There are a lot of great players in baseball. A lot of well meaning, interesting and exciting players. Players who give their money and time to charity. Who keep their mouths shut and inspire children and adults alike. This article is not about them. This is about the villains. The heels. The assholes. For what fun is baseball without someone to boo and hiss? If the WWE was a bunch of nice guys, it would be a bunch of oiled up muscled men giving each other hugs and high fives. So who are the biggest assholes in baseball and what did they do to deserve the title?
Oh Jonathan Papelbon what would I do for website clicks without you? You’ve become out site’s unofficial mascot, so of course I had to list you first on this list. It’s hard to know where to start with him. He’s quickly become one of the most famous clubhouse cancers in baseball. His rep as a general asshole has followed him from Boston to Philadelphia, and now to Washington. It’s still up in the air if he’ll be searching for a new clubhouse to release his toxic fumes into next year. Papelblow’s resume for being an asshole include the following incidents: Grabbing his crotch in a lewd gesture towards the fans when booed in Philadelphia. He of course lied about it and stated he was “making an adjustment“. This incident set off an argument with fellow asshole Joe West.
Another time Papelbon decided to go after a team bat-boy. I mean it takes a real asshole to go after a kid and put the blame for a bad season on him.
Then at the end of a particularly painful season in 2015, Papelbon decided to blatantly, and intentionally throw at Manny Machado. Manny’s offense? Hitting a game winning two run home run two innings prior. Papelbon received a 3 game suspension and was called out by fellow teammate Bryce Harper as tired. Machado called Pap a coward.
It would seem the public call-out for being an asshole did not sit well with Papelbon, as he decided to take his anger out on Harper just a few days later. First Paps started screaming at Harper on the field for not running out a routine popup, then he decided to escalate things by attempting to suffocate Harper in full view of the entire stadium. Nationals fans immediately started taking up a collection to convince the Nationals to release Papelbon.
Torii Hunter is that guy you are forced to work with, but really just count down the days until he goes away and never comes back. He’s one of those guys you have to tolerate because he can play this game, but damn is this guy a giant asshole. He’s the type who would refuse to tip the waitress because he’s Torii fucking Hunter and Torii fucking Hunter don’t tip bitches.
Torii’s been an outspoken homophobe. He’s claimed that homosexuality is “not right” and he would not want to be in the same clubhouse as a gay man. When he was asked about his beliefs by a reporter later, he decided to call that reporter a prick multiple times. For you know, doing his job and asking questions about a topic that Torii brought up in the first place.
Let’s not forget the time Torii called darker-skinned Latin American players as “imposters.” Of course, he later claimed he was taken out of context, refused to apologize, and that he’s not a racist, hate filled asshole, because he has lots of Latin American friends.
And to top it all off, Torrii most recently decided to throw a temper tantrum on a boarder-line check swing call, stripping down on the field, because that’s what mature, responsible. Oh wait. That’s what assholes do.
One of my personal favorites, David Ortiz. David Ortiz is very popular in Boston. He’s one of those guys who gets away with a lot because he’s a no doubt hall-of-famer. He’s also a no doubt asshole. David is famous for his insistence that he knows the strike zone better than anyone, and if you dare call a strike on a pitch he thinks is a ball, well he’s going to have a fucking fit. David also knows scoring games better than anyone, and has no problem calling out the official score keepers for taking away his hard earned stats.
Let’s not forget about the time David destroyed a bullpen phone. Because of a strike call.
Or the time he received a suspension for contacting an umpire because of a check swing call.
And let’s not forget that David is sick and tired of people bringing up that failed drug test ins 2003. I mean, why can’t everyone just forget about his cheating allegations and move on already to worshiping him? Don’t you know this is the guy who once got praise for saying fuck on tv?
Joe West is all that is wrong with umpiring in baseball. When he first came up, he was actually promising and once decent umpire. Then 1999 hit and West and 21 other umpires resigned en mass. MLB was more than happy to accept. Unfortunately for all of us he was rehired after a settlement process. Ever since then, West’s ego has only gotten bigger and bigger. He’s determined to prove that the fans are there to see him show everyone how he’s always right, and how DARE you question his calls. Don’t forget he has the power, and he can and will eject you any chance he gets. Joe’s philosophy is that there is no situation that cannot be escalated, no pissing contest that cannot be won. Lists have been made.
A quick search among MLB.com and Youtube for Joe West + Ejections provide multiple pages of videos. Linked are some of his highlights because to list them all would probably break the interwebs.
While many of these guys are all major league assholes, Joe West, has decided that he wants to be king asshole, and never misses an opportunity to prove he’s earned the crown. Remember, and umpire’s job is to be the center of attention, and to remind everyone who’s boss.
Alex Rodriguez has managed to keep himself clean this year (Finally learning to shut the hell up), and a lot of the A-Rod hate has started to die down, but man what a year 2014 was for Alex. Alex once used steroids. Then lied about them. Then came clean when he got caught. That was back in 2009. Fast forward, and it’s a case of shame on me, because Alex cheated once again. This one earned him a lengthy suspension and a very long, drawn out court battle. When not out using steroids, and trying to cover it up, he’s running around bases yelling “Ha, I got it!” or attempting to slap the ball out of a player’s glove. And of course there’s this wonderful photo shoot. And last but not least, we sadly cannot drink enough to burn away the memory of baseball’s most infamous painting.
Compared to the above people on this list, this one time MVP really needs to step up his game if he want’s to remain one of baseball’s biggest assholes. I mean all this guy did was use steroids, get caught, made false claims the tester was an anti-semite, win an appeal, then get caught a second time at which point had to finally admit he was a lying cheater. Braun used to have some talent and ability, but when the doping stopped, so did his performance. MLB only tolerates assholes who can hit Ryan. You have to either learn to hit better or be less of an asshole. Oh, who am I kidding?
Pierzynski has won the unofficial most hated player in baseball award several years in a row. The story is always the same. Everyone on his team hates Pierzynski, he goes to a new team where reports are he’s not such a bad guy, and on his way out the door rumors persist of what an assshole he is. The thing is, as far as we know, A.J. hasn’t done anything particularly egregious. He just doesn’t get along with the other guys in the clubhouse. Any clubhouse. He simply manages to rub people the wrong way. In terms of assholes, he’s probably one of the weakest on the list.
I’m not entirely convinced Bryce Harper is an asshole. It may be a combination of a person with immense, and incredible ability at a very young age, combined a large amount of jealousy. Sure he doesn’t run out every pop fly. Sure he taunted that one guy who was being a jerk in the minors that one time. Yes he gets ejected too much for a player of his caliber. And yes he did trademark that clown question comment from a stupid reporter question. Also his hair is fucking stupid. But is he really an asshole or did he just have some growing up to do like the most of us when we are 19 years old? He’s also one of the few brave enough to stand up and call the bullshit unwritten rules, well bullshit. He’s also, defended quite often by the people who actually know him. So is Bryce really an asshole? Or are other players who have a dislike for him the real assholes?
There are many more assholes in baseball. Some have only minor infractions. Some other players simply don’t like. Some have attitudes or are proven liars. But none of these guys have been big enough assholes to make the list. They have some work to do to really step their game up.
Melkey Cabrera, C.C. Sebathia, Matt Kemp, Brandon Phillips, Yordano Ventura, Yasiel Puieg, Matt Williams, Josh Hamilton