Every Major League Baseball team has a player they'd wish could be traded because of their negative presence in the clubhouse. Locker room cancers are created by a number of things like a lack of playing time, a bad attitude or a destructive ego.
It's not uncommon that some of the worst teammates in Major League Baseball are star players. Though star players lead their team to victory, there is often a price to pay when it comes to having an egomaniac on the roster.
Having a bad teammate can be a destructive force over the course of a season. Their bad attitude can affect team morale which can lead to a losing streak. Bad teammates can even cause other players to perform badly. However the last thing a team wants is a player who doesn't only perform badly, but also brings negative attention to the organization. Actions like these make players liability. When players make controversial and racist comments about other players or even about their own fans, the team immediately turns their back on them.
The baseball season is the longest of any professional sport. Over the course of 7 months 162 games are played, so it's no surprise that players get restless and shoot their mouth off. But when teams begin to lose money and receive tons of negative publicity actions are made. Some of which include trading a player, making a coaching change or revitalizing the entire roster to institute a whole new culture.
The following are the worst teammates in MLB history.
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15 Oliver Perez
It was strange when the New York Mets signed Oliver Perez to a three-year contract extension in 2009, especially when other free agent pitchers like A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia were still available to sign.
Perez came off the 2008 season winning only 10 games and had an ERA of 4.22. Perez failed to live up to the contract extension. Team management urged him to go down to the minors to adjust his mechanics, but he refused.
In the meantime Perez did nothing to improve his game while in the major leagues. He only won three games for the Mets after signing the extension. The rest of the time he was losing games or was recovering from injuries.
14 Milton Bradley
Players are often displeased with umpires' decisions at the plate. But a player isn't stupid enough to physically confront them - or are they? Milton Bradley of the Chicago Cubs did just that against home plate umpire Larry Vanover in April 2009 after arguing a called strike. As a result of his actions he was issued a two game suspension.
Bradley's antics didn't stop there. In September of that season the Cubs suspended Bradley for the remainder of the year after he publicly bad mouthed the organization by pointing out their lack of success over the past century of failing to win a World Series.
13 Shea Hillenbrand
In 2005 Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Shea Hillenbrand had a great first season with the team. He hit nearly 20 home runs and over 80 RBIs. The following season Hillenbrand's ego cost him his starting job on the ball club.
In July 2006 he brutally criticized the Blue Jays front office for not congratulating him for adopting his first child. Hillenbrand also had problems in the clubhouse too. He would constantly get into altercations with manager John Gibbons about comments that he foolishly wrote on the team's clubhouse whiteboard about their poor performance.
It wasn't long after these actions he was released by the team.
12 Luis Castillo
One way teammates can cause a headache for the manager is complaining about a lack of playing time. Teammates do not think too fondly of this. If you want a roster spot you need to earn it.
Heads really began to turn in 2010 when outfielder Luis Castillo of the New York Mets refused to visit a hospital for soldiers with amputated arms and legs along with the rest of the team. Castillo selfishly said he didn't want to be disturbed by the horrific experience.
11 Jeremy Giambi
Everyone saw a different side of Jeremy Giambi in the 2011 film Moneyball. His portrayal as a party monster who didn't care about winning was not far from the truth.
In the 2001 offseason Giambi was cited a misdemeanor at a Las Vegas airport for marijuana possession. His time spent in Sin City didn't go unnoticed, Giambi would often report to camp overweight and lacked focus. It was no surprise he was traded mid-season in 2002 by A's general manager Billy Beane.
10 Gary Sheffield
It may come as a surprise but some clubhouse cancers were the best players in the game. Gary Sheffield hit over 500 home runs and is the only player in the history to represent five different teams in the All Star game.
Aside from his achievements Sheffield often shot his mouth off. After leaving the New York Yankees in 2007 he stated that manager Joe Torre didn't treat black players fairly. Sheffield went into greater detail as the reason why he lost his starting job in right field to Venezuelan player Bobby Abreau was a result of Torre's bigotry.
9 Carl Everett
Professional baseball players have beliefs like any other person, but when their beliefs begin to attract negative attention, players begin to stray away from the clubhouse cancer.
Outfielder Carl Everett was passionate or maybe too aggressive about his religious beliefs. He stated multiple times that dinosaurs never existed because they weren't mentioned in the Holy Bible.
Everett also went on the record about his disdain for homosexuals. He went too far to say he would do everything in his power to set them straight if they were a teammate of his.
8 Albert Belle
It's important for players to have a good relationship with the media. After all, they're the ones who depict them as a good or bad person to the general public.
When Albert Belle played left field for the Cleveland Indians he was notorious for his frequent outbursts with the press. Whenever he was asked an unfavorable question he would often become belligerent and violent with his responses.
ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney stated that at the end of every season the Indians often sent Belle a bill worth over $10,000 of damages he caused to the clubhouse and team equipment during his outbursts over the year.
7 Rickey Henderson
Most professional ballplayers have an ego. Rickey Henderson had one that followed him around during his 24-year career. Henderson often referred to himself in the third person and rarely put the team before his own needs.
Henderson was so infatuated with himself that he framed his $1 million signing bonus instead of cashing it. The bonus' value depreciated so much he lost a great amount of interest on it. Teammates obviously weren't always happy with Henderson's "Me first" approach to the game either.
6 John Rocker
It's not uncommon that rival cities dislike star players. John Rocker on the other hand made remarks that sparked New York City's desire to see his head on a silver platter.
The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves were a fierce rivalry in the late 1990s and in the early 2000s. Braves starting pitcher John Rocker made multiple controversial remarks about the gay community in New York and his disdain for foreigners.
Rocker often put his own performance ahead of his team. He openly admitted to using steroids and outed other ballplayers for partaking in illegal substances as well.
5 Carlos Zambrano
Whenever teammates get into a fight it's wise to calmly resolve issues in order to avoid hurting morale. Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano had no regard for this philosophy and is viewed as one of the biggest hot heads in baseball history.
Zambrano often got into altercations with other teammates and his own coaches for the team's poor performance on the field. He would verbally assault and sometimes get physical when he didn't feel accommodated.
When Theo Epstein took over as general manager for the Cubs in 2011 he openly stated his first task as GM was to trade Zambrano
4 Manny Ramirez
The worst thing a player can do is quit on a team. Boston Red Sox outfielder Manny Ramirez was not shy about not wanting to play in Beantown anymore. After signing a seven-year contract worth more than $100 million, Ramirez had big expectations.
Though he helped lead the Red Sox to their first World Series victory in over 80 years he had many on field problems. Ramirez was unhappy with the Red Sox front office so he stopped playing. Whenever he stepped into the batters box he only stood there and refused to swing, he would either strike out looking or earn a walk.
3 Sammy Sosa
During the 1998 season the home run record chase was widely publicized between St. Louis Cardinals first basemen Mark McGuire and Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa. The chase was for the single season home run record set by Roger Maris of the Yankees in 1961.
Sosa sent 66 home runs over the fence in 1998 but it came at a high price. The outfielder put his priorities first and the team second. Though the Cubs earned a wild card spot in 1998 they didn't go far in the playoffs. Sosa was known as one of the most unpopular players in the clubhouse and many players were quite disgusted with his approach to the game.
2 Barry Bonds
There has never been a player like Barry Bonds in the game of baseball. In his 21 year career he shattered numerous home run records with the help of multiple performance enhancing drugs.
Though Bonds holds many home run records he was a below average teammate. Many interviewers described him to separate himself from his teammates and hog the media for his own personal gain.
The multiple steroid allegations Bonds faced over the years labeled him the face of cheating in the league.
1 Ty Cobb
Bad vibes on a team aren't something that began when television and the internet were invented, they've existed since the turn of the century. Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb has been regarded as one of the biggest low life's in the history of professional sports.
In addition to intentionally sliding into bases with his sharp spikes out aimed to hurt other players he was a known bigot and violent offender. Cobb hated black people and he made it known as he refused to play on fields that grounds were kept by black workers.
Cobb's violence was a constant issue as well. Once after a game he attacked a disabled person with no hands because he said some unfavorable remarks as he walked by.
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