Baseball takes a lot of patience, as both a player and manager. On the batting end, waiting for that perfect pitch can take time. Managers have to perfectly craft their lineups with the guys who will put their team in the best position to get a win, as in any sport. Baseball is very unpredictable.
On the player end in baseball, there are different personality types, as in any workplace. There are mean guys, who want nothing more than to make money and get women - but also the fan favorites who love to play the game and love everything that comes with it. In the past, there have been arrogant players; MLB stars who don't want to be associated with baseball fanatics. Babe Ruth was even known to be a little supercilious in his days. He let his stardom get to his head, but was inversely known to have another attitude as a friendly role model to children. This shows that people can have multi-dimensional personalities, and it's very simplistic to merely label someone as a jerk. Although... the baseball players on this list are known to be annoying or rude to their fan base, or just people in general. Anyway, here are 10 jerks and 10 nice guys in baseball.
20 Jerk: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera has a history with alcohol and playing baseball. On October 6th, 2009, ESPN published an article about his drunkenness that same year when the Tigers were trying to clinch the AL Central title. Regardless of what went on, he should have been sober. Additionally, at 6 AM, he was having a big argument with his wife - which some people think could have been potentially violent. He had a blood alcohol content of .26, and was driving drunk in this instance.
19 Sweethart: Raul Ibanez
Philly.com published an article titled "Ibanez is one of the nice guys". The piece talks about how he kept his composure during his career, and is a genuine person. Ibanez is hailed as a nice guy who keeps to himself in the baseball world. He has little to no enemies in the MLB - and gives money back to his community in New York. He is very active in charities and received "The Hutch Award" for his friendly contributions. He says he has no regrets playing baseball.
Ibanez said this about receiving the "Hutch award".
18 Jerk: John Lackey
The Chicago Cubs pitcher, who has played for the Red Sox, Cardinals, and Angels - did something despicable. He cheated on his wife while she had cancer. It was bad enough for him to commit adultery, something very common in sports, but for him to cheat on his wife while she had a life threatening illness is frankly "sickening". Lackey additionally divorced his sick wife, and married once more. He had a child in 2015. Lackey is clearly one of the biggest jerks in the MLB.
17 Sweetheart: Johnny Damon
Damon established a non-profit foundation in his name which raises money for various causes. He raises money for foundations ranging from sick children to poor communities. This is the website's description of his work.
"Johnny Damon established The Johnny Damon Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)3, to raise and donate funds to charitable organizations. The Foundation assists local and national programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities for disadvantaged children at risk."
16 Jerk: Carlos Zambrano
"Big Z" used to be a force to be reckoned with for the Chicago Cubs. The Venezuelan pitcher was known to have a horrible temper. His teammates were always walking around on egg shells, hoping not to incite an argument - something he did very often. Zambrano has been kicked out of games, and yelled at fans, and teammates. He once got kicked out of a game and kicked the Gatorade dispenser over. Outside of baseball, it is evident that he is also a very angry person. Something must have made him this way...
15 Sweetheart: Orlando Hudson
Like Damon, Hudson is very involved in making the world a better place. He is the owner of a foundation called C.A.T.C.H. Catch is professionally described as this.
"Hudson founded the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation, a 501c3 organization that seeks to provide resources and a support system for youth coping with autism."
14 Jerk: Aroldis Chapman
Aroldis Chapman played the best baseball of his life this past season with the Chicago Cubs. He was the best closer in the game the second half of the season, after the Cubs acquired him from the Yankees for their World Series run. Chapman is now on his way back to the Yankees, but a terrible story about him seemed to be forgotten this past season.
13 Sweetheart: Joe Mauer
Joe Mauer is a fan favorite. Just ask Twins fans. He has been beloved by that organization for quite a long time - and the baseball world in general. Mauer has a personal charity as well. He hosts the "Mauer and Friends Kids Classic", and "Lanes for Friendship". The classic benefits children's healthcare. Lanes for Friendship benefits the Highland Friendship Club - and raises money for those kids. Mauer is a people person. He can be seen high-fiving fans around the stadium - or signing autographs outside the bullpen.
12 Jerk: Delmon Young
11 Sweetheart: Curtis Granderson
Granderson is so beloved by Mets nation, and fans of baseball (okay maybe not the Phillies). Curtis was listed on a Bleacher Report article under "10 Genuine Good Good Guys in Baseball". Like most friendly baseball players, Curtis founded a beneficial foundation. His foundation "Grand Kids" teaches children education and development. He helps kids get their exercise, and teaches proper health. He works with children from the inner cities, in big cities such as Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. His foundation is sponsored by many different companies, but notably, New Balance.
10 Jerk: Brett Myers
Myers was caught beating his wife in 2006, and was charged with domestic assault. This was an incident that occurred in public, where Myers was seen slapping his wife. He played for the Phillies, Astros, White Sox, and Indians. In 2008, Myers was quoted saying this "I know there are people out there that think I'm a jerk. There are people out there who think I'm a wife-beater. That will never change." Witness Courtney Knight witnessed the incident where Myers assaulted his wife. She said this.
“He was dragging her by the hair and slapping her across the face. She was yelling, ‘I’m not going to let you do this to me anymore.’ . . . He had her on the ground. He was trying to get her to go, and she was resisting. She curled up and sat on the ground. He was pulling her, her shirt was up around her neck. . . . He could have cared less that we were there.”
9 Sweetheart: Derek Jeter
Among players who have foundations, Jeter has a very active one. In 1996, he founded the Turn 2 Foundation, which is dedicated to educating and helping drug-addicted teens. The foundation also rewards teens who are studious and who receive academic achievement. Turn 2 is a very productive foundation that educates children on the dangers of drugs, and how they can truly ruin someone's life. He hosts charity events for adolescents, and provided grants for different kids. He promotes leadership in his foundation and has a great staff working at all times.
8 Jerk: Rafael Palmeiro
Considering Rafael tried to blame his drug problem on his teammate, he is a huge jerk. He said this.
"Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don’t know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.”
7 Sweetheart: Torii Hunter
Hunter is truly recognized by many to be one of the good guys in baseball. Just ask ESPN, who wrote a whole article on him titled "Torii Hunter one of baseball's good guys". His teammates can attest to his friendly attitude.
"I think that's about as safe a statement as you can make," Vernon Wells said.
"He's one of those people who is legitimately kind to everyone, no matter who it is. No matter if it's a random person working at the stadium or the best player in the game, he's the same person."
6 Jerk: Mel Hall
Mel Hall has a history of being a creep. His most despicable acts came when Hall raped three girls, and was taken to court. One of the girls he assaulted was only 12 years old. In the year 2009, Mel got convicted and sentenced to 45 years in jail. It's outrageous to even say this guy is a jerk, he is a despicable human being. Hall does not deserve to ever get out of jail.
5 Sweetheart: Carlos Pena
Carlos Pena easily makes this list. Pena is a very charitable guy - always caring for others. He is always smiling for the camera, and willing to sign autographs for children. Pena is what baseball players should be, like they were 'back in the day'. Actually, he signs so many autographs that his signature's value has deflated. Pena donated food and supplies to Haiti during the hurricane catastrophe that occurred there. He provided money for a lot of victims, and helped unite others for a good cause.
4 Jerk: Alex Rodriguez
You probably aren't too surprised to find A-Rod on this list. First of all, A-Rod was known to have cheated on his wife on multiple occasions. This is what his ex-wife says about him.
"He emotionally abandoned his wife and children” and that the pair broke up because of his “extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct.”
3 Sweetheart: Albert Pujols
Who doesn't love Albert Pujols? He has one of the more famous foundations "The Pujols Family Foundation". This non-profit organization provides activities and educational opportunities for the youth. Notably, Pujols aided a down syndrome child and his family once. He is also seeking to enrich the lives of others in his endeavors. His teammates have always regarded him as one of the friendliest guys in all of baseball, someone who really cares about what others are up to, and how their families are.
2 Jerk: Barry Bonds
Okay, Barry Bonds may be one of the best baseball players ever - but he is a total jerk. Bonds was always a jerk to his teammates, and people outside of baseball. Bonds has been noted as being given smaller locker room space so he wouldn't bother others. He's a supercilious guy, who doesn't deal with the media well. Bonds, like many MLB players, cheated on his wife for nearly a decade. This is a pattern right?
1 Sweetheart: Jim Thome
Jim Thome tops this list as the nicest guy. Is he really the nicest out of all these kind-hearted baseball players? It's tough to say, but he sure is the opposite of a jerk. Thome was voted the nicest guy in all of baseball by everyone in the league.
Thome has always been a player for the fans, reaching out to others. ESPN wrote an article called "Jim Thome a truly real and caring person". Additionally, just look up his name and COUNTLESS articles are published on his positivity. He treats everyone with the utmost respect, especially ushers and workers in stadiums. Thome tips the guys in his workplace very handsomely, something uncommon of baseball players. He is a player everyone should get to know and love, and though he is no Babe Ruth or Willie Mays, he has done some great things for others.
He does community service for different areas, and works with underprivileged children a lot. Thome is the definition of a "sweetheart".
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