Every other month it feels like there is a brand new superhero movie that comes out and everybody goes to see it. However, it is not always the superhero that the people pay to see. I am one of the millions of people who truly loves a good villain. But I only like the bad guys in the movies, the villains currently in baseball right now are real, truly heinous, and bringing down America’s favorite pastime at an alarming rate. That being said, I give you my top 5 villains in baseball today:
5. Angel Hernandez, MLB Umpire – Now I know many of you may think C.B. Bucknor is worse, but he is simply just a terrible umpire. Hernandez is not only a lousy ump, but carries himself in the most villainous manner possible. The man once threw Chicago Bears great Steve McMichael out of a Cubs game because he commented on a bad call Hernandez made before singing the 7th inning stretch! When a player or coach goes out to argue with him after he has made yet another awful call, just look at his face and body language. It will make you even angrier than the call did. For more evidence regarding his villainous ways, just look him up its pretty entertaining and pathetic at the same time.
4. A.J. Pierzynski, Rangers – 29 MLB teams and their fans hate him each and every season. The only team that doesn’t hate him is the one he plays for. However that was not the case during his one season with the Giants. While in San Francisco during an exhibition game, he kneed a trainer where the sun doesn’t shine solely because the man asked how it felt after Pierzynski took a shot there himself. And how can we forget when former Cubs’ catcher Michael Barrett punched him for slapping the plate after scoring at home? While not a cheater like others to come on this list, he is still a grade-A jerk.
3. Ryan Braun, Brewers – The 2011 NL MVP probably deserves to be higher but he is more of a cowardly villain so he will stay here. Braun first garnered national intention in a negative way when he failed a drug test in December 2011, just weeks after winning MVP. This led to a 50 game suspension which he appealed and won due to a potential technicality. Then earlier this summer, he was found to be heavily in the Biogenesis scandal and received a 65 game suspension until the end of the 2013 season. He then finally admitted to using PED’s after lying to everyone for almost two years. Then just a week ago he made the most cowardly, worthless apology I have ever heard. It took him over a month to even make the apology! For these actions, he is quite the villain.
2. Bud Selig, MLB Commissioner – Yes, this man has done some good for baseball, but the bad outweighs the good by a landslide. Since becoming full-time commissioner since 1998, Selig has shown great bias towards the Milwaukee Brewers throughout the years, declared the 2002 MLB All Star Game a tie, and worst of all, been around throughout the entire Steroid Era. He has contradicted himself many times throughout the years regarding his knowledge of players taking steroids, and even if he somehow didn’t know this was going on he was way too slow in making the changes to stop PED usage. Regardless, his actions and lack of them in some instances during his time as MLB commissioner have allowed baseball to be tarnished in a way that the sport may never recover from. When a business starts to struggle, you always look at management from the top down, which is why Selig earns his place here. Thankfully, he will be retiring at the end of the 2014 season.
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees – Who else could you possibly put here? He is the most cancerous presence baseball has probably ever seen.The man has not only been caught cheating in baseball, but also on his former wife as well! Also known as “A-Fraud” and “A-Roid” he first admitted to taking steroids back in 2007 in reference to the years of 2001-2003, and then just earlier this summer he is suspended again for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal. There is a reason he was handed suspension for a record 211 games and in my opinion, its not long enough. If the man above Rodriguez on this list has any interest in redeeming himself in some way, give A-Rod the dreaded and deserved lifetime ban.
As if steroids alone weren’t enough of a giant black eye for Major League Baseball now it seems that people want to go around accusing everybody and their mother of using PEDs. Whether it’s angry fans calling for Major League Baseball to test Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera over and over again or “sports reporters” making claims against superstars just to get their name out. It’s just flat ridiculous. With the ever growing list of players who have used PEDs, anytime a player’s name is even mentioned in the same sentence as the word steroids it immediately causing a giant uproar in the baseball community. Let’s just take a look at a couple of the recent claims against some of baseball’s best.
Sports talk radio, the worst sports media outlet of them all and Jack Clark, yes the former big leaguer, has shown us why. One week into his new radio show Jack Clark decided to make a splash. Unfortunately for Mr. Clark, his splash washed him right out of the radio booth. Clark accused none other than Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander of using PEDs. Why? Ratings, ignorance, adding to the PED witch hunt, take your pick really. Regarding Verlander, Clark said the reason why Verlander was having a down year is because he isn’t taking PEDs anymore. Pretty bold statement. Verlander brushed off the comments by calling them completely false and moronic. We’re going to have to agree with Verlander on this one because a 3.68 era, twelve wins, and being named an All Star doesn’t really constitute a down year. Now for Pujols. Clark was pretty bold with his comments about Pujols as well. Pretty much just straight accused him of using PEDs throughout his career. Well, again, we’re going to disagree with Clark. Pujols has been a phenom since joining the league in 2001, has always been well built, and has dealt with his share of injuries. Unlike Verlander, Pujols took Clark’s comments a little harder. Pujols is going to sue Jack Clark for the comments made. So Clark loses his job, credibility, and what will probably be a butt-load of money because of an ignorant comment falsely accusing two of baseball’s most classy, highly thought of players, of using PEDs.
If you ask any baseball fan “Which player has had the smoothest swing throughout the history of the game?” there is little doubt that Ken Griffey Jr. would be one of the first players mentioned. The Kid could swing the stick better than almost any player in the game. Unfortunately for Griffey, towards the end of his career he became one of the most injury prone players in the Majors. So why are we bringing him up? Wouldn’t he have been healthier if he was using PEDs? Well Mr. Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News doesn’t seem to think so. Over a twitter conversation, Mr. Hayes pretty blatantly accused The Kid of using steroids. Pretty ridiculous right? We think so. So what did Mr. Hayes use as his evidence? The fact that most of Griffey’s injuries were soft tissue injuries. Yupp, we’re not joking. In case you don’t know, most players who are accused of using steroids are ones who seem to stay perpetually healthy and never seem to see a drop in numbers. Just like Ken Griffey right? Oh wait, what’s that? Griffey battled injuries and saw a significant drop in production in his later years? Then why did Hayes accuse him of using PEDs? Well, aside from calling him an incompetent reporter who used Twitter to voice his opinion, our best guess is just because he can.
You see, that’s the thing about steroids these days, it doesn’t matter if you have legitimate evidence, nobody cares. It’s a witch hunt. People are so caught up in the steroid era that it doesn’t matter if there is hard evidence, they just want to find a player, any player, even Ken Griffey Jr, Albert Pujols, and Justin Verlander to take down with the rest of the PED users. It’s a shame, the only thing worse than being accused of using steroids is being wrongly accused of steroids. These players names’ are now going to carry with them the distinction of being accused of using steroids, whether true or not. Hopefully, fans, writers, and the rest of the baseball community realize that this cases were instances of incompetence by lack luster sports reporters.