately have gone on multiple lists:

      Drew: Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals.
      Eckstein: Angels, Cards, Padres.
      Bradley: Cubs, Dodgers, Padres, Mariners, Indians.

      I just decided not to have any repeats (and somehow Ecks got edged out entirely–should’ve put him with the Padres).

  9. derpdederpdederp - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Blue Jays: Roy Halladay.
    Probably the only player on this list who (a) is no longer on the team in question and (b) is loved rather than hated. You can understand why, since he was the only thing Jays fans could really get excited about for most of a decade. And Canadians are just too nice to do that “we hate you even though you left involuntarily” thing other fans do.

    actually, Halladay is the only returning Jays player I can remember that wasn’t booed

    I would’ve given this one to Eric Hinske. the guy had one decent year in which he won Rookie of the Year followed by 2 sub-par years and as a result he became the most hated Jay in recent memory

  10. natstowngreg - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:34 PM

    I can live with Pudge for the Nats. He’s remembered as a once-excellent hitter, and some fans can’t see what he has become — a backup catcher-level hitter who still provides quality defense, even at his advanced age.

  11. Detroit Michael - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    Tiger fans have had an irrational love for Brandon Inge, if I can still nominate him even thought he’s been designated for assignment. The article’s nomination of Miguel Cabrera is way off base in my opinion.

  12. vikesfansteve - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Punto

  13. sdelmonte - Jul 22, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    I am a Mets fan, and I like Beltran and never got why he was so hated. For one bad moment? He’s done pretty well over the years, if you ask me.

  14. ta192 - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Can’t say that I HATE any player, that’s reserved for a few managers, some MLB officials, a number of owners, and a fairly large number of obnoxious fans of a select number of clubs. Oh, and SOME sportswriters…

  15. kingkillerstudios - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    A little surprised not to see Von Hayes anywhere here. Maybe it’s going back too far, but even fans of other teams hated that guy. He deserved some hate, but not that high a volume.

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