One of the topics that baseball fans seem to love discussing is who the most hated players in the game are. Whether it be their on-field demeanor, the way they interact with fans or if they are considered cheaters (see: Bonds, Barry), there is always a group of guys that fans just love to hate.
Major League Baseball has done a good job of cracking down on anyone who tries to compromise the integrity of the game, but there are still players out there who can’t change the things they did in the past (see: Rodriguez, Alex).
For whatever reason, there are plenty of guys who just aren’t liked by either their peers, fans, or both. Here’s a list of some of more disliked guys that are currently playing or recently finished their MLB career.
He was already widely disliked due to his arrogant and cocky attitude, and playing for the most hated team in baseball didn’t help. But once he started lying about being on steroids even after he tested positive multiple times all bets were off. The ‘A-Fraud’ label was permanently attached and even the team he played for tried to distance itself from him. I’ll leave you with this quote from a 2006 Sports Illustrated interview with Rodriguez: “When people write (bad things) about me, I don’t know if it’s (because) I’m good-looking, I’m biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team…”
One of the more intense relief pitchers you’ll find, Papelbon has a reputation for being a little obnoxious on the mound, especially after getting hitters out. He became a top closer while pitching for the Boston Red Sox but after signing as a free agent in Philadelphia, Papelbon took the opportunity to insult his former team’s fans by saying that their baseball knowledge isn’t as good as the fans in Philly. Not smart on his part.
It’s no secret that several veterans around the league aren’t big fans of Harper. Sure, he’s a former 1st overall draft pick who won Rookie of the Year and went to the All-Star Game in his first two seasons but that doesn’t mean he has to act like god’s gift to baseball. He has a reputation to taunt opposing pitchers, argue with umpires and be very rude to the media. He told one reporter “that’s a clown question, bro” and instead of apologizing, he went on to trademark the phrase.
While his MLB playing career has seemed to come to an end, Ramirez is still fresh in the minds of baseball fans everywhere. Let’s just go down the list; a two-time violator of the league’s substance abuse policy, a domestic violence arrest for an assault on his wife, a reputation as a lazy player who didn’t get along with his teammates and at times faked injuries when he didn’t feel like playing…need I go on? Oh, and his justification for all these actions? He calls it “Manny being Manny.” Uh huh.
This one is a no-brainer. Pierzynski has actually been voted the most hated player in the league by his peers, constantly starting arguments, talking smack and even getting his teams involved in bench clearing brawls. In a recent appearance in the NLCS, Pierzynski did the baseball equivalent of diving or embellishing after getting tapped in the helmet by a swing. He’s been seen berating his own pitchers during games and in the dugout as well.
When you lie over and over and over to pretty much everyone who follows the sport of baseball, and then get caught, it’s easy to see why people aren’t really fans of Braun’s anymore. He faced a suspension after being tied to the Biogenesis scandal but won his appeal by lying to the league. After further investigation found that he was in fact involved, Braun was slapped with a 65-game suspension and the label of being a big fat liar.
Gomez is like the perfect storm of hated ballplayers. He has the arrogance of Harper, the short fuse of Pierzynski and A-Rod’s sense of entitlement. Combine all that with Gomez being a generally not nice person and it’s easy to see why he’s so widely unpopular. It’s a shame that someone with as much talent as Gomez has to ruin it by making so many of his peers, not to mention fans and even former managers, dislike him so much.
While not as big of a star as the rest of the players on this list, Morgan has done a great job making people absolutely despise him wherever he’s gone. His bad attitude has caused fans of the teams he’s played for to boo him and teammates to get more than annoyed with constantly having to defend his questionable actions. Marlins fans should hold a special place for Morgan in their hearts for the night that he charged the mound and got clotheslined by Gaby Sanchez.
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)