50 Biggest Laughingstocks in MLB History

Doug Mead@@Sports_A_HolicCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2011

50 Biggest Laughingstocks in MLB History

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    Baseball is a sport that relies on statistics more than any other. As such, stat geeks relish the new wave of sabermetrics popularized by Bill James, who began publishing The Bill James Baseball Abstract in 1977.

    However, even before more modern times, statistics have been long revered, and because of their importance to the sport, players, teams, managers, general managers and executives have been immortalized based on their success or failure.

    While we celebrate the historical achievements of baseball’s greatest by inducting them into the Hall of Fame, others are simply celebrated for their errors, gaffes, horrible seasons or even horrible careers.

    Historically bad players, teams, managers, general managers and executives have their place in the annals of baseball history as well, and with this article, in no particular order, we will celebrate the 50 biggest laughingstocks in MLB history.

Neifi Perez

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    Shortstop/second baseman makes our list in honor of Bleacher Report writing program manager King Kaufman, who added his name to the sabermetrics community by creating the Neifi Index.

    While Perez hit .267 during his 12-season career with five teams, the Neifi Index measures a player's ability to contribute to his team's success by not playing. It takes the difference between a team’s winning percentage when the player does not play as opposed to when he is in the lineup.

    In Perez’ case, Kaufman cited his time with the San Francisco Giants. With Perez out of the lineup, the Giants had a .929 winning percentage, as opposed to only a .548 winning percentage with Perez in the lineup, creating an index factor of -.387.

    Seems to me like a valid statistic that measures a degree of awfulness.

Anthony Young

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    When Anthony Young debuted as a right-handed pitcher for the New York Mets in 1991, he no doubt had dreams just like any other youngster trying to make his mark in baseball history. Young certainly did that, but not quite in the way he had imagined.

    Starting with a loss on May 6, 1992, Young went on to lose 27 straight decisions (14 as a starter, 13 as a reliever) until finally breaking through with a victory in relief against the Florida Marlins on July 28, 1993. The dubious honor is the longest losing streak in history.

    Young also went 27 straight starts without a win, ending that streak on May 8, 1994 while with the Chicago Cubs.

Vic Willis

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    It’s probably a little harsh to put starting pitcher Vic Willis on this list, considering he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1955 and collected eight 20-win seasons during his career.

    However, for a three-year stretch from 1903-1905, Willis lost 72 games, including 29 in 1905, which is still the all-time record for most losses in one season.

    To be fair, Willis had a very respectable 3.21 ERA that season; however, the rest of the Boston Braves team that season was pitiful, offering Willis no run support and hitting just .238 for the season.

    Still, 29 losses is a tough record to ignore.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org

Vin Mazzaro

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    When Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane approved a trade that sent pitcher Vin Mazzaro along with a minor leaguer to the Kansas City Royals for outfielder David DeJesus this past offseason, he obviously knew something about Mazzaro that the Royals failed to see. On May 16, the Royals saw why Beane unloaded Mazzaro.

    Pressed into emergency service due to an injury suffered by starting pitcher Kyle Davies, Mazzaro came on in the third inning of the game against the Cleveland Indians. After just 2.1 innings, Mazzaro had given up 14 earned runs on 11 hits, with 10 of those runs given up in the fourth inning alone.

    Mazzaro’s laughingstock of an outing was the most runs given up by any pitcher who worked less than three innings in the modern baseball era.

Mike Kekich

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    Back in 1973, Kekich and Fritz Peterson, while pitching for the New York Yankees, decided to not just swap wives, but swap whole families. While Peterson went on to have four more children with Kekich’s former wife, Kekich and Peterson’s former wife split up within a matter of weeks.

    The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

    Photo courtesy tiskin.com

Rob Deer

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    Former slugger Rob Deer may have slugged 230 home runs during parts of 11 seasons in the majors between 1984-1996, but he also carries another very dubious honor.

    In 1991, while playing for the Detroit Tigers, Deer had the lowest batting average for anyone qualifying for the batting title in the modern era, hitting just .179 on the season.

    Deer is also the only player since 1910 to have four seasons of hitting below .220 while registering at least 400 at-bats.

Julian Tavarez

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    In a career that spanned 17 seasons (1993-2009) with 10 different teams, pitcher Julian Tavarez was well known for being absolutely hated by teammates and opposing players alike.

    Apparently, Tavarez never cared what anyone actually thought of him. Tavarez had a history of throwing at players after they left his team, he once called San Francisco Giants fans “a bunch of assholes and faggots,” and during his time in Boston, after fielding a ground ball at the pitcher's mound, Tavarez rolled the ball toward first baseman Kevin Youkilis simply because he wanted to.

    If you’re looking in the dictionary for the definition of “character player,” you definitely won’t see Tavarez’s name there.

Harry Frazee

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    In December 1919, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee pulled off a transaction that forever put him in the annals of hated figures in Boston history, as well as leading to what would become known as the Curse of the Bambino.

    Frazee was effectively banned from dealing with five teams in the American League in terms of any transactions by American League president Ban Johnson. As such, Frazee’s only options in terms of trading players or any types of deals could only be made with the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

    Since the White Sox were still in ruins following the 1919 Black Sox World Series scandal, Frazee’s only option was the Yankees.

    Thus, Frazee, scrapped for cash, sold Red Sox star Babe Ruth for $125,000 plus a $300,000 mortgage on Fenway Park.

    Fraze instantly took the mantle of most hated owner in the history of baseball, at least in Boston.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org

Shea Hillenbrand

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    There may have been no player who angered as many teams as third baseman/first baseman/designated hitter Shea Hillenbrand.

    While a good hitter throughout most of his career (.284 average, 104 HR), Hillenbrand was not a very selective hitter, never drawing more than 26 walks in any full season.

    Starting with the Red Sox, Hillenbrand was made expendable when the Sox and GM Theo Epstein signed Bill Mueller, who was considered a better option in terms of on-base percentage. Hillenbrand was then traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in late May 2003, but not before getting into a heated argument with Epstein.

    After just one season in Arizona, Hillenbrand was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, where he proceeded to whine about sharing playing time with both Lyle Overbay and Troy Glaus, eventually writing disparaging remarks on the Toronto Blue Jays’ clubhouse chalkboard ("This is a sinking ship") and getting into a shoving match with manager John Gibbons before being released that evening.

    After finishing the 2006 season with the San Francisco Giants, Hillenbrand signed a one-year contract with the Anaheim Angels. Hillenbrand wouldn’t even last half a season in Anaheim. On June 26, 2007 Hillenbrand was quoted as saying, "If I'm not going to play here, give me enough respect to trade me or get rid of me."

    Needless to say, the Angels granted his request and designated him for assignment the following day.

Les Sweetland

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    Between the years 1927 and 1931, Les Sweetland without a doubt carried the distinction of being the worst pitcher in that five-year period and one of the wildest pitchers in baseball history.

    Starting his career with the Philadelphia Phillies and ending with the Chicago Cubs, Sweetland didn’t just have a terrible record of 33-58 with an equally awful 6.10 ERA—he also walked over twice as many batters as he struck out.

    Sweetland’s career WHIP of 1.823 should give an indication of the fact that he should have quit his day job before he even started.

    Photo courtesy phillysportshistory.com

Hugh Mulcahy

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    In parts of nine seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates, pitcher Hugh Mulcahy became synonymous with one thing—losing.

    Mulcahy was actually nicknamed “Losing Pitcher,” and he cemented his reputation by leading the National League twice in losses (20 in 1938, 22 in 1940).

    Photo courtesy baseballinwartime.com

Danny Ainge

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    If it weren’t for the fact that Danny Ainge was such a bad baseball player, the Boston Celtics may never have won three NBA championships in the 1980s.

    Ainge, a two-sports star at BYU, is the only person in history to be named a high school All-American in three different sports (football, basketball, baseball). While attending BYU, Ainge pursued a baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays. However, Ainge’s baseball skills never quite translated to the professional level.

    In parts of three seasons, Ainge collected only 25 extra-base hits with just two home runs, ending his baseball career after hitting just .187 in 1981.

    Photo courtesy BaseballReference.com

Brien Taylor

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    In 1991, the New York Yankees had the first pick in the annual MLB draft, and they went after a player who put together one of the best seasons ever recorded by a pitcher in high school history.

    In his senior season at East Carteret High School in North Carolina, southpaw Brien Taylor struck out 213 hitters in just 88 innings, walking only 28. The Yankees drafted Taylor and paid him a $1.55 million bonus.

    However, in December 1993, Taylor found out that his brother had been beaten up in a fight. Deciding to go his brother’s assailant’s home to confront him, Taylor fell on his left shoulder while attempting to throw a punch. Taylor was never the same pitcher again and became only the second player in baseball history to not play in the majors after being the first overall draft pick.

    Ironically, Taylor could have avoided the fight if he had reported to winter baseball when the Yankees requested it. However, Taylor refused the assignment, saying the pressures of the regular season were too much for him and he wanted to rest for the winter near his home.

    Photo courtesy mgoblog.com

Philadelphia Athletics Trade Shoeless Joe Jackson

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    Legendary Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack enjoyed a tremendous amount of success during his 50-year managerial career with the A's, winning nine pennants and five World Series championships. However, Mack also had some very lean years as well, combined with a few total failures.

    One such failure was Mack's trade of young Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Cleveland Naps in 1910. Mack thought Jackson to be an attitude problem and felt he was not intelligent enough to play baseball.

    Two years later, Jackson set the all-time rookie record with a .408 batting average for the Naps, and before the 1919 World Series scandal broke, Jackson was widely considered one of the best hitters in the history of the game.

Roy Hartsfield

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    When the Toronto Blue Jays joined the American League as an expansion team in 1977, former Brooklyn Dodgers player Roy Hartsfield was named the team's first manager.

    Hartsfield had enjoyed some success as a manager at the minor league level; however, this was his first shot at managing a major league team. Turns out it would be his last.

    In the Blue Jays' first three seasons, the team lost a total of 318 games, and Hartsfield's winning percentage of .343 remains one of the worst in major league history.

Mike Veeck

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    When local Chicago DJ Steve Dahl was fired from his job at radio station WDAI when its programming shifted from album-oriented rock to an all-disco format, he was hired at rival station WLUP, which was an all-rock-based station.

    Dahl, in conjunction with Mike Veeck, the son of Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck, and several high-ranking personnel at his radio station, decided to come up with a promotion at Comiskey Park designed to blow up disco albums, apparently as a way of getting back at his former station for firing him, combined with his hatred of disco.

    The promotion took place on July 12, 1979 between games of a twi-night doubleheader between the White Sox and Detroit Tigers.

    Veeck, who was trying to come up with a way to draw fans to the park (the White Sox typically drew around 12,000 fans per game that season), certainly succeeded, as over 50,000 disco-hating fans packed Comiskey Park, with another several thousand unruly fans outside the park as well.

    The promotion was such a disaster that it prompted near riots within Comiskey Park, with fans lighting fires in the outfield. The umpires called off the second game of the doubleheader, and the White Sox forfeited the game to the Tigers, as the umpires deemed the field unplayable.

    Photo courtesy blogginaboutbaseball.com

Charles Comiskey

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    To say that former Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey was miserly is akin to saying that Howard Hughes had a little money.

    Indeed, Comiskey was cheap, often reneging on bonus money, requiring his players to pay to wash their own uniforms and paying Shoeless Joe Jackson, one of the best players in the game, only $6,000.

    It has been widely speculated that the reason many members of the pennant-winning Chicago White Sox team threw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds was to get back at Comiskey for his years of horrible treatment of his players.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org

Marcel Lachemann

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    In 1994, the California Angels named Marcel Lachemann their manager, replacing Buck Rodgers. After a strike curtailed the 1994 season, by the time baseball resumed in 1995, the Angels were on fire, at one point leading the Seattle Mariners by 11 games in August in the American League West.

    However, the Angels went on a nine-game losing streak, giving up major ground to the Mariners. After righting the ship for a short period, the Angels again lost nine straight in September, squandering a six-game lead to the Mariners and ending their season after a one-game playoff won by the Mariners.

    It is still considered one of the biggest collapses in MLB history, and Lachemann was largely blamed for the team's demise.

Stump Merrill

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    When Stump Merrill took over as manager of the New York Yankees, replacing Bucky Dent on June 6, 1990, his managerial career got off to an inauspicious start, losing his first four games.

    Merrill would suffer seven more losing streaks of four-plus before all was said and done in 1990, guiding the Yankees to a 95-loss season and a last-place finish in the American League East.

    Remarkably, Merrill was retained for the following season, and after leading the Yankees to a 71-91 finish in 1991, Merrill's managing days in New York mercifully came to an end.

    Photo courtesy sulekha.com

Vince Coleman

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    Former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Vince Coleman was certainly electrifying as a player, leading the National League in stolen bases his first six seasons. However, no one can ever accuse Coleman of possessing great intelligence.

    In my article published last week about horrifying incidents in baseball, I outlined some of Coleman's least shining moments:

    No one can ever accuse former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Vince Coleman of the being the most intelligent baseball player in history, that's for sure.

    From the man who thought it would be funny to throw firecrackers in the middle of a crowd of children and who injured teammate and pitcher Dwight Gooden while taking practice swings with a golf club in the clubhouse, we also have this little horrifying tidbit.

    In pregame warm-ups prior to Game 4 of the National League Championship Series in 1985 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Coleman was stretching in the outfield when it started to rain. The rain triggered the mechanical tarp roller, which started to cover the infield. Coleman failed to get out of the way, and the tarp rolled right over Coleman’s leg, chipping a bone in his knee and rendering him disabled for the rest of the NLCS.

    The Cardinals beat the Dodgers without Coleman, but lost to the Kansas City Royals in a thrilling seven-game World Series.

    Could Coleman’s horrifying injury have been a factor in the Cardinals’ defeat? We’ll certainly never know. It was definitely horrifying for Cardinals teammates to watch it unfold—or in this case, unroll.

    Photo courtesy isportsweb.com

Frank McCourt

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    Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has singlehandedly become the most hated owner in sports. Through his sensational divorce, the rumblings about spending Dodger money on his lavish lifestyle and his pending bankruptcy proceedings, McCourt has turned the Dodgers franchise into a soap opera.

    Laughingstock probably doesn't even begin to describe McCourt.

Terry Bevington

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    While former Chicago White Sox manager Terry Bevington certainly can't be called a terrible manager based on his overall record with the Pale Hose (222-214 between 1995-1997), he managed to become hated by just about every one of his players, coaches and White Sox fans alike.

    One particular memory puts Bevington on this list. During one particular game, he went out to the mound to pull one of his pitchers and promptly signaled to the bullpen for the next reliever to enter the game.

    There was only one slight problem: Bevington had no one warming up in the bullpen at the time.

Randy Smith

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    Was the city of Detroit besieged by terrible general managers or what?

    With Matt Millen singlehandedly destroying the NFL's Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers GM Randy Smith was doing his best to disgrace himself as Tigers GM as well.

    During Smith's tenure, he traded six players for aging star Juan Gonzalez, traded away Luis Gonzalez, Travis Fryman, David Wells, Cecil Fielder and Brad Ausmus (twice) in completely one-sided deals and was the architect of three 100-loss seasons (the last one coming after Dave Dombrowski took over as GM, but largely with Smith's "players").

2003 Detroit Tigers

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    Speaking of Randy Smith and his tenure, even though he was fired by Tigers president Dave Dombrowski in 2002, the damage for the future had already been done.

    Dombrowski hired popular former shortstop Alan Trammell to skipper the Tigers in 2003, and what came to be was one of the worst team records in the modern baseball era.

    The Tigers finished 43-119 that season, finishing dead last in the American League in almost every meaningful offensive category and finishing second-to-last in most pitching categories as well.

Milton Bradley

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    Outfielder Milton Bradley has not played in a game since being released by the Seattle Mariners in early May, 2011, and based on his often outrageous and childish behavior, no team has seen fit to sign Bradley.

    Throughout his career, Bradley was the subject of numerous on-field incidents, and every single one of them was the direct result of Bradley's complete and total immaturity.

    On Sept. 23, 2007, with his San Diego Padres in the thick of the race for the National League Wild Card slot, Bradley saw fit to attempt to go after a first-base umpire after words were exchanged. During the ensuing action, Padres manager Bud Black was trying to pull Bradley back from the umpire, and Bradley went crashing to the ground, tearing a knee ligament and putting him on the disabled list for the rest of the season.

    The Padres ended up losing the race for the Wild Card in the final week of the season.

1916 Philadelphia Athletics

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    In the early 1910s, the Philadelphia Athletics were the class of the American League, winning the pennant and the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913. Led by the incredible infield of Stuffy McInnis, Eddie Collins, Jack Barry and Home Run Baker, the A's seemed unbeatable.

    However, in 1914, after the A's were upset in the World Series by the Boston Braves in four straight, A's owner and manager Connie Mack dismantled the team. Beset by competition from the newly formed Federal League and dwindling attendance caused by the outbreak of World War I, Mack was strapped for cash.

    Two years later, after selling off most of his stars from the pennant-winning teams, the A's compiled a record of 36-117. The A's winning percentage that year (.235) is still the lowest winning percentage in the modern baseball era.

    Photo courtesy Wikimedia.org

1962 New York Mets

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    When the city of New York was awarded a new National League franchise after the departure four years earlier of both the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, fans were happy once again to have their city represented once again in the senior circuit.

    Little did they know just how bad that team would become.

    The Mets, led by irascible manager Casey Stengel, finished out the season 40-120 for a .250 winning percentage, just barely eluding the worst record in the modern baseball era set by the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics.

Marv Throneberry

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    Speaking of the pitiful 1962 New York Mets, possibly no one epitomized bad baseball in New York at that time more than first baseman "Marvelous" Marv Throneberry.

    While Throneberry could hit okay at times, he was an awful first baseman and an even worse baserunner.

    During a game in June, 1962, Throneberry hit a triple and was standing on third base. However, the umpire called Throneberry out, claiming that he failed to touch first base. When Stengel went out to argue the call, another umpire said to Stengel, "Casey, I hate to tell you this, but he also missed second."

    Photo courtesy centerfieldmaz.com

Choo Choo Coleman

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    In keeping with our theme of the 1962 New York Mets, we present catcher Choo Choo Coleman.

    In parts of three seasons with the Mets, Coleman had a .205 average in 167 games. However, it was his catching skills, er, lack of skills, that caught the eye of manager Casey Stengel.

    When Stengel first introduced Coleman to the New York Mets media, Stengel said of Coleman, "You have to have a catcher or you'll have all passed balls."

    Duke Snider, who played for the Mets for one season, once recalled how Coleman, who famously forgot people's names, didn't know Snider's name. To prove his point to the media, Snider walked up to Coleman in the clubhouse and said "Do you know who I am?"

    Coleman replied, "Yes, you're number four."

    Source: battersbox.ca

    Photo courtesy heartbreakingcards.com

Rafael Palmeiro

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    On March 17, 2005, designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro and several other former and current players appeared before a Congressional committee to address the issue of steroids.

    In a prepared statement, Palmeiro said, "Let me start by telling you this: I have never used steroids, period. I don't know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never."

    Four months later, and just days after collecting his 3,000th hit, Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days for a positive test for an anabolic steroid.

    Despite being one of only four players to collect 500 home runs and 3,000 hits during his career, Palmeiro only received 11 percent of the vote in balloting for induction into baseball's Hall of Fame in 2010.

Manny Ramirez

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    Despite the fact that he hit 555 home runs along with a .312 average during his 19-year career, Manny Ramirez will now forever be known as a quitter and a cheat.

    After being suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a banned substance (a banned female fertility drug that masks the appearance of steroids in the body), Ramirez suddenly retired from baseball just six games into the 2011 season.

    Apparently, Manny had been told by MLB that he had failed yet another drug test and was facing a 100-game suspension for a second offense.

    Rather than serve the suspension, Manny simply walked away, not to be heard from since.

Carlos Zambrano

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    Speaking of idiocy...

    Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano has certainly had his share of moments on the baseball field, in the dugout and in the clubhouse, getting into numerous scuffles with teammates and managers.

    However, in early August, 2011, after getting lit up by the Atlanta Braves for five home runs, Zambrano intentionally threw at Braves slugger Chipper Jones, earning him an ejection from the game for his efforts.

    Zambrano walked into the clubhouse, angrily announced to team officials that he was retiring immediately and left the ballpark.

    Although he recanted the following day, Zambrano was put on the disqualified list by the Cubs for 30 days without pay, and last week the Cubs announced that Zambrano will not pitch again this season, despite the fact that his disqualification ends on Sept. 11.

Dave Littlefield

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    The Pittsburgh Pirates, as a small-market team, haven't had much to deal with in terms of money over the past 19 years, but when a general manager exacerbates the situation with one bad transaction after another, it certainly doesn't help.

    Such was the case for former GM Dave Littlefield. In just under seven seasons, Littlefield became famous for letting stars such as Aramis Ramirez and Jason Schmidt go and getting next to nothing in return, trading for pitcher Matt Morris with $9.5 million left on his contract that the Pirates could barely afford and letting current stars like Chris Young get away.

    Photo courtesy razzball.com

John Rocker

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    Simply put, former Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker became a laughingstock in New York based on comments made to Sports Illustrated for an interview.

    Rocker tore apart New York citizens, calling them just about every unrepeatable name in the book and completely dissing New York subway riders.

Ray Oyler

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    From 1965 to 1970, Detroit Tigers/Seattle Pilots shortstop Ray Oyler had some value with his glove but absolutely zero value with his bat.

    In his six-year career, Oyler batted a pathetic .175, and his poor batting average prompted Tigers manager Mayo Smith to replace Oyler at shortstop during the 1968 World Series with outfielder Mickey Stanley, who had never once played the position before.

    Photo courtesy billmccurdy37.blogspot.com

Aloysius Travers

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    On May 18, 1912, Detroit Tigers pitcher Aloysius Travers pitched in his one and only game in the majors. Travers was pressed into service when several Tigers players decided to protest and sit out a game due to the suspension of star hitter Ty Cobb, who been accused of beating up a fan during a game.

    Travers had never played organized baseball before and was in fact studying to be a priest. Travers actually pitched the entire game but in the process allowed 24 runs on 26 hits, walking seven and only striking out one.

    Photo credit ignatianimprints.com

Marge Schott

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    In an article written three weeks ago, I described former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott as a woman who never failed to shock with her outrageous comments and views on life.

    Here is an excerpt:

    Schott quickly became a very outspoken owner, but in the early 1990s, Schott was outspoken in not such a nice way.

    In 1992, Schott used the "N" word in describing two former players, Eric Davis and Dave Parker, and later in the year, Schott issued a statement that essentially supported Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, and wondered why the use of the word "Jap" was offensive.

    After an investigation by MLB, Schott was suspended from day-to-day operations for the Reds for the year in 1993.

    Her problems didn't end there, however. On May 5, 1996, Schott again voiced her support of Hitler, saying that he "was good in the beginning, but went too far."

    Following those comments, Schott was again suspended from baseball, this time lasting through the 1998 season.

    Schott sold her controlling interest in the Reds in 1999 after learning that she had lost the support of the board and would be ousted.

Carl Pavano

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    When the New York Yankees signed pitcher Carl Pavano to a four-year deal worth $40 million in December 2004, they did so after Pavano had won 18 games along with a 3.00 ERA for the Florida Marlins the year before.

    So exactly what did the Yankees get for their money? Only 26 starts in three seasons (Pavano sat out the entire 2006 season), nine wins and plenty of grumblings from Pavano's teammates about his work ethic.

1899 Cleveland Spiders

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    In 1899, the Cleveland Spiders played their 13th and final season in the National League, and as it turns out, they turned out one of the worst teams in the history of organized baseball.

    In the early part of the season, the Spiders were only drawing an average of 199 fans per game, prompting opposing teams to refuse to play there, as their draw of the gate receipts didn't even begin to cover traveling expenses.

    The Spiders ended up with a record of 20-134 for a winning percentage of .130, by far the worst in baseball history.

    The Spiders were disbanded at the end of the season.

    Photo courtesy wcnet.org

1935 Boston Braves

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    In 1935, the Boston Braves were preparing for a new season. Only winners of one pennant and one World Series during the team's existence (1914) and a perennially bad team, the Braves had reason for optimism to start the 1935 season.

    Aging veterans Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville had joined the team, giving the Braves hope for a somewhat better season and better attendance.

    It didn't quite work out that way. The Braves ended up with a record of 38-115 for a .248 winning percentage, the worst in National League history.

    The '35 Braves also still hold the record for the worst road record in NL history, winning only 13 road contests all season.

    Photo courtesy ioffer.com

John Gochnauer

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    In 1903, while playing shortstop for the Cleveland Naps in the American League, John Gochnauer may have put together one of the worst seasons in the history of baseball.

    It was bad enough that Gochnauer only hit .185 during the season, but he also committed a whopping 98 errors in the field—by far the worst fielding percentage in history.

    Photo courtesy BaseballReference.com

1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys

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    In 1890 the Pittsburgh Alleghenys were beginning their fourth season in the National League, having moved over from the American Association in 1887.

    What the Alleghenys put together that particular season would become one of the worst years in baseball history. The Alleghenys completed the season with a mark of 23-113 for a .169 winning percentage, the second-worst record in baseball history.

    The Alleghenys would forever become known as the Pirates the following season.

Detroit Tigers Trade John Smoltz

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    On August 12, 1987, the Detroit Tigers, in need of veteran pitching help for the pennant run, made a deal with the Atlanta Braves to acquire Doyle Alexander for young 20-year-old pitcher John Smoltz.

    The trade turned out to be one of the most lopsided in baseball history. Alexander was out of baseball less than two years later, and Smoltz went on to become only the second pitcher to record a 50-save season along with a 20-win season.

    Smoltz is the only pitcher in major league history with at least 200 wins and 150 saves.

Bill Bergen

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    In an 11-year career in the National League with Cincinnati and Brooklyn, catcher Bill Bergen may have been one of the worst hitters who ever played.

    Bergen's career batting average was .170, and in only one season did he actually hit above .200.

Ozzie Canseco

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    Proving that at times the apple really CAN fall farther from the tree, Jose Canseco's twin brother Ozzie was not what you would call a stellar baseball player.

    In parts of three seasons with the Oakland Athletics, Canseco appeared in just 26 games, never registering a home run and posting a lifetime average of .200 in just 64 at-bats.

    Ozzie couldn't even portray his brother Jose in a celebrity boxing match, being found out as an impostor.

Jose Canseco

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    Speaking of the Canseco boys, Jose's entire career was essentially revealed as a sham in his book Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big.

    Canseco revealed that he helped introduce several baseball stars to steroids, continued naming names after the book was published and has become a "celebrity" boxer, among other outrageous career moves over the years.

Mario Mendoza

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    When your entire career becomes defined by how badly other players hit in relation to your batting average, it's not exactly a distinction that comes with honor.

    However, that is exactly what happened to light-hitting shortstop Mario Mendoza. Mendoza, in nine seasons in the majors, hit .215 during his career.

    The Mendoza Line in baseball essentially means that if a player is hitting under .200, he is in deep trouble. While the origins of the Mendoza Line are cloudy (depending on the source, either George Brett, Tom Paciorek or Bruce Bochy coined the term), anyone hitting below that line is deemed an awful hitter.

Woody Woodward

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    During his tenure as the general manager of the Seattle Mariners, Woody Woodward presided over teams that boasted the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez—yet ended his time in Seattle with a record under .500.

    Woodward also orchestrated some of the worst trades in team history, dealing Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek to the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb, shortstop Omar Vizquel for Felix Fermin and Reggie Jefferson and even unloading a hot young prospect by the name of David Ortiz.

    Photo courtesy MLB.com

1904 Washington Senators

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    Back in the early days of the American League, the Washington Senators were not one of the top-tier teams in the new league and actually won only one World Series championship during their entire existence in Washington in 1934.

    However, in 1904, the Senators put together one of the worst years in American League history. With a record of 38-113 and a .252 winning percentage, the Senators finished 55.5 games behind the pennant-winning Boston Red Sox.

    Photo courtesy thedeadballera.com

Pete Rose

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    It's pretty pitiful that the Baseball Hall of Fame may not ever include its all-time hits leader, Pete Rose, and its all-time home run slugger, Barry Bonds. However, that's what happens when cheating comes into play.

    In Rose's case, he was permanently banned from baseball by then-MLB commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1989 and refused to 'fess up about his baseball gambling activities until 2004, when he was promoting his book.


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