MLB's Stupidest Excuses in History
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but it’s also America’s home for some of the dumbest excuses in sports of all time.
It makes you wonder if these players have any common sense. Do they really think that they can get away with some of this stuff? Most of the time, they’re serious allegations that have extreme consequences.
It makes sense to try and save yourself and rid of the potential fine or suspension, but some excuses are so ridiculous that the player almost deserves a steeper penalty.
Here are some of the stupidest excuses in baseball history.
Know of any more dumb excuses? Leave them in the comments section!
Joe Niekro Nail File
Joe Niekro is most known for his success throwing the knuckleball over a 22-year career, but he’s also know for getting caught with one of the most obscure of objects on the mound.
Niekro was suspended for 10 games during the 1985 season for getting caught with a nail file in his pocket, as seen in the video to the left. Niekro apparently said that he was filing his nails in the dugout.
If you think about it, it almost makes sense. Knuckleball pitchers are known for being very specific about the length of their nails. Niekro couldn’t have thought that it was realistic to have a nail file in the dugout or especially out on the mound, though.
Cole Hamels Hits Bryce Harper
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Sometimes the stupidest excuse is no excuse at all, just blatantly telling the truth like Cole Hamels did. Everyone now knows who Bryce Harper is, but before he had incredible numbers in the majors, Hamels welcomed him to the big leagues in relatively normal fashion, plunking him.
According to NBC Sports, Hamels purposely hit Harper in the first inning of a matchup between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies in early May.
I was trying to hit him. I’m not going to deny it. It’s something I grew up watching. That’s what happened. I’m just trying to continue the old baseball. Some people get away from it. I remember when I was a rookie, the strike zone was really, really small and you didn’t say anything. That’s the way baseball is. Sometimes the league is protecting certain players. It’s that old-school prestigious way of baseball.
Uh, ok Cole, whatever you say. That plunking did get Hamels suspended. How about you just throw strikes next time you face a big-name rookie, okay Cole?
Sammy Sosa Gets Corked
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Remember that time when you were trying to show off to all of the kids that came to watch batting practice, so you took a corked bat and slugged some really deep flies? Sammy Sosa certainly does.
Back in 2003, Sosa “mistakenly” took a corked bat to the plate, thinking that it was just a normal bat. The bat would shatter and everyone was able to see that the bat didn’t have maple, ash or any type of wood in the center. Instead, everyone saw that it was indeed corked. Sosa was ejected and later suspended.
After Sosa was caught, Sports Illustrated brought up the biggest question of them all: How many home runs did Sosa hit with a corked bat and no one ever realized? Maybe he never hit a home run with one and that was the only time he ever used that kind of bat, but maybe he hit a ton of them with it.
We’ll never know, but we’ll always remember how dumb Sosa looked that day his bat broke into a ton of pieces.
Manny Ramirez Needs Fertility Drugs
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Since when did Manny being Manny include taking women’s fertility drugs? Who would have thought that Manny was even smart enough to know that they would help his game?
Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games back in 2009, for having non-natural testosterone in his body and for testing positive for human chorionic gonadotropin.
“Recently, I saw a physician for a personal health issue,” said Manny via ESPN. “He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me.”
One, why didn’t he see a team doctor about the personal health issue? Two, clearly this was a steroid. Three, why didn’t this physician make sure that it wasn’t a banned substance?
Manny didn’t seem to learn from this initial suspension as he was later banned 100 games for testing positive again, further tarnishing his storied career.
Alex Rodriguez Can't Handle the Pressure
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There’s an old saying that says, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” In Alex Rodriguez’s case, the saying should go as follows, “If you can’t handle the pressure, don’t sign the contract.”
A-Rod signed an enormous deal to play for the Texas Rangers back in 2001, but didn’t think that he could handle the pressure of living up to it.
“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure,” said A-Rod via ESPN. “I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I need to perform, and perform at a high level every day. I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”
Well, guess what Alex? You probably cost yourself a chance at ever making the Hall of Fame after admitting that you knowingly took steroids. But if you couldn’t handle the pressure of signing a blockbuster contract, you never should have.