The Most Egotistical Showboats in MLB History
For all the great memories that baseball has given us during its great history, there have also been a number of players, teams and incidents that haven't resembled everything this game stands for.
Individual accomplishments and goals drive players to succeed, but when they take it upon themselves to put their own initiatives ahead of the team, things can take a turn for the worse.
Singular moments won't always permanently tarnish a player's legacy, but some players are clearly far more self-serving offenders who likely can't ever see their reputation turn into a positive legacy.
Manny Ramirez has always had the reputation of being a player who had a relatively self-serving agenda, whether it was the notion that he "played when he wanted to play" or referred to himself in the third person (so annoying).
Last year he tested positive once again, this time receiving a 100-game ban, after which he retired. He since came out of retirement to sign a minor-league deal with the A's, but as nothing materialized.
It's looking more and more like we may have finally seen the last of Manny.
There's no doubt that Vince Coleman had a great deal of talent, but unfortunately it wasn't in any way enough to outweigh all the distractions that he brought to a clubhouse.
Whether it was the numerous arguments he got into with managers and teammates, his ignoring of base coaches' signs on the basepaths or the incident in which he actually threw a lit firecracker into a group of fans, Coleman was a mess much of the time.
Bo Jackson's exploits on the football field were impressive enough, as the former Heisman winner still has the fastest 40-second time ever recorded at the NFL combine (4.12 seconds).
On the baseball field, Jackson was a one-time All-Star and hit at least 22 home runs in four of his eight career seasons, and he wasn't afraid to capitalize on his successes as he loved being in front of the camera.
But, hey, "Bo knows baseball."
Rickey Henderson is the best base stealer of all time, and we may very well never see his record fall, forever etching his place in baseball history.
For every bit as good as he was though, he wasn't ashamed to let the league, the fans and, of course, the media, know it.
It's hard not to have a problem with people referring to themselves in the third person, so Rickey has to find his way onto the list.
Dick Allen is one of those players who is occasionally considered among the best former ballplayers who doesn't have a home in the Hall of Fame.
He's got seemingly good enough numbers, but the numerous negative interactions he had on a regular basis with the media and teammates didn't help him win over any voters and has given him a reputation as one of the most egotistical players of his time.
All-time home run leader Barry Bonds has been known for so many different things it's hard to keep track.
He was never known as a clubhouse guy as he frequently alienated himself from teammates and also had a tenuous relationship with the media.
Indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in 2007, Bonds has spent just as much time in the limelight for the controversy as he has for his home run-hitting tendencies.
Testifying that he used a cream provided by a strength trainer would ultimately be his demise, as that would lead to his conviction on the obstruction of justice charge.
Gary "Kid" Carter was one of the greatest catchers to play the game, and his passing has the game of baseball missing one of the more memorable figures to take the field.
His demeanor made him appear to be one of the great fan favorites, although believe it or not, teammates didn't always see it that way.
Some took it as far as nicknaming him "Camera" Carter, saying that his fun-loving nature was just an act. There may have actually been something to it, as Sports Illustrated once named him one of the most disliked players in the game.
Currently ranked fourth all time in stolen bases, Ty Cobb swiped his fair share of bags in his day thanks in no small part due to the fact that he regularly sharpened his spikes.
Off the field, Cobb was every bit as arrogant as he was on the field, all the more magnified by the alcoholism he carried with him throughout most of his career.
After his playing days, Cobb looked retrospectively at himself and confirmed everything that fans were probably thinking:
In legend; I am a sadistic, slashing, swashbuckling despot who waged war in the guise of sport.
Nyjer Morgan certainly has his moments on the field, but it seems like he's just as well known for the sideshow that he brings to any team he's on.
Whether he's Tony Plush, Tony Gumbo or anyone else he conjures up, he could wear out any welcome if he lets it get in the way of his play on the field.
Morgan may not be the most egotistical player to set foot on the diamond, but he may very well be the most alter-egotistical.
When all is said and done, there's no doubt that Derek Jeter will go down as one of the best Yankees, maybe even all-around players, to ever set foot on the diamond.
He may not be the most egotistical players on the field, but off the field it's an entirely different story.
Luckily for Jeter, there's always enough autographed memorabilia to go around the following morning.
Gary Sheffield is another player who frequently crossed the line from whiny to dumb.
Whether it was his constant feeling of being underpaid and underrespected in the league, or his physical altercation with a fan, he didn't exemplify class.
Then there were his comments regarding Latin baseball players:
“What I said is that you’re going to see more black faces, but there ain’t no English going to be coming out. (It’s about) being able to tell (Latin players) what to do—being able to control them. Where I’m from, you can’t control us. They have more to lose than we do. You can send them back across the island. You can’t send us back. We’re already here.”
Aside from the off-field issues surrounding Roger Clemens' use of performance-enhancing supplements, his inability to own up to failure makes him one of the biggest babies in baseball.
On top of that, the cockiness he displayed on the mound when he was at his best was hard to watch if you weren't a fan of the team he played for at the time.
It also seems odd that each negative performance during the 1999 ALDS, 2001 ALDS, 2003 ALCS or 2005 World Series was attributed to some sort of ailment and not just a bad outing, almost as if he felt it impossible that he could possibly just "not have his stuff".
Officially announcing his retirement from the game this past offseason, Pedro Martinez leaves the game as one of the best pitchers of our time, but also one of the most polarizing.
Martinez was one of the most upfront players of his time when it came to interactions with the media, as it wasn't uncommon at all for him to call out opponents, almost welcoming controversy.
He'll be remembered not only for his dominance on the mound but also for incidents like his wrestling match with Don Zimmer and his insistence to be left in after getting into trouble in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Jose Canseco's massive stature may have in itself tied him to speculation surrounding the usage of steroids during his career, but Canseco also confirmed it in 2005 with the release of his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big.
Canseco took his admission even further in his book, stating that around 85 percent of the league was on steroids.
He also used his time in the spotlight to out former teammates Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro and others on their usage and hasn't turned down any other opportunity to give himself attention whenever possible.
In a clubhouse with superstars like the New York Yankees had, you could see where Reggie Jackson and his elite status may have issues sharing the attention.
His thoughts about himself are summed up best by a quote (up for debate) that was noted in a May 1977 issue of Sport:
This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and (Thurman) Munson, but he can only stir it bad.