Boston Red Sox: 20 Biggest Deviants in Franchise History
This postseason for the Boston has not been an easy one to for Red Sox Nation fans to swallow. This season's struggles include allegations of the players consuming alcohol in the clubhouse and possibly the dugout.
Just over the past decade, there have been some crazy things happen at Fenway including some very interesting players and staff members. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest deviants in Red Sox history.
Bill "Spaceman" Lee
If the nickname "Spaceman" doesn't say enough then I'm not sure what does. Bill Lee spoke whatever crossed his mind whether it had to do with politics or the team that he played for.
He constantly argued with manager Don Zimmer over the pitching staff, and his comments on management later led to a trade to Montreal. Lee won 94 games in his 10 seasons in Boston.
Mo Vaughn was most known in Boston for putting his elbow in the strike zone during his at bats and powering home runs to right field. Vaughn was also very much against management and sports writers. He felt that general manager Dan Duquette didn't like him being around.
Allegations of Vaughn punching a man outside a Providence strip club also led to many feuds with Red Sox administration.Vaughn hit 230 home runs in his eight seasons in Boston. He won the MVP in 1995 and was voted to the All-Star game three times.
Carl Everett was well-liked at first when coming to Boston after he hit 34 home runs in 2000. Everett got into altercations with umpires on a frequent basis including a situation where Everett bumped into umpire Ron Kulpa and was suspended 10 games. He was fined the next season for grabbing his crotch after hitting a home run off of Jamie Moyer.
He also didn't agree with the existence of dinosaurs which led to the nickname of "Jurassic Carl" by Boston writer Dan Shaughnessy. Everett then fired back by calling Shaughnessy the "curly-haired boyfriend" of Boston writer Gordon Edes.
Jose Offerman was never much of a problem while in Boston between 1999 and 2002. It was his post-Red Sox career which has completely ruined his reputation. In 2007 he was ejected after charging the mound when being hit by a Matt Beech pitch. He went at Beech with his bat and a brawl ensued, sending Beech and a teammate to the hospital.
Offerman was sued for assault but was let off on probation and paid Nathan for his suffering. Then in 2010 while managing in the Dominican Republic when he swung at an umpire after arguing balls and strikes. Offerman was banned for life from the league.
Many Red Sox fans may never of heard of Frazee, but he was the main cause of the 86 long years without a World Series title. Frazee owned the Red Sox and made the decision to trade Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees after the 1919 season.
If it weren't for this idiotic trade and if Frazee would only known what Ruth would turn out to be, who knows where the Red Sox would be today?
Much like Frazee, Grady Little made one of the most infamous moves in Red Sox history. The Red Sox were just outs away in 2003 from eliminating the Yankees and heading to the World Series. Pedro Martinez had pitched into the eighth inning but had just given up three straight hits and a run to cut Boston's lead to 5-3.
In almost every situation, when the manager comes out to the mound, he replaces the current pitcher and reliever. For whatever reason Little decided to keep Martinez in the game. Jorge Posada hit a two-run double in the next at bat to tie the game.
As many know, Boston lost that game in the 11th inning on an Aaron Boone home run. Grady Little, no matter what else he did in Boston, will always be remembered as the guy who left Pedro in the game.
Bronson Arroyo never played much of a big role in Boston but did contribute in the 2004 World Series. Arroyo has one of the oddest pitching styles in the game as hit legs is extended higher than his hip before he throws the ball.
Somehow he still throws the ball effectively enough to 112 wins in his career. Another weird situation including Arroyo occured during the 2004 ALCS when Alex Rodrgiuez slapped the ball out of his glove while trying to make a tag. Rodriguez was later called out and Arroyo was off the hook.
Curtis Leskanic, much like Arroyo, also had a very strange pitching motion, only his rarity occurred before he threw the ball. After taking the sign from the catcher, Leskanic would throw his arms in the air above his head and then come down with his hand in his glove to his waist to make a stop.
Leskanic won the iconic fourth game of the 2004 ALCS for the Red Sox.
Kevin Millar was one of the most enthusiastic and entertaining players ever to play in Boston. He created the "Cowboy Up" campaign in 2003 and deemed the 2004 Red Sox the "idiots."
Millar was a fan favorite for his crazy interviews and upbeat personality. Millar played a huge role in the 2004 ALCS as he drew the walk which led to "the steal" of Dave Roberts.
Johnny Damon was one of the first "idiots" with his long hair that was despised off by rival fans. He had a huge impact in Boston, most notably during the 2004 playoffs when he hit a grand slam and a two-run home run against the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS.
Many fans turned their back to Damon after he signed with the hated Yankees the next season. I was at the first game where Damon came back to Fenway as a Yankee, and it was cool to see how the fans reacted. Some applauded while some threw fake money at him.
Even though he went to New York, he will always be remembered as one of the "idiots."
Pedro Martinez is arguably one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history, winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 1999 and 2000. As noted earlier, Pedro was left in during the 2003 ALCS which led to a loss, but he made up for it in 2004 when he helped Boston win the World Series.
The Yankees had Pedro's number during the 2004 season and during the ALCS. so in an interview he said that he should just call the Yankees his "daddy." Yankee fans took to this quickly, and when he was brought in during Game 7, also a questionable decision, the fans erupted chanting "Who's Your Daddy?"
Curt Schilling did something that was and still would be deemed absurd, pitching with a major injury. In 2011, if you even feel some discomfort you land on the disabled list, but not Schilling.
Schilling, after surgery on his ankle, went out to pitch one-legged in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. He went seven innings and only allowed one run in 4-2 Boston victory that would force a Game 7.
It is known as one of the most heroic moments in sports history.
Doug Mientkiewicz isn't viewed in my eyes as one of the key pieces of the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox. Instead, he is known as the guy who tried to keep the ball after Boston won.
The ball ended a 86-year-old curse and was of interest to the Red Sox and the Hall of Fame. Mientkiewicz refused to give the ball up and it took several lawsuits before he decided that the ball belonged to the Hall of Fame.
What can you say about a guy that made a career out of one of the rarest pitches in the game? After 17 seasons with the Red Sox, Wakefield has won 186 games with Boston and 200 for his career. Wakefield threw the knuckleball 86 percent of the time in 2011 and is one of the few who can throw it with success.
It has been hard for Wakefield over the years to find a catcher who can handle it, but he still manages to fool batters with it. The only knuckle-baller in the Hall of Fame is Phil Niekro, and although Wakefield is one of the best guys in the game, it seems unlikely that he will join Niekro in Cooperstown.
Jonathan Papelbon has been one of the craziest players to play in Boston in recent history. He is known for his stare downs when looking to the catcher for the sign and also for his post-game antics.
After winning the 2007 ALCS, Papelbon came onto the field and started Irish dancing in front of thousands of fans. This guy loves to win and loves to show his emotions like no other player.
Kevin Youkilis, also a very emotional player, has the strangest batting stance in the game. He holds the bat with his hands separated and well over his head with the bat head facing the pitcher.
It is easy to question how in the world he is able to hit the ball, but somehow he gets the job done.
Before coming to the Boston Red Sox all we heard about Daisuke Matsuzaka was the "gyroball." Apparently in Japan they don't have slurves because that is all the gyroball really is. The grip is different but the ball just drops like a curveball and moves to the side like a slider, thus a slurve.
Not to mention that Matsuzaka also has a strange motion, much like many other Japanese pitchers, where he sways his hips in the middle of his motion and then almost comes to a complete halt before throwing the ball.
Daisuke has been a headache in Boston as of late and hopefully he can return in 2012 throwing the ball like he did in Japan.
Jon Lester is one of the best stories in the game and only a few can say the same. Lester was diagnosed anaplastic large cell lymphoma in 2006. He beat the cancer and returned to playing in Boston. Many would be more than happy by just being cancer-free but Lester made it a goal to come back to baseball.
In May of 2008, Jon Lester threw a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals. Lester was embraced by the team, but more importantly by manager Terry Francona who also suffered from a type of cancer. Lester played a big role in the 2007 playoffs where the Red Sox defeated the Colorado Rockies for their second title that decade.
Apparently in Boston it is inevitable that insult will be added to injury and that is exactly what has happened this offseason for the Red Sox. The general manager has left for Chicago and the manager has left as well.
Besides all of that, sources and players have come out to say that on several occasions there were players drinking alcohol and eating chicken during games. The players have come out and said that it was wrong of them to participate in these activities, but it wasn't the reason for their September collapse.
Major League Baseball is going to investigate the details of this situation, and it wouldn't come as a surprise if alcohol is banned in the Boston clubhouse from now on.
Is there anyone who ever put on a Red Sox uniform more of a character than Manny Ramirez? He created drama for every situation possible, even if he was just hanging out in the Green Monster during pitching changes. He was funny to watch, hear about and listen to no matter what the situation.
You never knew what he would pull out of his back pocket next. He was known for not putting his full effort into plays and was sometimes caught off-guard. On several occasions he failed to run out ground balls and even made up injuries as an excuse. He failed drug tests and has accepted the suspensions for taking steroids.
Regardless of what he did while in Boston, he helped us win two World Series titles and it was fun to watch him play the game. Manny was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers on the 2008 trade deadline. All in all, he didn't care what you thought of him, it was just Manny being Manny.