Philadelphia Phillies: 10 Players Phillies Fans Hate the Most
They are the players we love to hate. The players that because of something they did, or more likely did not do, are given a very special welcome whenever they return to Philadelphia. The kind of welcome Phillies fans have become famous for.
Now all of these players did something to earn the wrath of the fans. Maybe they failed to run out a ground ball or they weren't willing to sacrifice their body to make a play at the plate.
But whatever they did, they all have one thing in common--they done us wrong.
For Phillies fans, it's not just winning that is important but the way the game is played. Philadelphia is a blue collar town; we like athletes who aren't afraid to get their uniforms dirty. And just leaving town doesn't mean all is forgiven.
Because Phillies fans have loooong memories.
And if you don't believe me, just ask these guys: The 10 most hated players in Philadelphia Phillies History.
10. Bobby Abreu
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Some might be surprised to see Phillies right fielder Bobby Abreu on this list. After all, he left his mark in the Phillies record books, finishing in the top 10 all time in everything from extra-base hits to walks to on-base percentage.
Despite these accomplishments, however, there was one critical area in which Abreu was never able to perform. He never led the Phillies into the postseason.
Phillies fans like fiery competitors and they often found Abru's performance both on the field and in the clubhouse lacking in passion and effort. Many felt he was more concerned with his own personal statistics than the team's overall performance.
Add to that, Abreu's famous remark that he wouldn't run into walls to make catches because he didn't want to get hurt. Practical? Perhaps. But in a town that likes its athletes to have an "anything to win" attitude, that all but sealed his fate.
9. Rod Barajas
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It was May 23, 2007 in Sun Life Stadium; the Philadelphia Phillies were playing the Florida Marlins. The Phillies had a four-run lead in the bottom of the ninth but the Marlins had cut the lead to one.
There were two outs and Florida's Hanley Ramirez was on second base. The Marlins Aaron Boone singled and the throw beat Ramirez home. But instead of blocking the plate, Barajas stood up and tried to tag Ramirez. Ramirez was able to slide right through Barajas's legs to score the tying run.
Although the Phillies went on to win the game 8-7 in 10 innings the damage was done. Barajas's failure to block the plate not only allowed the tying run to score but several pitches later pitcher Brett Myers injured his right shoulder and was out for two months. If Barajas had made the play at the plate the inning would have been over before Myers' injury.
Glen Macnow, who co-hosted a sports-talk radio show on WIP-AM in Philadelphia, spoke for many fans at the time when he said this about Rod Barajs: "He came in as a guy who showed absolutely no effort, showed no guts, and was a lackadaisical player in a way that this town absolutely can't stand, especially for a catcher."
But how did he really feel???
8. Scott Rolen
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Phillies third baseman Scott Rolen was another player who played well during his time in Philadelphia. In fact, he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1997 and was a huge fan favorite until he made one critical mistake.
In 2002 the Phillies tried to sign Rolen to a long-term contract and he turned them down flat. He was desperate to leave Philadelphia and when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, he actually said he was going to "Baseball Heaven."
He went on to criticize Phillies fans who now remember him as a malcontent who hated both the fans and the city.
Although Rolen has been with several teams in the many years since he left the Phillies, when he returns, now in a CincinnatiReds uniform, the fans never fail to remind him that they still remember how and why he left.
7. Adam Eaton
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Yes, the pitcher may have been booed at the ceremony when the Phillies received their World Series rings but before you judge the fans, perhaps you should take a look at the numbers racked up by this $24.5 million man.
In 2007 his first year with the Phillies, Eaton went 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA. In 2008, he was 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA. He was then sent down to the minors where he went 0-5 with a 7.16 ERA. In the minors!
The Phillies finally gave up and released Eaton even though he was still on the books for another $9 million.
Given his dismal performance, and the fact that he was not even on the Phillies' play-off roster, perhaps Eaton would have been wiser to have his ring FedEx'd to the Washington home where he had watched the Phillies win the World Series--on television.
6. Terry Francona
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OK, so he's not a player but Terry Francona has to be on this list. He was the Phillies manager from 1997-2000 and under Francona the Phillies had four losing seasons. Of course after Francona left the Phillies he went on to win a World series with the Boston Red Sox.
So what doe Francona have to say about those 4 losing seasons? Surely he must feel a bit sorry that he saved his best work for the Red Sox.
"Philadelphia may not want to hear this, but it's almost like having a mulligan. I had my chance to make my mistakes, to learn from them and to gain confidence, just like a player does."
A mulligan? A mulligan?? Isn't that a golf shot that DOESN'T COUNT? Is he really saying that the four losing years that Phillies fans lived through, his 363 losses (to go with only 285 wins) don't count?
Come on, man!
5. Von Hayes
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Von Hayes is number 5 on this list for a reason. You guessed it. Von Hayes will be forever known as the 5-for-1 man. The Phillies sent five players, including Manny Trillo and Julio Franco, to the Cleveland Indians to get Hayes in 1983.
The trade was controversial at the time and later became infamous as Hayes could never live up to the "five-for-one" expectations. Although he had a couple of decent years overall his career with the Phillies was a disappointment.
Perhaps his best moment was on June 11, 1985, when he became the first player in history to homer twice in the first inning in a game against the Mets. After that, however, it was a downward slide ending with a fractured wrist and a poor season with the Phils in which he appeared in only 77 games.
In his final year after being traded to the Angels he hit just .225. His name remains infamous to this day in baseball circles for the large price the Phillies paid to acquire him.
4. Brett Myers
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Brett Myers was infamous for reasons off the baseball field. On June 23 2006, Myers was arrested in Boston for hitting his wife Kim in the face. The assault happened in public and was reportedly witnessed by several members of the Phillies organization.
When police responded to the 911 call they found Kim Myers crying and with a swollen face. Although authorities wanted Myers to plead guilty to assault and battery, serve two years probation, and enter a program for spousal abusers, Kim Myers later decided not to press charges.
The following year, Myers had another altercation, this time with a writer in which a profanity-laced verbal attack was followed by threatened physical violence.
Many fans were incensed by Myers behavior and let their feelings be known when he was still with the Phillies and certainly later after he was traded to the Astros.
3. Danny Tartabull
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Yes, I know Danny Tartabull is not in a Phillies uniform in the above photo. And there is a good reason for that. Tartabull barely wore one!
After Tartabull hit 27 home runs for the Chicago White Six in 1996, the Phillies signed him to a $2.5 million contract with incentives. The Phillies thought they had gotten a deal as the former Rookie of the Year had averaged about $5 million up to that point.
However, the Phillies got nothing for their money, literally. Tartabull's numbers as a Phillie? He played in three games, had seven at-bats and zero hits. He then broke a bone in his left foot and retired early at the age of 34.
The fans hardly had time to warm up their boo's.
2. Billy Wagner
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Billy Wagner just didn't get it. The fans loved him when he played in Philadelphia and cheered him from the second he left the bullpen and began his walk toward the mound. They cheered his every pitch and when the gun registered 100 mph they went nuts.
Wagner saved 59 games in his two seasons with the Phillies and he owned this town. Had he stayed, the love fest most likely would have continued but Wagner just didn't get it.
Instead he chose to sign a free-agent deal with the Phillies biggest rival at the time, the New York Mets and as if that weren't enough he added fuel to the fire with comments putting down the fans and his former team.
According to Wagner, the Phillies didn't support him especially late in his second season with the club. He said that the Phils "ain't got a chance" of making the play-offs saying that his former teammates didn't have enough intensity to win and quit when they got behind. (I guess he was surprised in 2008 when the Phils had 40 come-from-behind victories.)
And of the fans who supported him vociferously during his time in Phillies red Wagner had this to say: "It's just a tough environment. That team's biggest challenge will be playing at home. People there expect you to perform, and when you do perform, they're still on your ass. In Philly, you can't have a good enough year. In Philly, you should never give up a run or you should hit a home run every time up."
Hey Billy, tell that to the the 2008 World Championship team, or to Manager Charlie Manuel who credits the fans as a major reason the Phils won it all or maybe to Cliff Lee who chose Philly over New York in large part because of those demanding fans!
1. J. D. Drew
And the number 1 most hated player in Phllies team history? Who else but J. D. Drew, mostly because he never was a Phillie to begin with.
The Phillies drafted the outfielder as their second overall pick in the 1997 Major League Baseball Draft but when they were unwilling to pay Drew's exorbitant $10 million signing bonus, his agent Scott Boras had Drew sign with the St. Paul Saints of the the independent Northern League to avoid playing for the Phillies.
After one season with St. Paul, Drew went through the draft again and was selected fifth overall by the St. Louis Cardinals. Drew was injury prone during his time with the Cardinals landing on the DL every season he played with the club. But that didn't stop the Phillies from loudly welcoming him back every time he returned to town.
Tony LaRussa, Drew's manager when he was with the Cardinals was frustrated with what he considered Drew's lack of passion. He told Buzz Bissinger in his book Three Nights in August, that it seemed that Drew had decided to "settle for 75%" of his talent, in large part because of his enormous contract.
Drew currently plays for the Boston Red Sox where he is batting .229 this season. The Phils fans were happy to remind him in the recent Sox/Phillies series that they haven't forgotten him even after almost 15 years!
I told you Phillies fans had loooong memories!