Los Angeles Dodgers: Ranking the 25 Most-Hated Opposing Players of All Time
One of the greatest things about the game of baseball is the rivalries it breeds.
In the spirit of competition, a disdain for one's opponent is a natural feeling.
Throughout the history of the Dodgers organization, the team has been faced with many of these rivalries, spawning a hatred for several players and coaches from opposing teams.
Rather than rank them from 1 to 25, I've decided to just list them in no particular order and allow Dodger fans to revel in their hatred of the following players.
That being said, do enjoy and please feel free to add in the comments any names I may neglect to list.
I've never liked Joe Morgan.
Not as a player, less as an analyst.
Dodger fans recall Morgan's short stint with the much-hated San Francisco Giants in 1981 and 1982, capped off by Morgan knocking the Dodgers out of the playoffs in 1982.
That year, the boys in blue were tied with the Giants, two games back of the Atlanta Braves in the pennant race and were set to face each other for the final three games of the season.
The Dodgers took the first two games of the series and closed in on the Braves, but Joe Morgan knocked a three-run home run in the eighth inning of Game 3 that would shut the door on the Dodgers' postseason hopes.
In March of 2003, Mike Piazza and Guillermo Mota gave us comedy gold.
After having a spat in spring training of 2002 in which Piazza was fined by MLB, this little rivalry was rekindled on March 12, 2003 when Mota was brought in to pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning of an otherwise dull Dodgers-Mets game.
Dull...until Mota hit Piazza in the back and Michael Buffer boomed through the speakers: "Let's get ready to rrrrrrumble!"
Piazza charged the mound, Mota reacted by throwing his glove at Piazza and then running for his life.
If you're a Dodger fan living in the Los Angeles area, you are born to hate Barry Bonds.
True, he was the face of the Giants, and it made both him and the organization so much easier to hate, but truth be told, he was only average playing the Dodgers. His career .263 batting average against the boys in blue isn't going to raise that many eyebrows.
His .435 OBP will, however.
If ever there was a situation where a player defined the term "overreaction," it was Juan Marichal in 1965, when he introduced Dodgers catcher John Roseboro to the business end of a Louisville Slugger...twice.
The assault left a two-inch gash on the head of Roseboro.
This naturally led to a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in Marichal being suspended for eight games and eventually sued by Roseboro for $110,000 in damages.
The most famous incident with David Cone came in May of 1988.
Mets pitcher Doc Gooden had drilled Dodger Alfredo Griffin. The Dodgers retaliated by plunking Howard Johnson.
The next day, the drama continued.
After managing to strike out Kirk Gibson, up came Pedro Guerrero. In his first two pitches, Cone went high and inside to Guerrero.
The third pitch of the at-bat was a curve ball that struck Guerrero off the shoulder and then the helmet. He took exception to the pitch and decided to throw his bat at Cone.
As if anyone needed more reason to dislike Cone...he DID become a Yankee.
One of the funniest baseball videos I've ever seen was Tommy Lasorda confronting the Philly Phanatic.
It happened in August of 1988 when the Phanatic was stomping a doll dressed up in a Dodgers uniform with "Lasorda" on the back.
Tommy took exception and did what every Dodger fan wanted to do—took Shrek out to the woodshed.
"I love the Dodgers, and it wasn't right for him to stomp on the doll with the uniform. There were a lot of kids there, and he's showing them violence. He didn't need to do that.''
Will Clark is one of the most beloved Giants of all time.
That, in and of itself, makes him one of the most hated by Dodger fans.
Clark was very much a Dodger killer in his career.
In 133 career games against the Dodgers, Clark posted a .311 batting average with an .870 OPS. Tack on 15 home runs and 71 RBI, and his all-time record against the blue looks like an MVP-caliber (shortened) season.
Buster Posey made his Major League debut on September 11, 2009.
That day, the Giants were playing the Dodgers.
Sure, the Dodgers have only faced Posey in 26 games, but the issue is that the kid is good...and he's a Giant.
His .287 batting average and 10 RBI against the Dodgers makes it a little easier to dislike him.
The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, the Giants have Tim Lincecum.
I love that.
Two bitter rivals with two true aces that can go toe-to-toe. If that isn't enough, Lincecum hosts a 5-4 record in 15 games against the Dodgers.
In that same amount of time, he's posted a 2.87 ERA and 1.246 WHIP.
There is only one team he's faced more than 10 times that he posts a lower ERA against—the San Diego Padres with a 1.96.
In other words, Lincecum brings it for Dodgers games.
Generally speaking I don't have any issues with Ryan Braun.
He seems like a good enough guy.
However, I don't believe he won his 2011 MVP cleanly. That being said, that nice piece of hardware should be displayed in Matt Kemp's living room right about now.
The Carson Crusher was another beloved Giant for 10 years of his career.
Williams was a pure hitter who hit for power and drove in runs—lots of them.
His four All-Star Game selections, three Gold Gloves, three Silver Slugger awards and just being a member of the Giants gave plenty of reason to dislike Williams.
Oh, and he was also the runner-up for the 1994 National League MVP.
Manny Ramirez is a terrible person.
He is a clubhouse cancer.
He gives up on his team.
He only cares about himself.
I can say all of these things being both a Dodger and Red Sox fan. I watched 11 years of his madness. Yes, he was capable of delivering some amazing hits and memories. That doesn't change the man's character.
Yes, I know the title of this article states "opposing" players, but didn't it feel like Manny was against the team the whole time anyway? Manny-wood wore off really quickly.
Willie Mays was arguably the greatest all-around baseball player of all time. (On a quick aside, I love the picture used here showcasing Mays and Kemp, who I believe to be the best all-around player today.)
He was also a Dodger killer.
His .309 batting average against the blue coupled with his 98 career home runs make him probably the biggest Dodger killer of all time.
Lest we forget his rookie season in 1951, when he lead the Giants from 13 games behind the Dodgers in the pennant race to overtake the lead and win the pennant.
1951...the shot heard 'round the world.
Lenny Dykstra had a way about him that just got under other players' skin.
Call it cockiness or swagger—either way, it was annoying.
Plus, I mean, he was a Philly.
In 1990, Dykstra went to fisticuffs with Dodgers catcher Rick Dempsey over Dykstra being a crybaby and accusing Dempsey of kissing up to the umpire (because Dykstra couldn't believe he was called out on strikes in his previous at-bat.)
This is one that perplexes me.
Dodger fans are angered by Victorino, but the Dodgers had control of him twice and had the opportunity to retain him in the 2005 Rule 5 draft, but declined.
Victorino, historically, is just "okay" against the Dodgers, with a .241 batting average against the team.
Gary Sheffield is an easy guy to hate if he isn't on your team.
When he was a member of the Padres in 1993, Sheffield charged the mound after being hit by a 3-1 fastball by Rick Trlicek.
Both players wrestled on the ground, Sheff getting a punch in to Trlicek's head.
It wasn't an earth-shattering moment by any means, but it gave Dodgers fans a reason to dislike Sheffield until 1998...and then again in 2002 and beyond.
I know he's not a player, but tell me this: did your blood pressure just spike?
Long before he became the funniest guy to follow on Twitter, Jose Canseco was a member of the Bash Brothers, the muscle-bound duo that anchored the Oakland A's offense in 1988.
It was easy to hate them, and, well, things haven't changed all that much.
While Canseco was quiet in the 1988 World Series against the Dodgers (just one hit...so what if it was a grand slam...) he still was a polarizing figure that fans everywhere can't stand.
Speaking of the Bash Brothers...
Mark McGwire is next on the list for the same reasons as Canseco, followed by his post-Oakland career in St. Louis, his home run spree aided by steroids, etc.
I'm not here to argue the steroid era, but it doesn't help Big Mac's case in the eyes of Dodger fans.
Long time Pittsburgh Pirate manager Jim Leyland had been known to ruffle a few feathers from time to time. Sure, he's mellowed out some in Detroit, but there was a time when he would get so worked up that he would physically fight a player.
That player was Dodgers pitcher Kevin Gross in 1993.
Gross had hit the Pirates' Kevin Young in the head with a pitch.
Leyland didn't like that, obviously, and began jawing at Gross from the dugout. Shortly thereafter, Pirates pitcher Bob Walk hit Gross in retaliation, and was booted from the game. Leyland got up to argue the call with the ump and wound up brawling with Gross.
Anyone whose nickname is "Big Ugly Cat" gets a nomination in hated ballplayers as far as I'm concerned.
Not to mention that Galarraga would eventually become a Giant.
Nevertheless, the dislike for him spawned from hilarity. In 1998, Dodgers pitcher Darren Dreifort managed to hit Galarraga twice in a week. The Big Ugly Cat didn't care for that very much and charged the mound.
The result was Dreifort ducking and wrapping himself around Galarraga's legs.
Kevin Mitchell was a beast for the Giants from 1987 through 1991.
His best season came in 1989, when he won the NL-MVP, was an All-Star and won a Silver Slugger award on the heels of a .291/.388/.635/1.023 batting season with 47 HR and 125 RBI.
Leading the league in seven offensive categories that season gave Dodger fans seven additional reasons to dislike the man.
Pujols signed a rich contract to be in LA...with the Angels.
Dodger fans would have loved to see Pujols playing first instead of James Loney, that's for sure.
Beloved Giant Willie McCovey spent 19 seasons in San Francisco.
It seemed like every year he was an All-Star or in consideration for the NL-MVP award. The fact of the matter is, he pretty much was.
McCovey was a six-time All-Star for the Giants, 1959 NL-Rookie of the Year, 1969 NL-MVP and was in consideration for the MVP award on eight other occasions.