Major League Baseball: The 10 Biggest Traitors of All Time
It is often depressing to think about how much more fans love their teams than the actual players on them do. As fans, we sometimes forget that sports are a business and, as sad as it is, the only true motive is the money.
There is no loyalty in sports. We love our teams and players more than anything, but they don’t love us back. That’s why when you watch someone like Derek Jeter, all you can do is stand and applaud. Even if you hate the New York Yankees, you have to respect a guy who is as loyal to his team as Jeter is.
With some notable free agents such as Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes, and Mark Buehrle all contemplating switching to a division rival this offseason, I have come up with the biggest traitors in the game of baseball.
The following 10 players are the biggest traitors in the history of Major League Baseball.
10. Dwight Gooden
Aside from Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden is considered to be the greatest pitcher in New York Mets history. Unfortunately for Gooden, he is not fully remembered for the great success he had as a Met, which included a World Series Championship in 1986.
Not only was the lasting impression of Gooden leaving the team, it was also the fact that he went right across town to do so, when he signed with the New York Yankees in 1996.
9. Sammy Sosa
Talk about a guy who went from hero to zero more quickly than Randy Johnson’s fastball.
After Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls, it was time for Sammy Sosa to step up as the hero of Chicago, and he was quite successful for a long time.
Putting the aftermath of steroids aside, Sosa and Mark McGwire put baseball back on the map when it was in a dark place. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Sosa was the Chicago Cubs. Aside from two playoff appearances, the team was miserable during his tenure, but fans still wanted to see Sammy.
His charisma, smile and ability to hit the long ball made Sosa an instant icon in Chicago.
However, things quickly got ugly between Sosa and Cubs management. In Sosa’s final game with the Cubs, he even left the stadium early and went home, walking out on the fans who had loved him for so long. The Cubs essentially had no choice but to trade the disgruntled slugger in 2005.
After Sosa’s departure, he bashed the team and threw them under the bus. It should also be noted that Sosa was spotted rooting for the Miami Heat over the Chicago Bulls.
I wonder how many times Sosa has been back to Chicago since his departure? I bet it is not many.
8. Jeff Kent
If the devastating aftermath involving a brawl between San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers fans that led to Brian Stow being put in a medically induced coma is not a sign that these fans hate each other, I don't know what else is.
What happened to Stow goes beyond baseball and rivalries. It is a tragedy that signals the pure hatred people have for one another just because someone is a fan of a team they do not like.
So when Jeff Kent left San Francisco to join another California team in Los Angeles, he undoubtedly became one of the most despised players amongst Giants fans.
7. Roger Clemens
The only reason I do not have Roger Clemens lower on this list is due to the fact that he truly did not want to leave Boston at the time.
However, Clemens belongs here because he not only demanded a trade out of Toronto, but he also persisted on being sent to the New York Yankees.
When dealing with arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports in the Yankees and Red Sox, you better believe that if you switch sides you now become public enemy no. 1
6. Leo Durocher
The only thing worse than playing for two rivaled teams is coaching them.
Leo Durocher managed the Brooklyn Dodgers for eight seasons until he negotiated a deal that allowed him to get out of his contract so he could manage the rival New York Giants.
Durocher is famously known for the line “Nice guys finish last,” so as long as he was going to a place where he felt he could win, it did not matter to him who he was affecting. Durocher was in fact successful during his tenure with the Giants, winning his only World Series with the team in 1954.
5. Wade Boggs
The poor Boston Red Sox have had the misfortune of watching a number of their superstars leave to go to New York for more money.
Wade Boggs is just another example. He left Boston in 1993 to join the evil empire known as the New York Yankees.
4. 1919 Black Sox & Charles Comiskey
Any one that throws a game, and even worse World Series games, has no right being a part of the great sport known as baseball. The Black Sox scandal happened over 90 years ago, but it still remains one of the most infamous moments in sports.
I am also linking Charles Comiskey with the eight members of the Black Sox team who threw the series. If Comiskey had not been so cheap, the players would never have thought to hand the other team the game. In this case, two wrongs did not make a right.
3. Babe Ruth
Yes, the Boston Red Sox did sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1918, and his departure triggered the start of one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
There is no doubt about it that trading away Ruth was the worst move ever made. The "Curse of the Bambino" haunted the Red Sox for 86 years until finally they were crowned World Series champions in 2004.
These days Red Sox fans probably have less hatred towards Ruth, but from 1918 to 2004 they needed someone to blame, and they leaned on the Babe to be that guy.
2. Johnny Damon
Johnny Damon was one of the key contributors in defeating the New York Yankees and getting the Boston Red Sox their first World Series title in 2004.
With his long hair and dirty beard, he resembled everything it meant to be a Boston player. He was one of the most loved and popular Red Sox in team history, and he made the city feel the same way.
Little did they know that it only took a few extra bucks for Damon to sell out and sign with the rival Yankees. Just like his hair and beard, the memories he left in Boston are now destroyed and thrown away.
1. Jose Canseco
There is no bigger Benedict Arnold in the history of Major League Baseball than Jose Canseco.
Unlike all of the other guys I mentioned, who are only hated by fans from one or a few teams, Canseco is a guy that all baseball fans are disgusted by.
Although Canseco does have a lot of factual evidence in his statements, he still is someone who threw his teammates and friends under the bus just to make some extra cash.