MLB's Worst of the Worst: Worst Ballpark, Mascot, Logo, Uniform and More
While everyone else in the baseball world gives their attention to the upcoming MLB trade deadline, I figured it was as good a time as any to poke fun at some of the worst things in baseball.
I can't say it was easy. There are plenty of asinine figures throughout baseball, whether they are directly or indirectly reflected on this list.
Surely there were many judgement calls, but on a list like this there has got to be. All I can tell ya is that I am right—which means you, of course, are wrong.
If you've got a problem with that, you can write your congressmen.
Here are MLB's Worst of the Worst.
Worst Uniform: The Camo
You all knew this was coming.
The San Diego Padres had good intentions when designing the camouflage uniforms 10 years ago, as it was done in support of the tens of thousands of troops in the San Diego area.
The problem, however, is that the final result turned the gesture into more of a slap in the face—and that is coming from a former man in uniform.
I've never heard a single person mention anything good about these jerseys, so it is beyond me how they thought it was a good idea to make a second alternate.
Note to owner Jeff Moorad: We will not be offended if you do away with those heinous uniforms.
Worst Theme Song: "OK Blue Jays"
Only in Canada could a theme song of this nature come aboot.
When I first came across this supposed "theme song" of the Toronto Blue Jays, I actually thought it was a joke. As it turns out, "OK Blue Jays" really is the franchise's theme song.
I'm all about clean and polite lyrics, but you've got to be kidding me here. I would pay to see the look on the players' faces if they were to play this song in the clubhouse before each game.
This song exemplifies not only why Canada has no enemies, but why they also have no friends.
(Just kidding, love ya Canada!)
Worst Batting Stance: Youk
I love the guy, but seriously? Is he saving his urine so Big Papi can pass his next drug test? (Too soon?)
It amazes me every time he steps to the plate and gets a hit. Did he not have a Little League coach? As a youngster, was there no one who would tell him how completely ridiculous his batting stance looked?
Before even clicking on the video link, just take a look at his hand placement on the bat. I am baffled.
Worst Facial Hair: Brian Wilson
Every time I see Brian Wilson or hear him speak, he reminds me more and more of Zach Galifianakis. The guy is without a doubt the greatest personality in baseball.
That being said, being funny doesn't make his facial hair any more appealing (although it definitely fits his personality).
For anyone who lives under a rock and didn't get to see the outfit he wore to the ESPY's two weeks ago, you must watch this video.
Worst Hitter: Adam Dunn
David Banks/Getty Images
Adam Dunn has never been a good hitter, but he always hit enough home runs to have his uber-high strikeout rate and uber-low batting average be overlooked.
Not in 2011, and not after signing a four-year, $56 million deal with the Chicago White Sox.
Dunn is the MLB Leader in a few notable categories:
Lowest Batting Average: .163 (47 hits in 289 at-bats)
Most Strikeouts: 125
Worst WAR: -1.6
No signs point to Dunn's season turning around either, as he's been just as bad after the All-Star break as he was before.
I, for one, thought he would rake at US Cellular Field for the White Sox this season. Enough so that I still haven't dropped him from my fantasy team. At this point, though, it may be time for the White Sox and myself to cut the umbilical cord.
Worst Pitcher: Bronson Arroyo
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
While I really wanted to give this distinction to the Red Sox' John Lackey, it is impossible to ignore the performance of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo this season.
Arroyo has been absolutely horrible in 2011—on pace to compile one of the worst individual seasons by a starting pitcher in MLB history. With a 5.56 ERA and 1.418 WHIP through his first 20 starts, here are some of the categories in which Arroyo leads the league:
Most Home Runs Allowed: 29
Most Earned Runs: 75
Worst WAR: -1.0
Arroyo has a chance to break Jose Lima's NL record of 48 home runs allowed in a season, which he is currently on pace to tie.
Nothing seems to be working for Arroyo this season. Apparently he is no longer gambling on supplements.
Worst Defensive Player: Mark Reynolds
Who would have guessed that the hole in Mark Reynolds' glove is almost as big as the one in his bat? Despite his high home run output, it makes a person wonder how long Reynolds will have a job in MLB.
I understand that the hot corner is a difficult position to play, but there is no excuse for Reynolds' abominable performance so far in 2011.
Worst UZR: -17.9
Worst Error Rate: -5.9
Most Errors: 20
Worst Fielding Percentage: .904
Reynolds has never been a good defensive player. It is unclear why the Orioles assumed he may get better when joining the AL East, but it is ever so clear that they were utterly wrong.
Worst Manager: Dusty Baker
J. Meric/Getty Images
Many of you may not agree, but it's quite simple really. What do Mark Prior, Kerry Wood and Edinson Volquez have in common?
While I do believe Dusty Baker is the worst manager in regards to handling his pitchers, ruining promising young careers isn't the only reason he made the list.
Over and over again, Baker has been put into great situations without ever coming through.
Baker managed Barry Bonds' Giants for 10 seasons, making the playoffs only three times with no World Series titles.
He left the Giants after the 2002 season to take over a dominant Chicago Cubs squad that was built to win. Baker led the Cubs to the playoffs during his first season on the North Side before sliding all the way down to 66 wins in 2006.
He is now leaving his mark on the Cincinnati Reds—beginning with Edinson Volquez.
Worst Owner: Frank McCourt
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Some MLB owners can turn rags into riches, while others manage to turn diamonds into dust. Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has done the latter.
Sure, arguments can be made for David Glass, Jeffrey Loria and Peter Angelos being the worst owners in baseball, but any person who can drag the Dodgers through the mud deserves this distinction.
How can one of the most historic franchises in MLB history go bankrupt in a huge market while easily drawing over 3.5 million fans each season?
The Dodgers also boast a payroll just over $100 million—ranking 12th in baseball—so it's not like they are breaking the bank on salaries.
Any true baseball fan can only hope that whomever takes over as Dodgers owner can resuscitate the struggling franchise.
Worst Future: Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are horrible. There, I said it.
Not only do the Astros have by far the worst record in baseball at 33-68 (.327), but Baseball America ranks their farm system as the 26th-best (or worst) in baseball.
How is it possible for the worst team in baseball to also have one of the worst farm systems in baseball?
You can thank Astros GM Ed Wade for the futility.
Just last season, the Astros traded homegrown stars Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. In return they got Mike Melancon, J.A. Happ and some guys they flipped for Brett Wallace.
Now they are stuck with the bloated contract of Carlos Lee while they debate whether or not to trade Hunter Pence. Players like Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers will probably be gone, too.
While most GMs may be able to parlay those four players into a crop of young talent, more than likely Ed Wade can not. Even if he does, it will be a long, long time until the Astros are a competitive team again.
The Houston Astros are the new Pittsburgh Pirates! You heard it here first!
Worst Contract: Bobby Bonilla
Two months ago I wouldn't have even considered Bobby Bonilla for this list. After he retired in 2001, many (including myself) had all but forgotten that the New York Mets bought out his contract on ridiculous terms back in 2000.
Most of us quickly recalled the contract in recent months, when on July 1st, 2011, Bonilla received the first of 25 annual payments in the amount of $1,193,248.20.
Not bad for a guy who retired a decade ago.
The funniest part of the whole thing is the Mets' ongoing financial crisis. I mean, how ironic is it? As dumb as the move must have been perceived 10 years ago, no one could have expected it to look as foolish as it does today.
Honorable mention goes to Alfonso Soriano, who the Chicago Cubs tragically must pay $18 million per season through his 38th birthday.
Worst Stadium Food: Tropicana Field
Tropicana Field—home of the Tampa Bay Rays—racked up 217 critical food safety violations. The second-worst mark was 100 violations at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City.
For the few people who may someday go to a Rays game, you may want to jump ahead to the next slide.
Here are a few of their violations: build-up of slime and soil on the interior of several ice machines; employees handling food and money while wearing same pair of gloves (yuck!); and raw meat thawing at room temperature.
It's safe to say that if I ever do make it to a Rays game at Tropicana Field, I will stash food in my wife's purse along with the usual six-pack that comes standard on game days.
Worst Ballpark: Overstock.com Coliseum (Oakland)
This is a photo of the Oakland Coliseum during an Athletics game.
There may be some minor sarcasm in that statement, but anyone who has ever been to the Coliseum during a game probably wouldn't argue.
The Coliseum opened way back in 1966 and today looks every bit its age. It was given a face-lift in 1996, yet it now looks more in line with a botched boob job.
It's time for owners Lew Wolff and John Fisher to pony up cash for a new stadium. The Coliseum needs to be destroyed before the Athletics lose the few fans they have left.
Worst Baseball City: Atlanta
Atlanta may not only be the worst baseball city, it may be the worst sports city in America.
It's not that the fans are bad, because there are plenty of die-hard Braves fanatics out there. People in Atlanta just don't seem to care much about baseball.
The Braves' attendance is always middle of the pack, while this year averaging only 57.5 percent capacity despite a 59-43 record. They couldn't even sell out their home playoff games during their 13-year run of NL East titles.
The Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays may have horrible attendance year in and year out, but it's not because people in Florida don't like baseball. Many baseball fans in Florida moved there from somewhere else, hence they are fans of a different team.
The fact that the Braves have been in Atlanta since 1966 with sustained success and they still can't convince people to come to their games makes it a bad baseball city.
On the flip side, if the hottie in this photo brings herself and some friends to each game, the team may be able to draw a decent crowd.
Worst Tattoo: Mat Latos
I am a huge fan of both Family Guy and American Dad. Nothing gets me rolling more than seeing little Stewie Griffin mercilessly beating Brian with a towel bar, yelling "Where's my money, man!"
However, I'm not about to go get a tattoo of Brian and Stewie on my leg. Maybe one of Lois Griffin, but only because I liked redheads.
To each their own, I guess. At least the Padres have something to laugh about in the clubhouse.
Worst Logo(s): Houston Astros and San Diego Padres
The Houston Astros logo is about as boring and generic as it gets. At least put a little effort into producing a logo that will represent your franchise.
What's up with the unfinished star? If each side represented a World Series victory (which would mean eight if I am counting correctly after a fifth of Crown), then it would be palatable. Not only is it lazy, but it's just plain boring.
Onto the San Diego Padres' poor excuse for a logo. By the looks of it, "Padres" is Spanish for "ocean" or "rolling waves."
If not for the home-plate outline, I'd have thought the team was trying to sell me a timeshare.
We can only hope that soon-to-be Astros owner Jim Crane will put a few minds to work in order to fix this atrocity, and maybe Padres owner Jeff Moorad can sell his 12 percent stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks to pay for a new logo.
Worst Mascot: Dinger (the Despicable)
The Colorado Rockies could have gone with an array of mascots—a baseball, a mountain man or, heck, even a snowman.
Instead they chose to go with the hideous monstrosity known as "Dinger"—a purple dinosaur with an assortment of "pretty" colors on his legs and head.
I've said this before, but Dinger looks like the offspring of a drunken one-night stand between Barney and the little Triceratops from The Land Before Time.
The ballpark is the last place I want to see a purple dinosaur. It's time for Dinger to join his friends in extinction.
Worst Broadcaster: Joe Buck
Joe Buck is clueless. I've heard plenty of pill-poppers sound more enthusiastic while calling a home run than Buck.
In his most recent screw-up—which was brought to my attention by fellow B/R Featured Columnist Doug Mead—Buck cited a fictitious Willie Mays quote as fact during his broadcast of the 2011 MLB All-Star Game.
Sadly, little Joey is living in the shadow of his father—Jack Buck—who is the legendary announcer of the St. Louis Cardinals.
I'm just glad I was fortunate enough to be at the Super Bowl this past year, so I didn't have to listen to Buck call the game while my Packers destroyed those chumps from Pittsburgh.
Worst Fans: Philadelphia Phillies
That's right, the Fanatics in Philly are the worst fans in MLB. Philadelphia fans are arguably the worst and meanest fans in all of sport's.
Sure, they sell out all of their games and they love their teams (when they're winning), but they turn into boo-birds at the first sign of trouble.
These are the fans who booed pitcher Adam Eaton while he was being given his World Series ring a couple of season's ago. They even booed Cole Hamels after his first start in 2011.
During the 2010 season, a Phillies fan intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl! What kind of repulsive human being could do such a thing?!
Only a Phillies fan.
Worst Entrace Music: Troy Tulowitzki
Dear Troy Tulowitzki,
It was recently brought to my attention that you are a huge fan of Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Justin Bieber. So much so that you chose their songs for your entrance music every time you prance to the plate.
My daddy says you should fall wrath to the "soap sock" and that your teammates should call you "Kitten." At first I didn't agree, but I am starting to.
I'd like to believe this phase will pass, but you've gone from one terrible musician to the next for years. My mommy thinks it may be because your pants are too tight.
Just thought I'd let you know!
Your No. 17,243 fan!