Top 6 Pranksters in Major League Baseball
With a 162-game schedule in MLB, some days can be more trying than others.
Luckily, there are many players in baseball who like to keep the mood light and have fun.
From bubble gum on top of the cap to convincing a teammate they've been traded, certain players bring a smile to your face with their antics.
Here's a look at the top six pranksters in baseball.
6. Ryan Dempster
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Don't ever mess with Ryan Dempster.
Will Ohman will be the first to tell you that.
After gluing Dempster's zipper open on a day he was starting, while both were with the Chicago Cubs, Ohman thought he'd gotten the best of the veteran starter.
Dempster got his revenge, however, as Ohman describes (per ESPNChicago's Bruce Levine):
I thought I got him. The next day I am walking out to the bullpen before the game and the Brewers bullpen coach asked me to come into their pen. He said “does this belong to you?” right next to him was the front wheel from my sports car. Dempster also removed all four wheels and had me go on a search-and-seek mission to recover the other three.
Of the other three tires, one was found in the shower and another was found next to a toilet.
Ohman warns other players to not "mess with Ryan Dempster. He's the funniest man on Earth."
5. J.J. Putz
J.J. Putz was lucky he remained the Arizona Diamondbacks closer after a prank he pulled in 2011.
Azcentral.com explains the incident:
During a road trip in June, everyone on the team charter wore neckties bearing an image lifted from a 1980s deodorant commercial of a young Gibson soaking in a bathtub.
Imagine getting on the team charter and all of your players are wearing neckties with an image of you sitting in a bathtub. That's one that may be hard to live down.
4. Brett Myers
We've heard the stories before of players being traded when they least expect it.
Brett Myers is known to be a prankster, especially in his time with the Philadelphia Phillies.
However, Kyle Kendrick was the only one not in on one such joke. Myers conspired with multiple teammates and officials to convince Kendrick he had been traded to the Yomiuri Giants for Takeru Kobayashi, the famed hot-dog eater.
Unfortunately for Kendrick, he had no idea who Kobayashi was.
In on the prank was then-assistant GM Ruben Amaro Jr., manager Charlie Manuel, all of his Phillies teammates, the media and his own agent.
Kendrick breathed a huge sigh of relief when he found out it was just a prank.
3. Justin Verlander
The prank involved setting Kelly's shoe on fire. It took Kelly a few minutes to figure it out, making it all the more hilarious.
The prank was special within itself, but doing it on the day Blyleven was inducted made it that much more special.
2. Tim Hudson
Tim Hudson likes to have fun with his teammates.
One such prank was against Atlanta Braves bullpen coach Eddie Perez, in which Hudson hid in his closet to scare Perez when he came into the room.
What makes the prank even more hilarious is the fact that Hudson had a well-thought-out plan in which Perez was convinced he was being followed for a documentary detailing players' lives on the road.
1. Mike Scioscia
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Mike Scioscia has been playing pranks ever since he took over as manager of the Los Angeles Angels 13 years ago.
He once had Jered Weaver, an avid golfer, report back to him on every golf course within a 50-mile radius of the team's spring training complex.
Then there was John Lackey, who had to re-take a college algebra final he failed nine years earlier. Adding insult to the situation was the fact that two Arizona State professors hand-delivered the test to Lackey.
However, there is a method to Scioscia's madness, according to a story by Yahoo! Sports in 2011.
“We use the meeting time to humanize the game,” Scioscia said. “The clubhouse is veterans’ turf. We understand that Mike Trout seeing Torii Hunter or Garrett Richards seeing Jered Weaver can be intimidating. Everybody has fun together and young guys are forced to come out of their shell.”
Any way you look at it, Scioscia and the team have fun with it. In the end, that's what baseball is all about.