One Player on Each Team Who Oakland Athletics' Fans Hate to See
Every team in Major League Baseball has at least one guy we Oakland Athletics fans cringe at the sight of.
There's a multitude of reasons behind our displeasure in seeing particular opposing players.
Some crush our spirits by continually dominating our favorite team. It's daunting to have to face them because they're just plain great.
Then there are the players we hate because, well, in our opinions, they're jerks.
Sadly, we hate seeing a few of them because when we do, it breaks our hearts.
Here is a look at one guy from each team A's fans can't stand seeing:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill
Trevor Cahill, along with Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden were supposed to form one of the youngest and most talented pitching rotations in all of baseball.
That idea came to an end this offseason when GM Billy Beane dealt Cahill to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Now Cahill joins Joe Saunders, Daniel Hudson and Ian Kennedy in the desert. The four will likely have Arizona competing for first place in the NL West while Oakland continues to find an identity.
Atlanta Braves: Tim Hudson
This one hurts a lot.
The ace of our once-vaunted "Big 3," Hudson was traded to the Atlanta Braves before the 2005 season.
In return, Oakland received Charles Thomas, Dan Meyer and Juan Cruz. None of them remain on the roster or even in the league, meaning the A's have nothing to show for the Hudson trade.
Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones
Against any other team, fans might root for Adam Jones.
But when he comes to town, he's pretty scary.
He hits for average, he can hit it out of the park, and not much gets past him in the outfield.
Jones is even more frightening when he's on base. With his speed, who knows when he'll steal or run first to third on a base hit.
Against A's pitchers in 2011, Jones hit .309.
Boston Red Sox: John Lackey
For years, A's fans had to deal with the talent and attitude of John Lackey.
It sure felt like Lackey didn't like any A's players, especially catcher Jason Kendall.
After one particular game in 2006, Lackey threw at Kendall for "leaning over home plate trying to get hit." The two erupted into a benches-clearing brawl.
It certainly didn't help that in his next game back, Lackey nearly threw a perfect game against the A's. Just one of many examples of his domination over Oakland.
During his career, he's kept A's players to a .199 batting average.
Chicago Cubs: Starlin Castro
It's difficult to really hate anyone in a Chicago Cubs uniform.
I mean, they're the Cubs. They haven't won a World Series since 1908.
The Oakland Athletics rarely ever play the Cubs.
By default though, a team's best players generally make us nervous.
Cue Starlin Castro.
The 22-year-old shortstop hit .307 last year and has amazing speed and range.
It's as hard to hit something past him on the field as it is to get him out.
Chicago White Sox: A.J. Pierzynski
Here's an honest question: Does anyone outside of Chicago actually like A.J. Pierzynski?
Here's a better question: Does anyone inside Chicago actually like A.J. Pierzynski?
His reputation of being in on-field incidents earned him the honors of being one of the most hated baseball players in the league.
We'll jump on that wagon.
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto
Another player on another team who is difficult to really hate on any other occasion, Joey Votto is no friend to A's fans when playing against Oakland.
Votto hits the lights out of the ball. His power is raw.
Against a dangerously talented lineup like the Cincinnati Reds, led by Votto, there's never a comfortable feeling. Even when our hometown team is up by a half-dozen runs, Votto can strike at any time to help close the gap.
Cleveland Indians: Asdrubal Cabrera
Similar to Starlin Castro and Adam Jones, A's fans don't like to see Asdrubal Cabrera come into town because of his talent.
Cabrera is highly talented on offense and defense. The shortstop produces incredible plays worthy of highlight reels and when he does it against the A's, it tears fans up.
Should we admit we're impressed? Get jealous he doesn't play for us? Or be furious he just ran deep into the hole and rocketed the ball to first in time?
Colorado Rockies: Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez is in the top three of players who make A's fans want to cry every time we see him.
Gonzalez spent three months in Oakland where he began turning heads and opening eyes.
Then Oakland dealt him to Colorado for Matt Holliday.
Holliday absolutely stunk as an Athletic. Gonzalez has become a five-tool player, a Gold Glove winner and 2010's batting champion.
His success is our pain.
Detroit Tigers: Octavio Dotel
Octavio Dotel only spent two seasons with Oakland, but they weren't entertaining for the fans.
He didn't deliver as expected.
In 2005, Dotel accumulated an ERA of over 4.00 and blew several saves.
In 2006, making $4.75 million, Dotel appeared in fifteen games and saved seven.
Since then he's pitched well enough to continually be a hot commodity at the trade deadline. In 2011, he won a World Series ring with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Houston Astros: Jack Cust
This one depends on Jack Cust making the big league team.
Cust spent four years with Oakland. The stint was awfully frustrating.
The outfielder did two things very well: hit home runs and strike out.
The problem was, Cust tended to hit solo home runs when the A's were trailing seven. Down two, however, with three men on base, most of us accurately predicted a strikeout.
Not to mention he was a liability in the field, where he thought he could play.
He thought he was better than he proved and felt he deserved to be paid by Oakland.
In a worse move, Cust signed with the Seattle Mariners upon leaving the A's.
Kansas City Royals: Jeff Francoeur
Generally, there's no problem with Kansas City Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur.
In fact, most know and respect him for his cannon of an arm.
But when he displays his arm strength by picking on rookie Michael Taylor, it doesn't sit well with A's fans.
Last season Taylor lined a base hit into right field. Unfortunately, it skipped right to Francouer who immediately launched it to first in time to record a rare 9-3 putout.
It was a fantastic play. It just came at the cost of putting Oakland on the highlights all week for the wrong reason.
Love it or hate it, you can check out the video here.
Los Angeles Angels: C.J. Wilson
As a member of the Texas Rangers, C.J. Wilson destroyed the Oakland Athletics nearly every time he faced them.
Wilson has contained A's hitters to a .173 batting average. This includes Coco Crisp's .154 and Kurt Suzuki's .053. Talk about complete domination.
Owning Oakland is one thing. Dumping on its fans is entirely different.
Wilson told the press:
"I hate pitching there. The mound sucks. The fans suck. There are no fans there. The fans who are there are really adamant, but sometimes you'll go there and there's 6,000 fans. I just wish the fan base supported them a little more."
He continued to say he would never sign in Oakland because the hatred is mutual. Apparently, he doesn't even like the weather.
Instead he inked a deal with the Angels that will keep him in the AL West another five years.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Andre Ethier
Carlos Gonzalez may have been the third-worst player to let go of. Tim Hudson was the second.
Andre Ethier was hands down the worst player to trade away.
After lighting up the minor leagues, Ethier had Oakland fans salivating at the idea of him wearing green and gold.
Management had other ideas and shipped him to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Since then he's become a premier right fielder with a .291 batting average and a penchant for late-game heroics.
If his success isn't enough of a slap in the face, consider this: The player in return was Milton Bradley.
Miami Marlins: Hanley Ramirez
Some A's fans might just hate everyone in a Miami Marlins jersey, solely by fault of the jersey.
Luckily, Oakland rarely plays Miami. Not so lucky, however, the team is stacked with talent from Josh Johnson to Mark Buehrle, Jose Reyes to the right fielder formerly known as Mike Stanton.
Hanley Ramirez is one of the most dangerous players on the roster.
He's well-rounded. He's a career .306 hitter who has hit more than 17 home runs each season he's played in over 100 games.
On the bases, he's always a threat to swipe second.
He's moved to third base this season, though he's been vocal about playing shortstop. Playing angry could make Ramirez even harder to deal with as an opponent.
Milwaukee Brewers: Nyjer Morgan
Most fans outside of Milwaukee agree, Nyjer Morgan's act is a tired one.
But it's his antics that turns most fans off.
The T-Plush persona is confusing and kind of scary. Maybe it's not a joke. Has anyone considered Morgan might actually have multiple personalities.
Then there's the random yelling and the trash-talking over Twitter that pushes Morgan over the top from funny to annoying.
Minnesota Twins: Josh Willingham
Josh Willingham did wonderful things in Oakland in 2011. He led the team in home runs with a personal best 29. He also drove in 98 RBI.
Then he left.
Some might take it as using the A's as a one-year tryout for a better team.
Especially when he signs with the Minnesota Twins, who are perennially in a playoff hunt.
New York Mets: Bob Geren
The New York Mets: another lowly team kind of like Oakland.
They haven't done much winning lately. Outside of David Wright, there's not a whole lot of recognizable players on the roster.
In fact, there isn't even a player to necessarily hate seeing.
But there is one man who will suit up in a Mets jersey that we can easily wrinkle our noses in disgust at.
That would be Mets' new bench coach, Bob Geren.
It was widely speculated among A's fans that Geren was hand picked by GM Billy Beane to be a puppet manager. Geren, after all, was the best man in Beane's wedding.
Players didn't like him and fans loathed him. His handling of the bullpen was awful. He lacked passion and never defended the players on strikeouts, ejections and blown calls.
While fans hate seeing Geren in general, they should take pleasure seeing him in a different team's jersey.
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
2004: Already with a deal worth $252 million from the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez is traded to the New York Yankees because he wants to play for a winner. Fans across the nation grow confused and upset at the seemingly unfair pairing of A-Rod and pinstripes.
2007: Rodriguez signs his second contract, worth $275 million. Fans become even angrier.
2009: Rodriguez admits to using PEDs, losing the respect of even more baseball fans across the country.
Each of those are forgivable. The next one is not. Not to an A's fan.
"He just told me to get off his mound. I was a little surprised. I'd never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career ... I thought it was pretty funny actually."
Yes. Hilarious in Oakland too.
Braden put it best, stating, "we're not the door mat anymore."
Philadelphia Phillies: Jonathan Papelbon
The hatred of Jonathan Papelbon stems from the Red Sox' domination over the A's and Papelbon's general demeanor.
Like Nyjer Morgan, most fans are simply tired of Papelbon.
The staredown isn't intimidating.
The over-celebration at the end of every game, no, inning, is ridiculous.
Pittsburgh Pirates: A.J. Burnett
There's really no one to dislike on the Pittsburgh Pirates. No one rakes in Oakland. No one trash talks.
The squad in Pittsburgh rivals Oakland's roster. Both are very young and filled with potential.
No one on the team came from Oakland and blew up a la Andre Ethier, so that's out.
By default, it's A.J. Burnett, and it has nothing to do with the Pirates.
Nope. In fact, it's due to his past as a New York Yankee.
The offseason isn't fun when the Yankees overspend on every big-name free agent they can get their hands on.
Some fans, not all, take simple enjoyment seeing overrated players sign insane contracts with major teams like the Yankees, only to fail.
Burnett's pitching in Toronto earned him a five-year $82 million contract, one he never lived up to with an ERA over 5.15 the last two seasons.
San Diego Padres: Huston Street
After winning Rookie of the Year with 23 saves and a 1.72 ERA in 2005, Huston Street had everyone in Oakland excited. A 21-year-old phenomenal closer is hard to come by.
The next year, on his way to 37 saves, his ERA rose to 3.31. No big deal. It happens.
Beginning in 2007 though, Street's performance was less than stellar. His ERA was inconsistent and his saves were incredibly low for a "superstar" closer.
In his last three years in Oakland, Street blew nearly eight saves per year. That number wouldn't be nearly as bad if he had been saving north of 25 games.
He went on to pitch very well in Colorado, only blowing 11 saves in three years.
Two more factors to keep in mind: The trade of Street to the Rockies included Carlos Gonzalez (see Colorado Rockies slide) and returned Matt Holliday.
Huston Street also gave up an ALCS clinching, three-run home run to Magglio Ordonez in the bottom of the ninth inning. A home run that would break the tie in the game and in the series, sending Detroit to the World Series.
A home run that would be hard to swallow and harder to forget.
San Francisco Giants: Brian Wilson
After coming this far, you can guess why Brian Wilson is on the list as the one San Francisco Giant Oakland A's fans hate to see.
Don't get me wrong, Wilson is a terrific player. That's reason to like him less when he's the opposition.
But the shenanigans never cease with the bearded one.
If it's not the beard, it's the shoes. If it's not the shoes, it's a skin tight tuxedo.
San Francisco fans may eat it up. In Oakland, we're not humored.
He earned our respect playing baseball. He lost it doing everything else he does.
Seattle Mariners: Felix Hernandez
Felix Hernandez is so dominant, he's one of the few guys you might actually believe have never lost against the A's. Have the A's ever even scored against The King?
Oakland's current roster has driven in a grand total of 12 runs against Hernandez. But the A's needn't worry about producing runs against him because first they have to get hits.
In that category, the A's roster has mustered up 41 hits against him. Total. In his entire career.
Going to the stadium to watch an A's vs. Mariners game, you can hear a collective sigh, not a boo, from the crowd when Felix Hernandez's name is announced.
St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Holliday
"Did you hear? We're getting Matt Holliday!"
It was the most exciting news for Oakland A's fans. It had all eager to flock to the stadium. Oakland was immediately a contender.
So they had to give up Huston Street, Greg Smith and Carlos Gonzalez? Street had gone downhill, Gonzalez might never develop and Smith was a nobody. Right?
Gonzalez blew up. Street got better. Smith remained a nobody.
But it was worth it because Holliday would springboard the A's to playoffs.
That's what fans thought would happen at least.
Instead he hit .286, 11 HR and 54 RBI in 93 games.
Then Holliday opened up about being traded before the A's even mentioned it. He said he wanted to play for a contender. He got his wish and was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals.
In just 63 games with them he hit .353, 13 HR and 55 RBI. All higher totals than the 93 games with Oakland.
The sudden motivated play of Matt Holliday left a bad taste in A's fans' mouths, one only made worse by his World Series championship ring.
Tampa Bay Rays: Evan Longoria
Oakland A's fans hate to see Evan Longoria because he's young and talented in so many ways.
He's a solid four-tool player who can hit for average, hit for power, play defense and has awesome arm strength. He's even got decent speed.
There's just something about the fact that Longoria is better than the majority of prospects Oakland ever sees (and there's a lot!) that irks fans.
For a few others, it may be that he's arguably the best third baseman in the league, something Oakland once had in Eric Chavez and hasn't had since.
Like Hanley Ramirez and Joey Votto, fans mostly don't like seeing him because the fear of him single-handedly taking over the game is always present.
Texas Rangers: Adrian Beltre
Adrian Beltre spurned the A's not once, not twice, but three times.
At the end of the 2004 season, Oakland hoped to obtain Beltre's services. He instead signed with the rival Mariners.
At the end of 2009, the A's approached Beltre again. Unhappy with the offers, he accepted a one-year deal worth $10 million with the Boston Red Sox.
Before the 2011 season began, the A's once again offered Beltre a contract. The five-year deal was for $64 million, equal to the 2004 contract with Seattle.
Yet on the verge of reportedly deciding to sign with Oakland, he ultimately rejected the offer.
Adrian Beltre signed with the AL West rival Texas Rangers, cementing A's hatred for him.
Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. Fool us three times and you're getting booed more than anyone else in the league.
Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Bautista
Jose Bautista has put up ridiculous power numbers in the last two seasons. Power numbers Oakland wants nothing to do with if they're against us.
There's not too many players to fear on the Blue Jays, but the one guy they do have is just plain scary when he's at the plate.
Washington Nationals: Gio Gonzalez
Gio Gonzalez was Oakland's version of former-Giant Jonathan Sanchez.
Tucked behind starters Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, Sanchez held his own. He had his ups and downs but his ups were really high. Then they got too high and Sanchez was traded.
Gio Gonzalez was filling out the third spot in the rotation, well behind Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill (and Dallas Braden when he wasn't injured). He too held his own, riding the ups and downs.
Then, when his value was highest, Oakland traded him to the Nationals.
Fans were sad to see him go. Gonzalez doesn't look right in any other uniform besides the green and gold.
Oakland Athletics: Manny Ramirez
It just isn't right seeing Manny Ramirez in an Oakland Athletics uniform. The guy crushed Oakland throughout his career. Now he's finally on our side, but he's washed up.
Not convinced Manny Ramirez in an A's uniform is a terrible sight?
Check out my six reasons to hate it.