One of the most mentally demanding sports to play is the game of baseball. On top of physically playing, you need to be prepared for a gruelling schedule. At 162 games a year, you’re constantly on the move from city to city and putting your body through a workout. You might not be getting crunched like in football, but I’ll take 16 games over 162.
If you’re doing all this, one thing that might make it easier is having the love and support of your family.
One thing that might not help make your life more complicated? Having an affair on your lovely family, or being a complete jerk and abusing your spouse. As you’re about to find out, there are some real jerks that have played in the MLB, including some that are well deserving of their place in the Hall of Fame. Though one person on the list is also well deserving of his current spot in a jail cell.
When you think MLB and controversy your mind may go to the steroid allegations. While this is true, there is more than just cheating on your livelihood and lying to your friends, teammates, and fans that can make you a jerk. Sometimes you can cheat on baseball and in life! Talk about truly showing off your versatility.
Some of these names are players that you may have never seen play and some are players that you probably grew up watching. Not to mention that some of the most iconic names in all of baseball, also happened to be some of the biggest jerks off of it. It just makes their off-field antics all the more intriguing.
Here are 15 MLB Players, who are jerks in real life.
15 Babe Ruth
One of the biggest names in baseball history, was also one of the biggest womanizers. Babe Ruth went through countless women, with different ones every day and frequented a brothel. This included one night in which Ruth allegedly went through the entire staff on hand (roughly a dozen women).
Getting all the ladies came easily for Babe, but it also didn’t stop a woman from chasing him with a knife after he made her think “she was the “only one” and that he was in-love with her.
What is unfortunate and makes him a jerk, is that Ruth was also married in 1914 to Helen Woodford. Ruth attempted to buy her things to keep her happy, but that hardly works. Especially when you adopt a daughter that Ruth had during an affair. Not to mention that Helen thought the daughter had no relation to Ruth.
Given that Ruth was religious, he could not allow a divorce to ruin his public image. Woodford left Ruth in 1928 and died the following year in a mysterious house fire. Ruth got re-married in 1929,and largely changed his lifestyle, only having the occasional affair when out on the road (gee, that’s thoughtful).
14 Reggie Jackson
If you start to think of playoff baseball, your mind won’t go long before thinking of Mr.October. Reggie Jackson was a legendary force for several (but perhaps most prominently) the New York Yankees, and hit 563 home runs in his career. Along with winning five World Series titles, Jackson had plenty of reason to be confident. Unfortunately that confidence made him a bit of a jerk. Leo Durocher (long time player and manger) stated that Jackson was “a butcher in the outfield and he's got a big mouth." Durocher went on to say. "He makes $8,000 a week. I wouldn't pay him $8 a week. He's a bum." Jackson was also notably arrogant and disaplyed it to the media with comments such as “I’m the straw that stirs the drink,” a comment that teammate Thurman Munson was furious about.
13 Dante Bichette
You may not know the name Dante Bichette, who won the Silver Slugger Award back in 1995. You also probably don’t know why he’s a jerk, because he seems like a great guy and has done some positive community work. Yet in 1992, Bichette struck his 19 year old girlfriend who was pregnant with his child. While they both claim it was a one time thing and “It was something that happened years ago. And although it was very wrong, we joke about it now.”
I appreciate that he knew it was wrong, but in what context is it going to be a funny time to remember when you beat your pregnant girlfriend?
12 Keith Hernandez
I’ll be honest, I have seen more of Keith Hernandez in Seinfeld then I ever did on the baseball field. A five-time All-Star, he was well deserving of his guest spot, but he’s also well deserving of a spot here. Hernandez was open about his use of cocaine, but his influence on Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden may not have helped. Hernandez told them that the best way to get out of a slump was to go get sh**faced. Sadly, both players had their careers derail to drug and alcohol issues. As an announcer, Hernandez was also openly sexist towards a reporter in the dugout stating “ "I won't say women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout." No wonder you were a lot more entertaining when you had a script telling you what to say.
11 John Rocker
You know what is not a great personality trait? Being super racist. John Rocker was already a hot-head on the mound and not afraid to be animated, but during an interview in 2000 he offered some rare honesty when asked if he would ever play for the Yankees or Mets. Rocker stated that he’d rather retire “"It's depressing. The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?"…Don't worry guys, he's also a Trump supporter.
10 Miguel Cabrera
Miguel Cabrera is one of the best hitters in baseball and if he keeps on the tear he has been on, he'll be well deserving of his place in the Hall of Fame. Cabrera’s toughest opponent used to be alcohol and while he’s seemingly conquered this, he’s still done some jerk things. This includes an incident in 2009 while he was drinking the night of a playoff game to the point of having a BAC of .26, and being out until 6am after an argument with his wife. This led to three months in rehab. In 2011, however, Cabrera was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. It is easy to see why, “Cabrera smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, and took a swig from a bottle of scotch in front of a deputy.” Drunk driving kills lives and it’s a complete jerk move, especially to (allegedly) be that open about it.
9 Chuck Knoblauch
I was a huge fan of Chuck when I was a kid. Perhaps it was his unorthodox batting stance, or his gritty attitude but he always seemed to make a play. As I got older though, it became very evident that Chuck is a jerk. In 2014, Chuck was accused of allegedly assaulting his ex-wife. Cheri (Knoblauch's wife), states “she was napping with her child when Knoblauch barged into the child s bedroom and began yelling at her." She said he bashed her head into the wall, hit her in the face and threw a humidifier at her.
A humidifier? Seriously? In 2010, Chuck was also sentenced to one year probation after hitting another former ex-wife. After the charges were laid on Chuck in 2014, the Minnesota Twins cancelled his induction into their Hall of Fame.
8 Wil Cordero
Wil Cordero played in the majors from 1992 until 2005 and during that time had many great moments, but it’s his off the field moment that I’m here to bring to your attention. In 1997, Wil got into an altercation with his wife that led to police being called. He then had the brilliant idea of saying that he was going to kill his wife, while surrounded by said police. This led to a news report about how during a previous divorce, Will hit his pregnant wife.
The assault on his wife started when Wil allegedly came in the bedroom to have an argument, before "poking her in the face and chest with his fingertips hard enough to leave red marks that police would notice later."
At that point, Ana Cordero said she tried to pick up the phone to summon police. But Cordero, she said, snatched the receiver away and hit her in the head with it. Wil proceeded to choke her, before she broke free and was able to call police. Cordero “pleaded guilty to assault and battery, assault and battery with a deadly weapon, making threats, and violating a restraining order” and received an 8 game suspension.
7 Roger Clemens
Roger Clemens is as big a jerk as he is a diva. I can’t get over the fact that in his contract with the Houston Astros, and his later deals with the Yankees, that he literally built it into his contract that he doesn’t have to travel with the team if he isn’t pitching. I mean, I get it, it’d be annoying I guess. But how do you look as a teammate?
Greg Maddux, a Hall of Fame" pitcher in his own right stated that “"I can't imagine doing that," Maddux said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "I like the game. I like the atmosphere. I appreciate what it has to offer. I want to play the whole year."
Clemens has also had numerous alleged affairs in his life, including one with country singer Mindy McCreedy, who Clemons met when she was 15 and he was 28.
6 Rafael Palmeiro
If I wanted to, I could easily make this list full of people that tested positive for PEDS, but it is nice to branch out a little bit from that topic as well. That being said, I can’t deny Rafael’s spot simply for his bluntness in which he stated “"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 five months later, he tested positive. Palmerio then attempted to blame teammate Miguel Tejada saying that he used to receive B12 injections. It’s one thing to do steroids, it’s another to deny it so blatantly, and it’s a whole other bag of worms when you then blame your teammates.
5 Roger Hornsby
Roger is one of the greatest hitters of all time. A lifetime average of .358, 2,930 hits, and 301 home runs make it easy to see why he is in the Hall of Fame. Yet he was also bounced around multiple teams, largely because his personality was just that hard to bear. Roger never drank or smoked, he never went to the movies (it’d ruin his eyes), and was a notoriously dirty player. When players wouldn’t follow his same lifestyle, things often got heated. Roger also battled an addiction to gambling which also led to some altercations that led to his removal.
4 Alex Rodriguez
One thing that I’m never going to condone is cheating on your partner. Find a way to work things out or move on, but don’t lie and cheat and ruin their trust along with your relationship. Rodriguez does not deny that he has cheated on his wife, but because he doesn’t have to admit it to the courts, he won’t be clear about it. His (now ex) wife states that in 2008, he “"emotionally abandoned his wife and children" and that the pair broke up because of his "extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct." Rodriguez has also dated Torrie Wilson, but he has also been rumored to have cheated on her too. He also admitted to using steroids, so you know he cheated at baseball too. Get it together A-Rod.
3 Lenny Dykstra
If you are trying to think of different ways to cheat the game, one thing you may not have thought about is to hire private investigators to follow around umpires. That’s exactly what Lenny did though: “I said I need the umpires, [so] what do I do? I just pulled out half a million bucks and hired a private investigate team to follow them.” Lenny would dig up dirt that he would try and use to get a favourable strike zone.
This isn’t even getting into the actual legal issues Lenny has had. This includes a drunk driving accident in 1991, sexual harassment of a 17 year old girl in 1999, and banned from his properties in 2009 after accusation of vandalizing them. In 2011, he was also accused of sexual assault, this time by his housekeeper, and in 2011 was charged with 25 counts of grand theft auto, possession of drugs and HGH.
2 Mel Hall
Melvin Hall was never an outstanding player, but he was respectable enough to stay in the league from 1981-1996. Granted from 93-95 he was in Japan, but still! In 2007, Hall was arrested after a woman filed a report stating she was sexually assaulted by Hall back in 1999 when she was just 15. While police were doing further investigating, they discovered there was also a second victim who was only 14. There would be a third victim who was only 12 years old.
In 2009, Hall was convicted on three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child and sentenced to 45 years in jail.
Hall also made fun of Bernie Williams when he was a rookie, Hall nicknamed him zero and yelled “SHUT UP, ZERO!” every time he tried to talk. Jerk move.
1 Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds may have hit more home runs than anyone in history, but isn’t it awkward when the guy you’re cheering is also a giant jerk? Bonds had locker room issues in college, and again in Pittsburgh which led to his departure. In San Francisco, he was given enough space in the locker room and comfortable chairs to try and minimize his jerk nature. Bonds is notoriously short or arrogant when dealing with the media, and is also the biggest name when people think of the steroid issue and baseball. He also cheated on his wife for nine years, so you can rest assured that he’s a jerk in all phases of life.