Baseball used to be one of the only sports that would "police their own." If a star player was beaned by an opposing pitcher, that team's star player would expect to get hit sometime along the line and the issue would be resolved.
However, MLB has decided to "clean up the game" by issuing warnings to teams for throwing inside or even hitting somebody. Still, baseball has some players who look to throw down at a moments notice and in some cases look for confrontation to get the team going much like a hockey enforcer.
My goal this week is to list who I think have the shortest fuses in baseball history. Undoubtedly, there will be some omissions, and that's where you come in. If you see somebody who should be on the list or shouldn't have been on the list, comment and justify why. Let's have a good time with this "hot" topic.
Ozzie Guillen is one of my all time favorite managers. His hard-charging, tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a refreshing break from the typical garbage that comes out of managers' mouths when things are going bad. He's got a mean streak in himm and I like that in a manager. Still, some people find him obnoxious and clueless. Maybe that's why he has a World Series ring.
Ty Cobb has been called many things: mean, horrible, racist, best player ever, best hitter ever and guy you would want on your team. All of these are correct. Cobb personally was a jerk, but on the ball field there was nothing that would stand in between him and success.
As much as it pains me not to be the actual rant on here (because this is a family website), I think Elia deserves a spot on the list. Granted, it was a one-time deal, but a man can only be pushed so far. This rant is legendary and is one of my all time favorites.
In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that there are some players who go out and look for confrontation. Milton Bradley is one of these players. To use a line from "Seinfeld" when Kramer is using his meat slicer: "It cuts so thin, you can't even see it" describes Bradley's fuse perfectly.
George Brett is a Hall of Fame third baseman and arguably the best third baseman to play the game. He is known for three things: his 1980 .390 batting average, his bought with hemorrhoids and this little nugget from 1983 known as the "Pine Tar Game."
The gold standard for managerial ejections is the Duke of Earl. Earl Weaver set the bar very high for managerial ejections that only a few have been able to top. This is just a sample of what sets him off.
This article wouldn't be complete without Big Z on it. This guy is always mad at something. Even when he is throwing well, he gets bent out of shape and chalks it up to "being competitive." He will go off on anybody at any time. Talk about walking on egg shells.
"Tony Plush" has taken the playoffs by storm. It's not a coincidence, though, that he has brought all this attention on himself. While Morgan was in Washington, he barreled over catchers, started fights and really made a negative name for himself. More recently, he has called out, of all people, Albert Pujols and flashed some not-so-family-friendly language during a recent playoff game.
Gary Sheffield played with an enormous chip on his shoulder. He had a magnificent career but would also drop at the drop of a hat as seen in the video above.
I never really thought of Kevin Youkilis as a guy with a short fuse, but the more I looked at him, the more the fuse became apparent. He's not afraid to charge the mound nor is he afraid to get after it when his team needs it.
The all-time leader in managerial ejections is right up there with the gold standard of Earl Weaver. There really aren't many players if any who wouldn't have gone to bat for Bobby Cox much like he would for his players.
I would have loved to seen baseball back at the turn of the 20th century. People like Ty Cobb and John McGraw would have been worth the price of admission to watch play and manage. It was a different type of ball back then when players were allowed to stick up for each other and play the game hard the way it was meant to be played.
Lou Pinella doesn't always live up to the nickname "Sweet." His ejections from games are becoming legendary. It was a great time in baseball when you had Bobby Cox and Pinella around to keep everybody on their toes.
Tony LaRussa is a licensed lawyer which means he's a pretty smart guy. Not only in the clubhouse but also on the field. He's able to get into people's heads including the umpires. LaRussa has always been a polarizing figure, but like many of his managerial colleagues, he's not afraid to go when it's time.
AJ Pierzynski is the ultimate agitator. He will do whatever he can to get under people's skin, but then backs up all of it with his actions both positive and negative on the field. A great teammate and a horrible opponent.