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.
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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.
If you research this story on Cabrera, you can see a video of his drunk driving test. He has apologized for his actions, but chugging a bottle of whiskey in front of a policeman wasn't his best bet. Cabrera is certainly a jerk, for his public drunkenness and disrespect for his team and fans.
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".
“Receiving an award that has nothing to do with what you do on the field or how you perform but more so about how you go about your business, really is the greatest award, that in my opinion, I could ever receive."
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.
It would be different if his wife made the choice to divorce him - but he took the initiative himself. I don't know if his new wife is nice or mean, or really anything - but it was a total jerk move for him to do what he did. Lackey lost significant respect for what he did.
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."
Also, Damon remains one of the friendliest guys in the MLB's history. He would never gloat about his money nor be jerky towards players. He is easily one of the most respected players to have ever played baseball, and is very humble. Between his popularity, he has remained a genuinely nice guy. Damon is a "sweetheart".
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...
Zambrano, though retired, would start MANY fights in today's more laid back baseball game. The guy is a total jerk, and should be avoided at all costs - especially by fans of baseball.
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."
Hudson has a passion for helping others - and contributing to his community. He has a wife, Keisa Carr, two daughters and a son. Hudson is known to be one of the friendliest guys in baseball history, according to his teammates. He was always respectful towards others, and carried himself a lot better than others. Hudson helps coach kids in baseball, and even though he hasn't played a pro game in four years, he hasn't officially retired. He has a passion for the game that is tough to find, in todays money saturated and green infatuated world.
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.
In December 2015, news emerged that Chapman has been involved in a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. He was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots. Charges were eventually dropped due to the lack of consistency in his girlfriend's account of the story but he was banned for 30 games due to his use of a firearm and "the effect on his partner" as part of MLB's domestic violence policy.
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.
Joe is the complete opposite of the jerks who are listed throughout this article. He has two daughters, Maren and Emily. He got married in 2012 to his high school sweatheart Maddie Bisanz, a nurse. Simply put, he's a nice guy.
12 Jerk: Delmon Young
Considering Delmon Young once threw a bat at an umpire in an MLB game, he can't be all that friendly - in fact - his personality is the exact opposite of friendly. Young once got in a significant argument at bar, and got in trouble for yelling racial slurs. A story came out in 2016 that he choked a valet man. He was charged. Young has many run ins with others, and sometimes the law, where he is just plain disrespectful. He needs to relax, and stop being such an arrogant douche all the time. Once again, if you research Young - like other players - you will find a lot of different articles or videos showing his mean behavior in different instances. Anyway, he is one of the biggest jerks in the MLB, hands down.
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.
He remembers to teach intense sportsmanship with his kids, and accounts for that being very important in sports. Anyway, Granderson is very philanthropic, and is a sponsor for many different groups including Beyonce's "Let's Move", and MLB.
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.”
Myers is a mean guy who doesn't deserve sympathy.
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.
Jeter may be disliked by fans because of what he did on the field to their team, but off the field he is a very caring guy. Red Sox fans may be inclined to say they hate him, but try to look at what he does away from baseball.
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.”
Except the problem with this quote is... he tested positive for PEDs. So, he's not only a liar but it gets worse. Rafael then tried to blame his mistakes on Miguel Tejada, which is ridiculous. He needs to learn not to "snitch" on your teammates, because after all, snitches DO get stitches. In all seriousness, he wasn't "snitching" but lying. Tejada was not doing drugs, but Rafael was instigating an argument for the media. Palmeiro is surely one of the biggest jerks in all of baseball, ever.
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."
Hunter was beloved everywhere he went and it's because he was always genuine. Hunter's one of the few guys who you'll never hear a bad word about. Hunter's charity work includes the Torii Hunter Project Education Initiative, which provides scholarships to students. He also works in conjunction with MLB to improve baseball diamonds in the inner cities.
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.
Inside of the game of baseball, Hall was also known as a jerk to his peers. He would constantly insult teammates and once bullied Bernie Williams when he was a rookie. He left the majors in 1992 to play in Japan and there were probably many in the majors who were happy to see him go.
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.
He is also a spokesperson for "Brothers and Sisters of America". He is very philanthropic. Pena does a lot of community service off the field, that's for sure. He has also done work with "Uncork for a 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.”
Rodriguez abandoned his family and began starting another life. He also has been caught taking steroids, an enhancer so common among baseball stars. A-Rod is a total jerk, and not a family man by any means. He even cheated on the people who he would cheat on with his wife. The guy does not have his priorities straight by any means, and needs serious therapy. Rodriguez was a great baseball player, but not such a good person. Additionally, any man that cheats on his wife and admits it cannot be a good person.
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.
Pujols does a lot of good work with his foundation, constantly emphasizing the sentimentality of actions rather than words. He provides children with stuff to do rather than simply hand out money. Pujols is anything but a jerk, he is what it means to care for others, and share your wealth around with others who are not as fortunate.
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?
So many professional baseball players cheat on their wives, and so do other athletes. Is this what happens once you achieve this level of fame? Well, not for all athletes, only the arrogant ones.. Bonds has also been caught taking PEDs - which is detrimental to the game of baseball in itself. His priorities are out of whack.
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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