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The 10 Most Disgraceful Moments in MLB History

Josh BenjaminCorrespondent INovember 29, 2012

The 10 Most Disgraceful Moments in MLB History

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    Baseball has certainly had some fine moments throughout its history, but the bad memories will forever haunt the game and sting the fans hard.

    As much as we reminisce about the good days, we always find a way to still talk about the bad. Call us gluttons for punishment, but even baseball's worst moments carry a certain mystique about them.

    That isn't to say that they should be applauded by any means. These moments are a black mark on the integrity of the game, and the last thing that should happen is for the guilty parties to be honored for the shame they brought upon it.

    These moments rank among the worst for a reason, and thus should be spoken of as such.

    Granted, some of the worst times in baseball helped shape the game as it is today, but even the current generation has had to deal with some shenanigans that left their foul mark. From start to finish, you can't go through baseball history without finding moments that were just plain disgraceful.

Manny Ramirez's Second Suspension

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    Manny Ramirez once had a reputation as one of baseball's most dangerous power hitters. That changed in 2009 when he tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended 50 games.

    He returned and was effective for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but his skills diminished in the following seasons. He signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, but he hit .059 in just five games.

    It was at this time that Ramirez tested positive for a second time and was facing a 100-game suspension. Instead of facing it like a man and taking this punishment, he instead chose to retire.

    Ramirez would end up attempting a comeback in 2012, but his actions in 2011 were appalling. As a veteran, he should have set a better example.

Rafael Palmeiro Tests Positive

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    "I have never used steroids. Period."

    Those words rang loud and clear when Palmeiro addressed the United States Congress in 2005, and fans applauded him when he got his 3,000th hit on July 15 of that same season. Just over two weeks later, the house came falling down.

    Palmeiro, who at that point had become one of the few members of the 3,000 hit and 500 home-run club, tested positive for steroids and was suspended for 10 games, per the rules of the time. He would return and finish out the season with the Baltimore Orioles but has not played since.

    The man continues to deny ever using any form of PEDs, but the test says otherwise. After seeing such a vehement denial from him, it was sad to see him turn out to be cheating.

Frank McCourt's Exit from the Dodgers

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    Frank McCourt purchased the Dodgers in 2004, and the team performed fairly well during his tenure as owner.

    However, he and his then-wife Jamie chose to divorce in 2009, and that's when things got ugly. The fight had one argument: who would keep the team?

    A settlement was reached in which Frank would likely keep the Dodgers, but it hinged upon a TV deal that needed to be approved by MLB. Unfortunately, the deal was not approved, and the team was forced to file for bankruptcy.

    After months of legal battles, McCourt sold the team to an ownership group headed by former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson for $2 billion.

    His final years with the team weren't the most disgraceful in baseball history, but the bitter divorce battle becoming so public and thus spilling onto the field, plus just how McCourt's tenure fell apart, has a horrible black mark on it.

Pittsburgh Drug Trials

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    Cocaine was the drug of choice in the 1980s, and it naturally found its way into the hard-partying lifestyle of professional athletes. This unfortunately included the baseball diamond.

    The city of Pittsburgh was a mecca of drug activity, and many players on the Pirates were involved in the sale and distribution of cocaine. Players like Dave Parker, Lee Lacy and Dale Berra were some notable names among those called to a grand jury, and guys like Tim Raines and Keith Hernandez also testified.

    Seven players were ultimately suspended for a full season, though they were allowed to play if they donated a portion of their salary to anti-drug causes.

    Wow. And we thought the steroid era was bad!

Miami Marlins Fire Sale 2012

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    It's becoming more and more clear that Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria doesn't care about fielding a winning team. He got the citizens of Miami to pay for a new stadium and traded away all of the high-cost stars the team signed last season and then some after finishing last in the NL East.

    Once again, the Marlins are at the bottom of the barrel and will field a team that consists mostly of unknowns.

    This goes against everything baseball stands for. The point is to put together a team that can win and be successful, not just take the luxury-tax money and use it for personal gain.

    It's time for commissioner Bud Selig to make Loria step down and install an owner who actually cares.

Barry Bonds' Trial

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    Controversy always seems to follow Barry Bonds around. In 2003, when the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (aka BALCO) was being investigated by the government, the power-hitting outfielder testified before the grand jury and stated that he did not use the company or any other to try and accumulate steroids, nor did he actually use steroids.

    Bonds was later found to be lying and was charged with both perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007. His trial began in 2011, and he was convicted on the latter charge. Sentencing has yet to happen.

    This put a cap on one of the worst moments of baseball's steroid era. Not only was Bonds a shameless PED user, but he never came forward and admitted it. On top of that, according to some, he was a Grade-A jerk.

    He was fun to watch in his prime, but baseball is easily better off without Bonds.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis Prevents Integration

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    Though he denied it, MLB's first commissioner made a great effort to keep baseball from being integrated. The most notable instance of his segregationist attitude occurred in 1942, when famed Cleveland Browns and later Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck wanted to buy the Philadelphia Phillies.

    The plan was to fill the roster with Negro League stars, but Landis supposedly intervened. The sale was blocked, and baseball remained a separate entity from the Negro Leagues.

    Landis passed away in 1944, and three years later, Jackie Robinson made his debut, setting the tone for the game's history up until today.

Pete Rose Bets on Baseball

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    Pete Rose is easily the best contact hitter in baseball history. He is the all-time leader in hits with 4,256, and he played in 17 All-Star games.

    The crazy part is that Rose is not enshrined in the Hall of Fame.

    Why, you may ask? Well, in 1989, Rose was discovered to have been gambling, specifically betting on baseball games. The worst part of it was that he was rumored to bet against the Cincinnati Reds, whom he was managing at the time.

    Bart Giamatti was the commissioner at the time, and his ensuing investigation resulted in Rose agreeing to be put on baseball's permanent ineligibility list. Rose cannot make the Hall of Fame or participate in baseball activities with any MLB team, and his number cannot even be retired.

    As one of the game's best players, this is nothing but a disgraceful waste.

Marge Schott's Racism

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    I simply don't know where to begin with Marge Schott. The former Cincinnati Reds owner is one of the most controversial figures in baseball history—and not in the good way.

    From using racial slurs to describe some of her players to making homophobic remarks about piercings to pretty much praising Nazis, the fact that she was allowed to get away with publicly speaking such horrible and ignorant opinions is borderline terrifying, especially the now-public nature of owning a baseball team.

    Fortunately, while facing suspension for her remarks, Schott sold her majority share of the Reds in 1999. The black mark she left on the game may have disappeared then, but Reds fans will never forget about her and the things she said.

The Black Sox Scandal

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    Ask people about the worst moment in baseball history, and their thought will immediately go to the Black Sox Scandal.

    The year was 1919, and a number of players on the Chicago White Sox were angry at the cheap nature of team owner Charles Comiskey.

    Thus, with the help of local gangster Arnold Rothstein, eight players agreed to throw the World Series as a way of getting back at the owner. Those eight were first baseman Chick Gandil, third baseman Buck Weaver, outfielders Happy Felsch and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, shortstop Swede Risberg, pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams and infielder Fred McMullin.

    Sure enough, though Weaver and Jackson hit .324 and .375 in the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds, the team underperformed and lost eight games, as the World Series was a best-of-nine format back then.

    An investigation followed the next season, and all eight players were brought to trial. They were acquitted, but newly appointed commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis wanted to make an example of the eight. He banned them all for life, and to this day, despite being one of the best players of his generation, Jackson is not in the Hall of Fame.

    The circumstances surrounding the scandal were shady, as Comiskey was well-known for being cheap, but that's no excuse for compromising the integrity of the game.

    Out of all of baseball's awful moments, this is easily the worst.

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