Josh Hamilton and the 10 Biggest Egos in Texas Rangers History
Baseball has had some characters over the years. Since the inception of the game, some players have been completely obsessed with themselves.
Babe Ruth called home run shots before he hit them and Rickey Henderson referred to himself in the third person. Pete Rose gambled on baseball and then denied it for 15 years because of how badly his legacy would be ruined.
The Texas Rangers have also produced and fostered such personalities—from the playing field all the way up to the front office. From home run hitters to know-it-all owners and managers, the Rangers have been dominated by big egos for years.
Here's a look at the top 10 biggest egos in the history of the franchise.
10. Josh Hamilton
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When you think of egotistical athletes, Josh Hamilton is not the first name that comes to mind. He is more known for the incredible transformation from drug abuser to All-Star, but behind nearly every athlete there is that sense of self-importance.
Let me go ahead and state that I don't think Hamilton is anywhere near as egocentric as the other names on this list, but the warning signs are there.
After the slide into home plate that left the star with a broken arm, Hamilton bashed third base coach Dave Anderson for his decision to send him saying that it was a "stupid play." Hamilton later apologized to Anderson for his remarks, but the damage was done.
Hamilton gained fame from his historic round in the home run derby in which he hit 28 home runs—and has not returned to the derby since. When asked if he would compete again, Hamilton declined saying, "Let Bautista hit 29, and maybe I'll come back and do it."
I think Hamilton is far from being the biggest ego in Rangers history, but the warning signs are indeed there for the future.
9. Bobby Valentine
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There's no denying the baseball knowledge that is possessed by Bobby Valentine. The guy knows his stuff. But when you clash with owners and general managers on two continents, you start to get a reputation.
Mitch Williams said, "If ownership wants a guy they can put their thumb on and control what they do, Bobby's not one of those guys."
The New York Mets found that out when he and general manager Steve Phillips had a falling out, which led to Valentine's firing in 2002. Before landing the job in New York he was also fired as the manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines—again after clashing with the general manager.
While Valentine did not get his reputation in Texas, he did get his start there.
8. Vicente Padilla
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Vicente Padilla is one of those guys who has a big ego, but you can't figure out where it came from. The majority of the people on this list have a big ego and can back it up with their play on the field, but this is not the case with Padilla.
Padilla consistently put his own agenda ahead of the teams, which was most noticeable when he threw at Mark Teixeira twice in one game in 2009. He was released by the team shortly after the Teixeira incident.
Ian Kinsler went out of his way to congratulate GM Jon Daniels on the release of Padilla. You know something is wrong with you when your teammates are sending congratulatory messages to the GM when you're given the ax.
7. Sammy Sosa
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The only reason Slammin' Sammy wasn't higher on this list is because he spent the majority of his career as a Cub.
Sosa is most known for the epic home run chase with Mark McGwire in the summer of 1998, when the two shattered the record books.
Of course now he is pretty well known for holding lingering looks at massive home runs, corking bats and steroid allegations. The little hop that he does when he hits a home run screams egomaniac. Then when he gets back to the dugout he finds the camera to do his "finger kiss thing."
My main beef with Sosa is that he did not know when to call it quits. I understand that he wanted to hit 600 home runs, but when all you're doing for a team is trying to hit this monumental home run for yourself there is a problem.
There is also the denial of using steroids to make himself look better. No one in baseball was surprised when a positive test surfaced in 2003.
6. Rafael Palmeiro
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I equate anyone who has tested positive for steroids as being a little egocentric. They think they are better than the stats indicate, so they juice to make their stats match up to their own perceptions of themselves. When caught, the players that confess are eventually forgiven and forgotten about like Andy Pettite and Jason Giambi.
Then there are the Rafael Palmeiro types. Palmeiro still adamantly denies taking steroids although he tested positive in 2005. How highly do you think of yourself that you can deny a positive test? I can understand never testing positive and denying, but actual evidence?
A once sure Hall of Famer, Palmeiro now has allowed this steroid cloud to envelop his great career—all because he would not admit that he cheated.
5. Juan Gonzalez
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Juan Gonzalez was the face of the franchise in the 90's. He was known for his home run prowess and his chase of Hack Wilson's single season RBI total. In 2000 the Rangers traded the two-time MVP to Detroit for a haul of players, which included Francisco Cordero.
In Detroit, Gonzalez' ego was on full display. The Tigers wanted to lock Gonzalez up for eight years to the tune of $140 million, but Gonzalez nixed the deal saying that the walls were too far back at Comerica Park. That would have been the largest contract in all of baseball at the time of the deal.
How do you turn down the largest contract in all of baseball just because the fences are too far back?
Since turning down the contract, Gonzalez has been riddled with injuries, and made around $45 million over five more seasons for three different teams.
4. Milton Bradley
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Milton Bradley is known for the trouble he causes everywhere he goes. Despite having one of his best seasons, he also lived up to his reputation of being an egomaniac in Texas.
During the stretch run of 2008, Bradley admitted that he sat out of games to protect his stats, so that he could gain a better contract in the offseason. The Rangers went out of their way to take a chance on the troubled Bradley and he took advantage of that.
Bradley also could not handle criticism. He once tried to confront Kansas City reporter Ryan Lefebvre afters comments that he made about Bradley on air. Bradley was held back by GM Jon Daniels and Ron Washington from reaching Lefebvre.
While Bradley did have a great year for the Rangers, there is no doubt that the team is better off without the big-headed ball player.
3. Tom Hicks
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Owner Tom Hicks once thought he could buy the Rangers a championship, but it turns out all he could do is lead them straight to bankruptcy.
Hicks bought the team from George W. Bush in 1998 for $250 million, and in 2000 spent $252 million on Alex Rodriguez. Hicks was never scared to shell out money, even for players that didn't play for him—like Rodriguez when he was traded to the Yankees.
Hicks, an investor above all else, wanted to put fans in the seats to make him money, and he thought the best way to do that was to bring in very expensive talent. Year after year money was allocated to one or two big deals instead of developing young talent.
So when large contracts did not translate to wins, finances got tight and Hicks' sports group defaulted on $525 million in loans in 2009. Hicks went as far as to say that he intentionally defaulted to help negotiate with the banks. The Rangers were even forced to borrow money from MLB when they did not have enough money to fully function.
Hicks had known success in everything he had done prior to this, which gave him confidence that it would all work out—but when it came time to pay the bills Hicks had to sell the team. However, it took so long to finish the sale that it financially strapped the Rangers, who now have to get creative in acquiring new talent.
2. Alex Rodriguez
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What? You mean someone has a bigger ego than A-Rod? Yes, and we'll get to that shortly.
How big is Alex Rodriguez' ego? He has two paintings of himself depicted as a centaur hanging above his bed. Need I say more?
Rodriguez is the same guy who went on 60 Minutes to tell the world he had never used steroids. But then, when the reports proved otherwise, he cowered out a confession. It's one thing to admit you used steroids, it's another thing entirely to do so after telling the world you did not use steroids. Who cares that you confess after everyone knows that you looked them in the eyes and lied?
Oh, and he opted out of his multi-million dollar contract during the eighth inning of game four of the World Series. The last thing you are supposed to think about during the World Series is your expensive contract that is not enough for your tastes anymore.
A-Rod wins the most hated Rangers of all-time, but surprisingly not the most egotistical.
1. Jose Canseco
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Jose Canseco takes the cake for the biggest in ego in Rangers history. This is a man who will do anything for attention.
This is the man who made Arlington, Texas the epicenter for steroid use in baseball. He said himself that he would not have been in the majors without the help of steroids. But with the help of steroids he was able to destroy the careers of Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez.
Canseco released his tell-all book Juiced, in which he chronicled the steroid era in baseball and gave sole credit to himself for starting it. Canseco pretty much told his friends and former colleagues, "Hey I'm going to rat all you guys out so they can talk about me on ESPN again, sorry."
Apparently that wasn't enough attention so he decided to take up boxing. He fought a 7-foot-tall Korean kickboxer and then former child actor Danny Bonaduce. He did not win either occasion.
Canseco needed more air time so he went on The Celebrity Apprentice and VH1's The Surreal Life. Someone explain to me how Canseco qualifies as a celebrity.
Jose Canseco helped tarnish the reputation of baseball just to make his name known. Nothing screams selfish more than this.