The All-Least Likable Team

On January 4th, the Cleveland Indians signed Brett Myers to a 1 year, $7 million contract. Among pretty much every Padres fan the reaction was a collective sigh of relief. Because while the Padres were (and are) in desperate need of veteran pitching, and despite the fact that pretty much every free agent pitcher (including Brett Myers) was rumored to be a possibility for San Diego (yet none ended up here), Brett Myers sucks.

Not in talent mind you. He’s fine there. But in 2006 he was arrested for punching his wife in the face. In an effort to remain fair here it is important to note that these charges were ultimately dropped at the behest of his wife.

Either way, no one wanted him here and I don’t blame them. It also got me thinking. Despite my unflinching fandom, there have been players throughout the years I haven’t enjoyed. So, presented here (though let’s view this as a living document as I’m sure we can add and amend this list later) is the San Diego Padres All-Time Least Likable List.

Some rules and notes before we get started.

1) No amount of playing time was required. In fact, in one case, the player never played for the MLB team;

2) As I’m 32 there is a very clear focus on the team over the past 15 years or so. This is in part due to the fact that, as a kid I didn’t “hate” anyone on the team and these players are fresher in my mind;

3) “Least Likable” in this instance is a fluid definition. Someone makes this list by either being a colossal underachiever (which required substantial expectations) or for having a terrible personality.

On to the list!

C: Doug Mirabelli

Why:

Doug Mirabelli’s time in San Diego was very short lived. In 2006 he was traded to San Diego for Mark Loretta. That season, he played in 14 games before being traded right back to Boston on May 1 for Cla Meredith, Josh Bard and a PTBNL. But an unremarkable short stint in San Diego doesn’t place someone on this list. No, Doug Mirabelli makes the list because he said, upon being traded back to Boston “I guess I’m getting called back to the big leagues.” Mirabelli asked Kevin Towers, near the end of his stay in San Diego, to be benched because he was “not focused on the game.” Perhaps that’s because he  was too focused on Boston: “My boys, the (Red) Sox have been calling me. I got to tell you, it’s all I watch on TV; all I think about is the Red Sox. Do me a favor and you guys a favor (and make a deal).”

Enjoy your clam chowder (and other Boston cliches) Doug. You aren’t missed here.

1st: Jack Clark

Why:

Jack Clark was traded to San Diego in 1989 from the Yankees as he didn’t fit in with the Yankees. He reportedly hated the American League, believing the games to last too long. Fair enough. As a Padres he provided consistent if not spectacular numbers for the Padres.

But on September 28, 1989, after a game in Cincinnati, he said this about Tony Gwynn (TONY F’ING GWYNN!) ”I never really played with a guy like that. It’s always everything to make themselves look good and everybody else is a bad guy. Nobody said he has to go up and hit a home run, but if he’s a better hitter than me or the next guy, then we need him to go up there and take his swings instead of bunting. Guys have been running their own individual scams here, and you can’t win like that. The Padres management has kind of created its own monster. His wife has said stuff before, too. Should we get all our wives involved in the decision-making process?”

The dispute really started over Tony Gwynn’s contract. Gwynn, at the time the 7th highest paid player on the team (that’s right, you read that right) thought he deserved more money than an oft-injured free agent from New York. (Editor’s Note: He did)

And of course, there was the doll incident. Gaslamp Ball covered this in detail last year but the long and short of it is a Tony Gwynn doll was hung in effigy. Did I mention the doll was mutilated? I don’t think I need to tell you the racial implications of that. So (pardon the cursing) but fuck Jack Clark.

He also wore “00.” That’s just obnoxious.

2nd: Orlando Hudson

Why:

Compared to Jack Clark, Orlando Hudson is a saint. Yet, we need a 2nd baseman on this team. The Padres signed Orlando Hudson to a 2 yr, $11.5 million contract. He was brought in to address a need both up the middle and at the top of the lineup. For their money, the Padres received a season plus 34 games of mediocre to sub-par play both on the field and at the plate. None of which seemed to bother Hudson, as he smiled and laughed his way through every error and strikeout.

But he makes this list for his Shaun Phillips-esque attack on fans who were critical of his play. Telling Fox 5 “That’s why they’re fans, they couldn’t cut it in HS or college baseball & you don’t boo home team.”

Mow my lawn.

SS: Matt Bush

Why: 

Matt Bush.  The only player on this list to never actually play an inning for the Padres. That should tell you the depths of how deserving he is to be on this list.

Bush was selected 1st overall in the 2004 Amateur Baseball Draft. 1st. OVERALL! Not to bring up terrible memories, but not only was Matt Bush selected first overall, he was selected first overall in a year that Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, Phil Hughes, and Stephen Drew were drafted.

So, that’s bad enough.

But it was Matt Bush’s off-field issues that make him worth of this list. Matt Bush’s fall from grace is well documented and I’d direct you to Jeff Passan article on the subject matter. It is as heartbreaking as it is infuriating. It is a past littered with alcohol abuse, DUI’s, and assault charges.

He is only the 3rd player in MLB history to be drafted 1st overall to never play in the Majors. He is currently in prison, living out a 4 year prison sentence for a drunken driving hit-and-run.

3B: Sean Burroughs

Why:

Truth be told, I root for Sean Burroughs. I was happy to see him return with the Diamondbacks even though it was short lived. I feel cruel putting him here but we needed a third baseman.

Sean Burroughs became part of the baseball fans zeitgeist in 1993 when he pitched two no-hitters in Little League World Series. The Padres made him their 1st round pick in 1998 and joined the Major League team in 2002. Despite a career batting average of .280 he was considered a disappointment.

When your greatest life achievement, at least via public perception, happens when you are 11-yrs old, that’s a tough life to lead. Let’s move on.

LF: Milton Bradley

Why: 

When you search for Milton Bradley videos on YouTube, here are the auto-finishes: MILTON BRADLEY meltdown; MILTON BRADLEY throws ball into stands; MILTON BRADLEY ejected.

The worst part. Bradley was a good player for the Padres. Sure it was short lived, but in 42 games he provided a 1.8 WAR.

Then Sept. 23, 2007 happened. The Padres were .5 game up on the Phillies for a Wild Card spot and only 2.5 games behind AZ for the NL West. Umpire Mike Winters baited Milton Bradley (To this I don’t think there is no question anymore. Whatever happened next, Winters baited Bradley. Which, with someone like Bradley, seems insane.) after a single in the 8th inning, reference a strikeout earlier in the game. Winters believed that Bradley has flipped his bat at home plate umpire Brian Runge.

What followed was a monumental blow up between Bradley and Winters that ended when Bud Black, in an attempt to calm and remove Bradley, spun him to the ground blowing out his ACL, ending his season.

The Padres season technically ended in Colorado in Game 163 in Colorado. But that was only the final straw. The fatal blow was struck on Sept. 23, when Bradley blew out his ACL. Arguing with an umpire.

CF: Jim Edmonds

Why? 

When your park has been compared to the Grand Canyon, it makes little sense to put a 37 yr old oft-injured player to man center field. Of course, that’s exactly what San Diego did in 2008. Edmonds, despite saying he was comfortable being in San Diego because his family lived there, played as if he couldn’t be more uncomfortable. I imagine this is in part due to being a near folk hero in St. Louis and being jettisoned (for DAVID FREESE!) to San Diego.

He couldn’t get jumps on balls in CF. He couldn’t hit for power. He couldn’t hit period. He was, in total, not the Jim Edmonds that anyone believed the Padres were getting. He played a total of 90 at-bats for the Padres, hitting .178 with 24 strikeouts. The Padres got 90 at-bats, at that clip, for a World Series MVP.

Of course, what pushes it over the top is that, immediately upon leaving San Diego for Chicago after 90 at-bats, Edmonds would go on to hit .256 with 19 HRs. Nothing frustrates fans more than watching a severely underperforming player immediately turn it around once they leave.

RF: Brian Giles

Why? 

This is a tough position considering that the greatest player in franchise history played it for 19 years. Went with Brian Giles because of the domestic issues. He was a good player for San Diego (though did cost the Padres Jason Bay and Oliver Perez). He reinvented himself from a power hitter to an on-base machine.

Near the end of his career however he had some domestic issues. It’s worth noting that he was cleared of them in 2011 after being sued by his ex-girlfriend. Lot of abuse allegations. Sordid details. It’s a mess.

Flimsy reasons. But again, right field is a tough call on this franchise.

SP: Kevin Brown

Why? 

It’s tough to say that someone who was so integral to helping the Padres reach only their 2nd World Series of all time is “unlikable.”

But such is life for someone who is simply a gun for hire. Maybe it’s because I was 17 and the Padres making the World Series was more important to me then, well, then anything. Maybe it’s because I was too young to realize the dirty side of sports. But, when you spend only one season in San Diego only to leave to our hated rivals, you’re not going to win me over very much.

Kevin Brown, despite being offered a $60 million contract from San Diego, left the Padres for the Dodgers, becoming the first $100 million player. I hold it against him. Maybe it’s not fair. But I do.

 

There they are. Someone more deserving not make the team or someone not deserve to be on this list? Leave it in the comments section. And let’s hope no one on the 2013 team finds themselves on this list in the future.

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  • I don’t mind the language on the Jack Clark piece, after all I said the same words to you when labeling him my least favorite Padre! Good (or BAD!) list indeed!

    • Met

      Clark worked for Fox Sports Midwest for a while on the Cardinals pre and post game shows, until he was let go in 2010 for calling the team a bunch of quitters.

      So yeah, he’s still a curmudgeon.

  • You missed one: RP, Randy Myers

    Honorable mentions:
    C: Jim Leyritz
    3B: Mike Pagliarulo

    • VM David

      D’Angelo Jimenez, who once asked Allan Trammell “Yeah, what position did you play?” in response to an instruction Trammell had gave him.

      • Gloccamorra

        An unnamed Expos/Nationals player tops that, asking his manager, Hall Of Famer Frank Robinson, if he ever played in the “show”. Robinson refused to name him and actually told him, “Yeah, I played some”.

    • Tim Stoops

      Ugh, I got beaten to the Myers punch by a ghost!

    • All Leyritz’s dui issues came well after his career. Frankly, I loved that guy during the 98 playoffs.

      • And then he went the Jack Clark route and bad-mouthed Tony the Gwynn. Big no-no.

      • I forgot about that. Taking shots at the only guy we really celebrate as Padres fans is not a wise move.

  • VM David

    I respectfully disagree with Milton Bradley being on this list. His major incidents didn’t occur with the Padres, and by all accounts he was a good citizen in the clubhouse. The incident where Black tackled him and he blew out his ACL was in response to umpire Mike Winters calling him a “fucking piece of shit”. Yes, he should have shown more restraint than Winters did, but there’s no place for that behavior on the field. Also, he CARRIED those Padres.

    Obviously, he’s a jerk who hits women. So if we’re talking about overall character, sure.

    • I feel the same with Milton. I liked having him around, was a..maybe only..consistent hitter. I was at the game when he blew out his ACL it just had such bad vibe the whole day. From stepping on Cameron’s hand, to seeing something was going afoul the whole game with winters.

      • I was there as well. I liked Milt but considering he’s past history I always felt like it was a ticking time bomb. Winters was to blame, no doubt, he’s an asshole. But that injury likely cost the team the playoffs.That’s tough to forgive.

      • VM David

        Was also at the game. Milton went 2-4 with an RBI, and we lost 7-3. It was the final game of a late September, 4-game sweep at the hand of the Rockies.

        Milton’s not the reason the Padres missed the playoffs. It was an all-around collapse.

      • Agreed. It was a team collapse. That whole game was surreal. Season ended that day, we just didn’t know it yet.

        So, who would you put in LF on this team?

      • Ludwick? He seemed to be pretty disliked in his tenure here. I’d say Melvin Nieves, but he played in right more than left.

    • I loved Milt while in SD

  • SDPads1

    Definitely Pags over Burroughs at 3rd. And I don’t know if I would say that I hate Kevin Brown for bolting for a ton of money, which is something almost any player would do. Great list though!

    • The issue with Brown was that he said he desired to be close to his family in Georgia. Then he signed in LA.

      • I have a visceral reaction to people bolting for LA for money. It doesn’t help that, at 17, I was more emotionally attached to that 98 team then anyone should be.

      • SDPads1

        He didn’t sign in LA…..he signed in LA for a BOATLOAD OF MONEY.

      • GEORGIA. HOME! LA!!!!!!?

      • SDPads1

        Once again…a BOAT LOAD OF MONEY!

      • Huge $$$ difference between what Padres offered and LA gave. I have no qualms with Brown taking the $40M difference to play in LA. Just be honest about it. Don’t say you love your family and you need to be closer to them and then decide to move to LA. GEORGIA!

      • FWIW If i remember correctly, they offered him a BOAT LOAD OF MONEY AND Use of the team jet to go to GEorgia when he wasn’t pitching.

        that being said, I still hate him for signing with the Dodgers.

    • I can’t hate Slappy after seeing that stoned video of him from the tailgate party a while back. Double double…carne asada…

      • SDPads1

        That video was amazing.

  • Tim Stoops

    Closer? Randy Myers in 1998. Again not on-the-field related, but what a terrible waiver claim.

    • I’ll always remember my brother shouting out during a blowout, “Put Myers in! I’m bored!”

  • 5:30 PM Dougie takes batting practice again, refuses to bunt.
    5:33 PM Dougie hit 22 pitches over the wall: 11 fair, 11 foul, all pulled, he missed 15 pitches.

  • Todd Walker was never a favorite either. From the moment he was aquired it was like, todd effin-walker where the hell is he going to fit in. And Brad Hawpe and JOrge Cantu get overlooked by the Hudson Bartlett suckitude , and in Cantu’s case, decent walk up music

    • My wife had the biggest crush on Walker for reasons passing understanding.

    • “Haha…*Turd* Walker.” — Internets

  • I find it hard to believe Phil Nevin didn’t make this list. Especially at the end people couldn’t get him out of here fast enough.

    • By 2005 Phil Nevin had become a pain, but for me, he made 1999-2003 tolerable. My .02 cents.

      • 2 hundreths of a cent is very, very, very small. i mean you’d have to have 100 opinions worth that much just to put in your 2 cents.

      • I’m noncommittal. And bad at math?

      • my personal favorite is when a mcdonalds advertises a double cheeseburger for .99 cents. i want to go in with a penny and demand they honor their price of less than a cent.

      • That’s called Marketing 101. Bait & switch. It gets you in the door, doesn’t it?

      • it also gets me 100 double cheeseburgers when your sign changers don’t know the difference and i press hard with management and my harassing legal team

      • As long as you don’t namedrop that you know the ghost of the owner…

      • Esquire, at your service.

      • I call conflict of interest.

    • Yeah, I remember Nevin yelling out “F**k this place!” making a 410 ft. out in 2004. He was Petco Park’s first career casualty.

  • Tim Stoops

    Another guy I strongly disliked was Mark Bellhorn. He must have had something on someone in order to get 115 games and 253 at-bats in 2006.

    • For a guy who swung and missed like a madman he had an uncanny knack for drawing walks – when he played for the Red Sox. He was a brutal Padre.

  • I’ll add Joe Randa to the list. He utterly sucked in his brief tenure with us, and then he broke up Chris Young’s no-hitter in the 9th.

    • HOW DARE YOU! The Madres LOVED Joe Randa!

      • When ghosts go camping, they sit around the campfire and tell stories of Joe Randa.

    • I hated Joe Randa breaking up Chris Young’s no-hitter, but I did not hate him when he was here. He did not ruin “She Sells Sanctuary” for me.

  • I really didn’t care for Melvin Nieves and Ruben Rivera. When they were acquired, they both were hyped up to no end by the Uncle Teddy types. Of course, they both ended up sucking and the Crimedog helped ATL win a championship. At least Irabu was pretty much a bust. Along those lines, Tony Fernandez: the only weak performer involved in that big trade. Plus, I really hated his sidearm wrist-flip way of throwing to first.

  • crawfish

    Geoff Blum. Forever and always. He always got a double with no one on base, with 2 outs in the 8th inning of a game we were down 5 runs. Could never get a hit with men on when there was a time of importance. As of, oh last year, he still had FROSTED TIPS. At age 37.
    The opposite of clutch, always playing late game defense for some crappy reason, his presence on the field or lineup signified defeat.
    Terrible, terrible baseball person.

    • I sure hope you’re being facetious.

    • And then he hits the home run to win the world series for the white sox. Amazing how guys find their “clutchness” when they go to other teams.

    • And yet I love Blummer.

    • But his wife Kory was his MVP!

  • We totally forgot to nominate a manager, general manager, team president, etc. I’ll take a stab at it:
    – Riggleman
    – Randy Smith
    – Alderson

  • Can’t have this list without Chris Brown…he was all potential.

  • Dodger300

    You find guys unlikeable becauae of where they were drafted? Or who they were trade for?
    Players have nothing to do with any of that.
    Who you really mean to say you don’t like is the Padres management!

    • Someone didn’t read anything past the first couple of sentences for each one.

  • Jeffrey McDonald

    Wow, if this article WA a persons comment I’d let the grammar slide, but for an article? Please take an english class. How is a mutilated doll racist? Gwyn was over rated, he hit into more double plays in clutch situations than anybody. He’s a decent guy but winning wasn’t his priority. If it was he would have left the Padres being they have never been committed to winning. He would have laid off the desserts if he wanted to help the Padres win. I guess he felt if he couldn’t perform like 2men he would become the size of 2men. How about the Padres do as promised, you got a new baseball only stadium, where are the good free agents?