30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IJanuary 23, 2012

30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History

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    A number of players are great teammates, and they have no problem getting along with others in their organization. However, there are players in baseball that are incredibly divisive.

    Clubhouse cancers like these can have a negative impact on their team and eventually cost them wins. Players like this get traded often, as they seem to cause trouble wherever they go.

    The following players were some of the biggest clubhouse cancers in MLB history. They were bad teammates and caused problems in the locker room.

Oliver Perez

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    People are inherently selfish, and Oliver Perez proved that during his time with the New York Mets. He was pitching poorly, and the Mets wanted to send him down to Triple-A.

    Perez didn't want to go, and he refused multiple attempts by the team to send him down. This obviously did not go over well in the clubhouse as Perez was not willing to try to improve himself or do what was best for the team.

Manny Ramirez

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    Talented athletes are occasionally quirky, and Manny Ramirez was certainly one of those players. He was able to get away with a lot of things because of his on-the-field abilities.

    However, some of his teammates were willing to speak out about Ramirez. Jonathan Papelbon had no problem saying that Ramirez had a negative impact on the Boston Red Sox's play.

Carlos Zambrano

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    Carlos Zambrano had his fair share of issues during his time with the Chicago Cubs, and Theo Epstein made sure that one of the first things he did after joining the Cubs was get rid of Zambrano.

    Zambrano once got into an altercation with catcher Michael Barrett in the Cubs dugout. He has also been seen yelling at his teammates. Then, in 2011 there was the weird incident in which Zambrano cleaned out his locker after a game and stated that he was considering retirement.

Vicente Padilla

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    The reputation of being a clubhouse cancer is one that follows a player around throughout his career, and it certainly hurts him when he hits the free-agent market. Vicente Padilla has had this reputation for most of his career.

    During his time with the Texas Rangers, Padilla forged a bad reputation for himself. He was eventually cut from the team that summer.

Milton Bradley

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    Despite having the same name as one of the most famous toy companies in the world, Milton Bradley was not as much fun to play games with as one would imagine.

    The issues that Bradley had have been well documented. Bradley has caused troubles throughout his time in the major leagues.

Gary Sheffield

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    Gary Sheffield was known for thinking about what was best for Gary Sheffield first and then what was best for the team he played for second.

    This me-first attitude obviously did not earn Sheffield a lot of friends during his time in the majors, but he was able to get things done on the field.

Marty Bergen

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    Marty Bergen played baseball in the late 1800s. He was an outstanding defensive catcher, but he struggled at the plate.

    Bergen suffered from mental health issues, and they occasionally manifested themselves during his time in the majors. He fought with his teammates, and he would occasionally just leave the team. It got so bad that teammates hoped that he would not return following the 1899 season.

    Photo Credit: Baseball-Reference

Charles Comiskey

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    Back in the early years of baseball, it was not all that uncommon to have a player/manager. Charles Comiskey served in these roles for a large part of his career.

    Comiskey would put himself in the lineup even if he did not deserve to play. He frustrated his teammates with these decisions.

    Later, he would go on to become the owner of the Chicago White Sox, and his players' turned against him.

    Photo Credit: Baseball-Reference

Jocko Halligan

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    Occasionally there are verbal altercations between players, but very rarely do teammates actually get involved in a fist fight.

    Jocko Halligan was involved in one of those rare brawls. He was involved in a poker game with teammate Cub Stricker. After an argument, Halligan punched Stricker in the face and broke his jaw.

    Photo Credit: Baseball-Reference

Hal Chase

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    During his career in the majors, Hal Chase was considered to be one of the better players in the league. That did not mean that he was well liked.

    Chase fought with his manager, George Stallings, when he was with the New York Highlanders. His career was effectively ended by allegations that he paid players to throw games.

    Photo Credit: Baseball-Reference

Ty Cobb

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    Ty Cobb is one of the greatest players to ever step on a baseball diamond, and he played the game with an incredible passion. The problem is that Cobb was intense with everything he did.

    Cobb got into a number of fights over the years. He had no problem fighting fans, groundskeepers, umpires and even members of his own team. There were times during his career when his teammates had to intervene to stop him from fighting.

    Photo Credit: Baseball-Reference

Rogers Hornsby

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    Rogers Hornsby was both incredibly talented and incredibly controversial. He never seemed to fit in with his teammates since he did not go out to get drinks or to the movies with them. This pushed them away from him.

    Hornsby had a big ego, and he was not afraid to voice his opinion. When Jack Hendricks became the St. Louis Cardinals manager, Hornsby was not happy. At the end of the 1918 season, he said he would never play for Hendricks again.

    Photo Credit: Baseball Reference

Carl Everett

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    It is possible that the reason that Carl Everett's teammates did not like him is because he did not believe in dinosaurs. However, the much more likely reason is because he was a jerk in the clubhouse.

    Everett certainly did not play the game of baseball to make friends, and he was known for being difficult to deal with.

John Rocker

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    John Rocker managed to anger all of New York City with just a few sentences. He also managed to alienate himself from his teammates as a result of his actions.

    Rocker was one of the players that did not care about how the team did but rather about how he performed. This is not the way to stay in the good graces of teammates.

Julian Tavarez

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    In 17 years in the major leagues, Julian Tavarez played for 11 different teams. It is safe to say that he did not make too many friends in the clubhouses he was in.

    Tavarez was known for having a short fuse. He was known to go after opposing hitters with pitches, and he even got into fights with some of them.

Jose Guillen

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    Some people have no problem speaking their mind. Jose Guillen is one of those people, and he has said whatever he feels about his teammates and managers.

    While he was with the Los Angeles Angels, Guillen got into confrontations with manager Mike Scioscia and held a personal grudge. During his time in Cincinnati, Guillen once put a hole in a wall because he was angry that he was taken out of a game.

Kevin Brown

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    During his career in the major leagues, Kevin Brown threw as many temper tantrums as a young child. He was later mentioned in the Mitchell Report so it is possible that these were fits of 'roid rage.

    Brown caused problems wherever he went, and he certainly wore his emotions on his sleeve. Instead of going after his teammates Brown chose to attack inanimate objects, but that did not help his teammates' view of him.

Shea Hillenbrand

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    Shea Hillenbrand burned some bridges during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays. The first issue occurred after Hillenbrand was unhappy that the team didn't congratulate him for adopting a child.

    Then, Hillenbrand had issues about his playing time, and he made them well known by complaining. He then wrote comments stating that the Blue Jays were a sinking ship on the team's board in the clubhouse. This led to him being dealt from the team.

Albert Belle

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    Albert Belle did not have a personality conducive to making friends in the clubhouse. He was known for his outbursts on and off the field as well as for having a combative personality.

    When Belle was caught with a corked bat, he famously sent teammate Jason Grimsley to retrieve it from the umpires' locker room during the game. Belle often caused damage in the clubhouse, and the Cleveland Indians made him pay for it.

    Additionally, Belle did not get along well with the media, which made for awkward situations in the locker room.

Barry Bonds

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    In an article for Sports Illustrated by Rick Reilly in 2001, he wrote "There are 24 teammates, and there's Barry Bonds."

    Riley continues in the article to detail how Bonds separated himself from his teammates. Bonds' teammates didn't really care about him unless they were on the diamond and he was helping them win games.

Sammy Sosa

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    Sammy Sosa was entertaining fans with all of his home runs during his time with the Chicago Cubs. He did not win people over as easily in the Cubs' locker room.

    Sosa's time with the Cubs came to an early end because of off-the-field issues. There was talk that Sosa was a clubhouse cancer and that he had a negative impact on the team in the locker room.

Carlos Silva

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    Carlos Silva was involved in a trade that featured another one of baseball's biggest hot heads. He was dealt for Milton Bradley and the teams involved were hoping that the player they acquired would benefit from a chance of scenery.

    Silva would always blame others for his problems and that along with his declining skills led the Chicago Cubs to cut him. He let the Cubs know his thoughts about his time with the organization once he was cut.

Vince Coleman

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    Some of the stories about what happened with Vince Coleman during his time with the New York Mets are so crazy that the seem as if they could have been made up.

    He once decided that it was acceptable to recklessly swing a golf club around the Mets' clubhouse and he hurt Dwight Gooden. Later that year, Coleman decided that it was acceptable to throw a firecracker into a group of fans were looking for autographs.

Reggie Jackson

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    With the number of fights that Reggie Jackson got into during his time in the major leagues, one has to wonder if he could have had a career as a professional boxer.

    It is safe to say that Jackson and New York Yankees manager Billy Martin did not like each other. The two got into a massive brawl in 1977. This was not Jackson's first dugout fight as he also got into an altercation with Billy North three years earlier.

    Photo Credit: Reggie Jackson

Ed Whitson

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    Billy Martin had no problem fighting with his players and in addition to getting into an altercation with Reggie Jackson, he also fought Ed Whitson.

    Whitson broke Martin's arm during their fight, and he was traded away shortly after the incident. It is not surprising that he was not that welcome in the Yankees' clubhouse after the fight.

Rickey Henderson

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    It is no surprise that there were players out there that did not exactly enjoy Rickey Henderson's "Ricky being Ricky" shtick.

    As was evident from his persona, Henderson really cared about himself and his performance. This ruffled some feathers and teammates such as Carney Lansford called him out.

Dick Allen

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    Dick Allen had a bad boy persona during his time in the major leagues. He fought teammates and was very vocal about when he disagreed with his managers.

    These events did not help Allen cultivate a great image with his teammates, but they put up with him because of his outstanding production.

    Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

Jeff Kent

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    Jeff Kent was aware that there were people in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization that didn't like him, and Kent did not care. He had become a clubhouse cancer during his time in the majors.

    Kent was known for having a bit of an ego which was a point of contention between himself and his teammates.

Bobby Bonilla

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    The New York Mets wanted to get rid of Bobby Bonilla, and they decided to pay him to go away. That is a decision that will haunt them for years to come.

    Bonilla was a distraction in the Mets' clubhouse, and the team wanted to get rid of them before he completely destroyed team chemistry. As a result of this, he will be getting checks from the Mets until 2035.

Luis Castillo

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    Luis Castillo was considered to be a clubhouse cancer before he joined the New York Mets, but things got worse once he was with the team. He caused a number of headaches for the team.

    Castillo openly complained about his decreasing playing time with the Mets, and he did not handle the situation well. This certainly did not help win over his teammates.

    One issue arose when Castillo did not visit the Walter Reed Medical Center with the rest of the team. This added to some already-existing tensions.


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