Francisco Rodriguez and The 10 Worst Mental Breakdowns in MLB History (Video)
Less than a month ago, Francisco Rodriguez injured his right thumb in an altercation with his girlfriend's father at Citi Filed in New York. The injury will keep him out for the remainder of the season, costing both he and the Mets over the next couple of months.
Unfortunately, this is not the first such incident for Rodriguez. It's certainly not the first such incident among baseball players. For whatever reason—likely the pressure they are under as professional athletes—we've seen player after player snap. And, given their high profile, every incident is a big incident.
In honor of KRod, we count down the ten worst mental breakdowns in baseball history.
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We could make a whole list of Ty Cobb's transgressions on and off the field. Cobb had a bad temper and when he went off, things got ugly.
One particular incident stands out though. On May 12th, 1912, during a game between Detroit and New York, Cobb climbed into the stands after being heckled incessantly be a crippled man, Claude Lueker, throughout the game. The crowd was appalled when Cobb attacked the man, telling him to stop because Lueker had no hands. Cobb's response?
"I don't care if he got no feet!"
Despite never managing a Major League game, Phil Wellman's complete meltdown in early June of 2007 is perhaps the most noteworthy ejection of the last several decades.
One June 1st, 2007, Wellman's, manager of the Mississippi Braves, was ejected after arguing with umpires over the removal of one of his pitchers. To put it mildly, Wellman went nuts.
The incident cannot be described. If you haven't seen it, or even if you have, watch the video above.
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Frank Francisco is now known to most baseball fans as the guy who lost his job to Neftali Feliz. However, until recently, he was known among the baseball world for one ugly incident in 2004.
On September 13th, 2004, Francisco and the Rangers were in Oakland to take on the Athletics. Oakland fans had heckled the Rangers bullpen throughout the game. When A's fan Craig Bueno heckled Rangers reliever Dough Brocail about his stillborn child, Francisco threw a chair into the stands, injuring Bueno's wife.
Francisco was arrested, and forced to attend anger management classes.
Royals Hall-of-Famer George Brett collected over 3,000 hits in his career, perhaps none more famous than the "pine-tar homerun" he hit in a 1983 contest against the New York Yankees.
With the Yankees ahead a run in the top of the ninth inning, Brett came to the plate with a runner on first base and homered to give the Royals a one run lead. When Billy Martin complained about the level of pine-tar on Brett's bat, the umpires called Brett out and the Yankees won the game.
Brett's was furious and had to be restrained by several teammates. Although ruling was overturned, and the final inning of the game replayed, the incident remains among the most famous meltdowns in the history of the game.
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Jose Offerman played for 15 seasons in Major League Baseball, but is maybe best known by today's fans for an incident that occurred in the Minor Leagues.
On August 14th, 2007, Offerman, who Willie Randolph described as a "calm, mild-mannered guy," was hit by a pitch in an independent league game. Offerman charged the mound with his bat, injuring the pitcher and catcher in the process and landing himself in jail.
Offerman has yet to play or manage in the United States since. He was also banned for life from the Dominican Winter League after assaulting an umpire earlier this year.
This list could very well be named after Earl Weaver. One of baseball's greatest managers, Weaver had a temper.
While there are no doubt countless examples of crazy tirades courtesy of Earl Weaver, one remains readily available online. And it's a good one.
When one of Weaver's players gets into a disagreement with an umpire, Weaver darts out of the dugout and begins to throw insult after insult in the umpire's direction.
Warning...the above video is extremely profane.
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40-year-old Kenny Rogers was having one of the better seasons of his career in 2005. But on June 30th, Rogers season was overshadowed by an altercation with two cameramen.
When Rogers was approached by two cameramen on the field before a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rogers snapped, throwing a camera to the ground and shoving one of the cameraman, landing him in the hospital.
Rogers was arrested and suspended 20 games. He still took the mound on July 12th for the American League in the 76th annual All-Star game.
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Shawn Chacon gained recognition six years ago when he saved 35 games despite an ERA over 7.00. Despite the poor ERA, Chacno had some success as a Major League pitcher. His career came to the end however in 2008.
On June 25th, 2008, Chacon was called into the office of GM Ed Wade. According to Chacon, Wade raised his voiced, yelling at Chacon, before the Astros pitcher grabbed Wade by the throat and threw him to the ground.
Chacon was released a day latter. He hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since.
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Carlos Zambrano is another player who could appear on this list many, many times. But the most notorious of all Zambrano's incidents occurred in 2007.
On June 1st of that year, Michael Barrett allowed a passed ball, then made a throwing error with Zambrano on the mound.
Zambrano obviously did not appreciate the poor defensive play. The two got into an argument in the dugout, eventually escalating into a physical altercation.