Running your mouth, egging on the competition, or just being a flat out jerk are just some of the aspects of baseball we tend to forget. And while being the casual knucklehead trash talker is to be expected, some players are known for taking things too far.
I tried to gather 10 of the biggest trash talkers and/or agitators currently in the game. Some of these players are worse than others, while some of them are just your average jabber-jawer. So let’s take a look at who I found, and be sure to drop a note at the bottom with anyone who you feel should’ve made this list.
Beltran has always been that guy who makes trash-talking cool. Between enlightening predictions such as the 2008 phrase: “This year, tell Jimmy WE’RE the team to beat,” and basic jawing at the plate with the opposition’s catcher, Beltran envelopes a side of trash talking that, believe it or not, is pretty essential to any sport.
Snider is a borderline problem child in most people’s eyes, but to be honest, it’s his holier-than-thou attitude that gives him a swagger that usually sends his mouth running. He tends to view himself as being better than he is, and it translates when he is not only on base, but sometimes, in the dugout.
Myers has a laundry list not even Tide can clean, and it all starts with his mouth. Being a very outspoken person—with a bit of possible anger issues—Myers has been known to get into it with teammates, the opposition, catchers, and even his coaching staff. I don’t believe it’s because the guy is a jerk, just that he’s sort of a fireball.
Where should I begin? Manny is Manny, and he is considered one of the biggest proponents of smack around. He has claimed himself "one of the best hitters in the history of baseball," and he has a long trail of mouthy comments to players, reporters, and his coaching staff to name a few. In addition to the aforementioned, it should be noted that he is the king of goofy antics, and other outrageous acts…but that’s for another slideshow.
From the goofy and lighthearted, we move to the more intense and severe trash-talkers and agitators. Padilla definitely fits that bill of severe, and has been known to use the baseball to speak for him rather than his mouth at times. His penchant for violence, anger, and displaced opinions, has followed him around for several years now.
Pierzynski has one of the most active mouths in the league, is one of the most opinionated players in the AL, and makes it known—some even believe he trash talks to himself…well not really but still. Pierzynski’s career has been surrounded with trash-talk to not only the opposition, but he’s even been known to mouth off to the fans once and a while.
Were you wondering when A-Rod’s name was going to be mentioned? This is a guy, who is full of himself, not very bright, and not only trash-talks at every moment he gets, but also has a short history of doing little things to get under the opposition's skin.
The most recent act, of course, was A-Rod stepping all over baseball tradition, by running over Dallas Braden’s mound just after A-Rod and the Yanks turned a triple play.
To show just how long he’s been a mouthy agitating guy, here’s what he had to say about Derek Jeter in an April-2001 issue of Esquire:
“Jeter's been blessed with great talent around him. He's never had to lead. He can just go and play and have fun. And he hits second—that's totally different than third and fourth in a lineup. You go into New York, you wanna stop Bernie and O'Neill. You never say, 'Don't let Derek beat you. He's never your concern.”
Unless you are new to the sport of baseball, or have been living under a rock, you are all too familiar with Big Z and his trash-talking ways. Zambrano is mouthier than he is an agitator, but he has been known to entertain both avenues for fans worldwide. He has been known to “hold the mound” to try and get under the batter’s skin, and of course his many fiascos with umpires, and the coaching staff, cannot be forgotten. The all-time best was seeing Big Z get tossed by the ump, only for him to turn around and “toss the umpire” himself.
Beckett comes off as a very mild mannered player with a level head and a quiet voice, but it’s his ability to— very subtly might I add—mix in his trash talking with the little agitating things he can do as a pitcher on the field, and a player in the media that makes him an interesting number two. His biggest incident was his six-game suspension last year after he and Bobby Abreu got into it, only to mention the passing of Nick Adenhart in the interview in a way that the Angles didn’t like too much. I don’t think he did it intentionally, but it is what it is.
Arguments with the fans, alienation in the clubhouse, blaming teammates for his terrible play, arguing at least 40 percent of his called strikes with the umpires, off-field issues, a media darling, and a mouthy base runner who talks more than a six year old hopped up on coffee, Bradley should come as no surprise to be atop a list like this. I wonder what things would be like if Bryce Harper, America’s most hated prospect, managed to actually get signed one day one the same team as Bradley.
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