MLB: 10 Worst Excuses in MLB History

Andy VanfossanContributor IJuly 19, 2011

MLB: 10 Worst Excuses in MLB History

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    Everybody knows what excuses are like. Unfortunately, they are becoming more and more common with information that is easily accessible with the social media and 24-hour news reports.

    The biggest excuse making period seems to have been about three to five years ago when MLB decided to crack down on PHD's and punish the people who were on them.

    Of course there are a few other gems out there regarding injuries and flat out cheating, but who are we to judge?

    Well, I guess I get to in this installment with the 10 worst excuses in baseball history.

    As a disclaimer, I looked at the past 30 years as "history" due to the steroid era, and I looked at "excuses" as somebody who got caught when at first they denied doing anything wrong.

    I did not include Pete Rose or the Black Sox scandal of 1919 simply because there was never an excuse, just denial. Enjoy!

Rafael Palmiero and Denying Steroid Use

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    Palmeiro got himself into trouble when he denied using steroids in front of Congress in 2005. After MLB did their own investigation, it was determined that Palmiero did indeed have a banned substance in his body.

    In a 2006 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Palmiero defends his position,

    "I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now," Palmeiro said. "I don't know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids.

    For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I'm never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don't look at one mistake." (Baltimore Sun. June 2006).

    Sounds like he was talking about of both sides of his mouth on this one. Which one should we believe Rafael?

Mark McGwire and Steroids

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    It was suspected that McGwire was on steroids after former teammate Jose Canseco published his Juiced book in 2005. It was also suspected he was on 'roids after a bottle of androstenedione was found in his locker.

    McGwire claimed it was on over the counter muscle enhancer which coincidentally had been banned by just about every professional and world governing body in athletics. However, he insisted that he took the substances only to aid in his recovery from injury and only in low doses. 

    Finally, in 2010, McGwire admitted to taking steroids in a much publicized interview with Bob Costas.

Clint Barmes and the Deer Meat

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    In 2005, then Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes fell and broke his collarbone going up stairs to his apartment.

    Barmes' first story was that he returned home cradling a bag of groceries in one hand and holding a sweatshirt in the other. He grew tired of waiting for the elevator to his fourth-floor apartment and decided to take the stairs.

    He then slipped on a stair and after failing to grasp the hand rail, landed squarely on his left shoulder.

    Come to find out, he was actually hurt carrying a gift of deer meat from teammate Todd Helton up the stairs when he broke his collarbone. The grocery bag is a much better story.

Joe Niekro and His Arsenal of Tools

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    On Aug. 3, 1987, Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Niekro while pitching against the Anaheim Angels
    throws a slider that breaks the laws of physics.

    When plate umpire Tim Tschida visits the mound to have a look, an emery board flies out of Niekro's pocket. Niekro's also carrying a small piece of sandpaper "contoured to fit a finger," according to second base ump Steve Palermo.

    Niekro was ejected and suspended for 10 days. He denied any wrong doing.     

Jeff Kent and the Motorcycle Accident

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    On a bright and sunny Scottsdale afternoon, Jeff Kent was just out washing his truck and then broke his wrist. A common occurrence we all can sympathize with.

    Come to find out, the dangers of washing his truck wasn't what broke the wrist. It was doing "wheelies" on his motorcycle and falling off.

    Kent denied it ever happened and stated to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle,

    "I think what is sad is that this incident has become bigger than the game," Kent said. "There are so many good things that happen on this field with this team that are good for baseball.

    I'm not going to comment anymore on the issue. This is becoming bigger and bigger," Kent said, "and if people want to give it wings, go ahead."  (2002-03-19 Henry Schulman


Sammy Sosa and His Corked Bat

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    Corking a bat has been done since the beginning of baseball.

    “I was using a batting practice bat” is how Sosa explained why the bat was corked.

    I realize there are "gamer" gloves and game bats, but I'm not sure why Sosa needed a corked bat for batting practice.

    When you add his corking incident and the doping, you really have to question how good Sammy really was.

David Ortiz and His "Vitamin" Excuse

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    Ortiz believes then-legal supplements and vitamins likely caused him to land on a 2003 list of alleged drug users seized by the federal government and Major League Baseball.

    "I definitely was a little bit careless back in those days when I was buying supplements and vitamins over the counter—legal supplements, legal vitamins over the counter—but I never buy steroids or use steroids," Ortiz said

    "I never thought that buying supplements and vitamins, it was going to hurt anybody's feelings." (Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe, Aug. 8, 2009).

Manny and His Fertility Drugs

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    Manny Ramirez tested positive to steroids. It was discovered Ramirez’ steroid of choice was actually a female fertility drug. 

    Ramirez was suspended 50 games for his first offense and "retired" when his second test came back positive and was facing a 100-game suspension.

    Manny being Manny seems about right. Hands down, this has to be one of the most embarrassing and lazy excuses that anybody in baseball history has come up with.

Barry Bonds and Steroids

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    Barry Bonds is the poster boy for excuses or denial by the "steroid era" baseball player.

    He has gone from all out denial to the following quote when asked if former trainer Greg Anderson had supplied him with anything.

    "I never asked. When he said it was flaxseed oil, I just said, 'Whatever.' It was in the front of everybody. I mean, all the reporters, my teammates, I mean they all saw it. I didn't hide it."
    (Dec. 4, 2003 during grand jury testimony, according to the San Francisco Chronicle).

    Bonds is the epitome of arrogance and sticking his finger at anybody who is trying to nail him for PHD use. This quote simply reiterates what type of guy he is.

Alex Rodriguez and Steroids

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    "When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure. I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day," Rodriguez told ESPN's Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview in Miami Beach, Fla. (Feb. 10, 2009)

    Whatever A-Roid. It's very easy to put A-Rod and Bonds in the same category. Bonds felt threatened that McGwire was getting more press than he was while A-Rod felt the pressure of the contract he signed with Texas that offseason.

    Nice excuse. I wonder if he felt the same "pressure" when we re-signed with the Yankees a couple seasons ago?


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