Pulitzer Prize winning writer John Steinbeck once said:
"It has always seemed strange to me... the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second."
In baseball, as in life, there exists many different egos. Some grand, while others are modest. There are several players in Major League Baseball who have massive egos. In other news, the sky is blue.
One's ego is the true measure one's self esteem or self worth. Here is a look at 15 of the biggest egos in all of baseball.
The problem for Justin Upton is that he hasn't met the fans expectations on a regular basis.
That, and well, as he told reporters back in July after an 8-6 Arizona Diamondback loss to the San Diego Padres:
"To be honest with you, I don't care anything what the fans think of me," Upton said. "My teammates, my coaches, they know I come here and I bust it every single day. I try to do everything I can to help this team. My teammates have my back and whatever the fans want to think, they can think. They can call me lazy. I have heard that in the outfield. They can call me washed up. Whatever they want to call me but at the end of the day I am thankful for every opportunity to come out on a baseball field and I will try my hardest every day."
Alienating yourself from the fans makes it a big hard to be liked. One thing Upton must learn is that perception for some is reality.
Making a statement like this can give off the wrong impression. It gives way to harsher criticism and, plausibly unwarranted labels such as egomaniac, etc.
He makes a lot of money, doesn't live up to expectations and openly admits that he does not care what fans think; that seems like a losing equation in my book.
Wait a minute; David Ortiz? The lovable, affable slugger for the Boston Red Sox has one of the biggest egos in baseball?
You bet he does.
Over the past two seasons Ortiz has always said the right thing in print and on television. Long before calling his former manager Bobby Valentine crazy, he had publicly backed Valentine in an effort to boost the team morale.
However, through it all he had consistently complained about his contract issues. Ortiz made it known that he was humiliated and embarrassed by his arbitration with the Red Sox heading into the 2012 season.
Keep in mind, Ortiz wound up signing the one-year deal for $14,575,000; the richest contract any DH had ever signed with any team.
The complaining continued into the season and beyond with Ortiz expressing his desire for a two-year contract.
While the contract issue may be one of the more recent issues with Big Papi, probably one of the more glaring offenses came during the 2011 season when Ortiz interrupted a Terry Francona (former Sox manager) press conference.
Ortiz was angry that an RBI was taken away from him, or so he thought, and decided to barge in on the press conference to air his dissatisfaction to Francona.
At the end of the day Ortiz learned that it was a prank being pulled on him by his teammate, Dustin Pedroia, however, it gave the world a different view of Big Papi.
You can call it swagger if you'd like, but there is no denying that Dustin Pedroia has a massive ego.
One of his most revered quotes given to the media came in 2010 when asked about a slumping David Ortiz. Pedroia went on to explain that a couple years prior he was slumping, hitting .170 and the media was ready to kill him. Then what happened?
Laser show, as he put it.
Of course, there was also the infamous "Go ask Jeff (expletive) Francis who I am!" quote from the 2007 World Series.
He may be short in stature, but he's big in ego.
There is just something about A.J. Pierzynski that rubs people the wrong way.
He is consistently considered to be one of the most hated players in Major League Baseball, both among his peers and outsiders.
One of the anonymous voters had this to say about A.J.:
“He likes to talk a lot of sh**, and I’ve heard he’s a bad teammate,” one National League pitcher tells Men’s Journal. “He’s been a prick to guys on his own pitching staff. Basically, if you haven’t got five years in the big leagues, he treats you like you’re a peasant. He’s that kind of guy.”
That's not what I would classify as a glowing endorsement, but it does reflect the perception of the mans ego, to say the least.
Bronson Arroyo has done many questionable things in his career.
He's worn his hair in ill-advised corn rows that must have inspired actor Danny McBride, who portrays Kenny Powers in HBO's baseball comedy Eastbound and Down to do the same in the show's second season.
Arroyo has also rolled the dice with MLB drug testing.
In a 2009 article published in USA Today, Arroyo openly admitted that he takes multiple supplements daily that are not approved by Major League Baseball. Arroyo told Bob Nightengale of USA Today the following in that piece:
"I have a lot of guys in (the locker room) who think I'm out of (my) mind because I'm taking a lot of things not on the (MLB-approved) list," Arroyo says. "I take 10 to 12 different things a day, and on the days I pitch, there's four more things. There's a caffeine drink I take from a company that (former teammate) Curt Schilling introduced me to in '05. I take some Korean ginseng and a few other proteins out there that are not certified. But I haven't failed any tests, so I figured I'm good."
Much like Justin Upton, Hanley Ramirez falls into the category of an underperforming superstar that more closely resembles a falling star.
Or so that was the case in Miami before he was traded to the Dodgers this past season.
In an article written by Greg Cote of the Miami Herald shortly following the Ramirez trade, Cote outlines the sentiments of Marlins fans in a succinct, blunt, but honest way.
Ramirez, for all his talent, was a player of diminishing production over the past few years, ultimately not up to the role of being the focal point around which a team could be built. He had eroded from a budding superstar to a falling star. He was too often selfish and temperamental — his attitude well-reflected recently when he sliced his hand on the blade of a dugout fan he punched in anger, then suffered an infection because he failed to take his antibiotics.
Good riddance. If that’s harsh, so be it. If he was the face of this franchise, that face too often was dour.
Where does one begin with Josh Beckett?
He's arrogant, brash and perceived as lazy by the Fenway Faithful. The disdain for the one time Red Sox ace (and, lets not forget cornerstone to the 2007 World Series hardware) grew to such a point that after getting hammered early in a game in May, the fans booed him off the field.
This of course coming after the collapse surrounding the 2011 Red Sox and his implied role in the now infamous chicken and beer fiasco.
He went from being a World Series hero to a hated villain in Boston. Odds are, if you were to ask him, he'd say he didn't give a (expletive.)
See what I did right there? I just wrote the mans name and it likely raised your blood pressure. Known for being baseballs prima donna, This all started pre-Madonna!
In 2010 the New York Post ran an article on Rodriguez by Ben Shpigel entitled, "The Man Baseball Loves to Hate."
According to some of his peers, Alex Rodriguez is a hypocrite and a “prima donna.” He is not the “Yankee type,” either, and he has “monopolized all the attention” since arriving in the Bronx in 2004. Others have described his on-field conduct as “bush league,” “a little cheap,” an “unsportsmanlike act of cheating” and more typical of “junior high school baseball.” Tough crowd.
The idea that A-Rod is MLB's most hated player was once again perpetuated this season when he finished second overall in the Mens Journal player poll of 100 MLB players.
Steroids, scandals and utter disdain of pretty much everybody in baseball.
Nick Swisher is loud and perceived as fun loving.
Not all ego's are considered bad.
Yet, like his former Yankee teammate, Alex Rodriguez, Swisher finished third overall in the Men's Journal player poll which interviewed 100 active MLB players to see which players are the most hated, etc.
According to the poll:
“Everything about (Swisher) is annoying, from his mannerisms to his always wanting to ‘bro’ it down,” an unnamed American League veteran told the magazine. “Being around him is just exhausting.”
Does the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, Bryce Harper, have a huge ego?
That's a clown question, bro.
The kid has been donned a phenom since he was able to pick up a baseball bat. He talks a big game and has proven that he can walk a big game as well.
In a piece written by Jason Reid of the Washington Post, Reid spoke with Nationals General Manager, Mike Rizzo regarding Harper prior to his early season call-up.
He is only making things harder for himself and the Nationals, “and we’re not glossingover it,” General Manager Mike Rizzo said Monday. “We’re not just saying that he’s a 19-year-old kid and that he’s making typical 19-year-old mistakes. He’s a different case. He’s a special-case scenario. This guy is in the public eye. . . . When this guy tweets it out, or says something, it can go viral. There’s a difference here. We recognize it.”
The Rizzo comments came after seeing Harper pull such antics as blowing a kiss to an opposing pitcher after belting a home run.
The former San Francisco Giant and current Toronto Blue Jays outfielder, Melky Cabrera might take the cake when it comes to ego.
As you recall, Cabrera managed to fail a drug test this August and received a 50 game suspension as a result.
He would go on to apologize publicly, stating:
"My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said in a statement released by the union. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization and to the fans for letting them down."
The apology sounds all fine and well, but here is where the ego really comes into play. He had tried to create a fake website for the product he tested positive for using.
Didn't he learn anything from Stephen Glass?
Almost one year ago to the date, Ryan Braun tested positive for PED use. He was set to be suspended for 50 games before appealing.
Roughly two months later that suspension was overturned.
Why am I listing Braun as an ego guy you may be wondering? There is evidence enough to suggest that Ryan Braun could have used PED's.
I am not saying that he did.
What I am saying is that IF he in fact did use them and managed to get off unscathed, that takes some serious ego.
While most of, if not all doubt can be erased after his MVP-caliber 2012 season.
Okay, so Manny Ramirez isn't technically a member of Major League Baseball any longer.
Have no fear, this list is titled to encapsulate a broad range of egomaniacs, including Mr. Ramirez.
Once a feared cog in the middle of the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox lineups, Man-Ram has found himself a joke of his former self.
Ramirez, while still trying to make his way back to the Majors in some way, tested positive for testosterone just recently, making that the 658th time he's failed a drug test.
Okay, okay - that's slightly exaggerated.
However, just when you think the Manny Ramirez story has all been told, another silly chapter pops up because the man can't seem to stay away.
Derek Jeter, the prince of New York, has long been viewed as egotistical by those living outside of the five Burroughs.
Do yourself a favor, bring up your favorite search engine and type in the following keywords: "Derek Jeter Ego" and you'll find pages upon pages of results.
The Yankee captain has been a mainstay at short for the Bronx Bombers for 18 years, but heavy is the head that wears the crown.
Ahhh Jose Canseco. Rather than boring you with a litany of reasons why Mr. Canseco is on this list, I figure it to be much more entertaining to post some of his recent Tweets.
You be the judge.
All you clowns talk about is the ball hit of my head. U don't realize how great technique I had gliding to the ball.
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) November 30, 2012
He could be a great coach, right?
What's more likely? World ending soon or me getting one of those MLB hitting coach jobs. Now that every team is employing 20 a season.
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) November 30, 2012
The man IS a freak of nature.
People don't understand I'm a freak of nature. They just see my age. But I want to give back and teach to younger generation
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) November 29, 2012
If this one doesn't say it all...
My life is like a box of chocolates. Sweet delicious and too much is bad for u for u but u still want more
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) November 27, 2012