Over at MLBlogosphere, there is talk about who should get into Club Cooperstown and who should not. Some say it”s only what a player accomplished on the field that matters. Others take into account what happened off the field; that if a player misbehaved he should be disqualified and branded one of these.
So instead of debating the HOF qualifications of Jim Rice, Rickey Henderson and those who are worthy, I thought I’d stroll down memory lane and amuse myself with the losers – those who either committed acts of stupidity or were simply accidentally stupid. Feel free to add your own candidates for the Hall of Shame.
1) I must begin with two formers Yankees, Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich, pitchers who decided in 1973 to swap wives. Here are the couples in happier, swing-a-ding times.
2) George Bell was a kick – literally. The Blue Jays outfielder earned the wrath of Red Sox fans after charging the mound and attempting to karate kick Sox pitcher Bruce Kison. What a guy.
3) Kevin Brown didn’t endear himself to Yankee fans when he punched the wall outside Torre’s office and broke his hand. I found him so distasteful I had to turn away from the TV whenever he was pitching. Recently, he continued his crotchety attitude by threatening to shoot a neighbor in Georgia after a dispute over yard debris.
4) Vince Coleman tossed a firecracker into a crowd in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. He also missed the ’85 World Series after getting rolled up in the tarp machine. AND he hit Dwight Gooden with a golf club in the Mets clubhouse.
5) Chili Davis was on the California Angels when he slapped a fan who was taunting him during a game against the Brewers in ’05. I wonder if the fan slapped him back.
6) Tigers first baseman Darrell Evans claimed that he and his wife saw a UFO from their California patio. “It was a triangular craft with brilliant white lights,” he said. “It was as if they singled us out.”
7) Kirk Gibson pulled a chair out from under former teammate Dave Rozema, who had a glass bottle of cough syrup in his back pocket. Needless to say, Dave missed his next start.
8) Larry Herndon missed a game after cutting his hand while eating a lobster.
9) Kent Hrbek missed the final 10 games of the ’90 season after spraining his ankle while wrestling with a clubhouse attendant.
10) It was Ball Day at Dodger Stadium when Raul Mondesi argued a called third strike and was ejected, causing 200 fans to hurl their souvenirs onto the field and forcing the Dodgers to forfeit the game.
11) Nolan Ryan missed a start after being bitten on the hand by a coyote. I know. He’s a HOF-er, not a loser. Still, no one should get bitten by a coyote unless they’re a small rodent.
12) George Brett. Pine tar. ‘Nuff said.
13) Bret Saberhagen tried to adjust to the New York media by spraying bleach at a group of reporters.
14) Mets pitcher Bobby Ojeda cut off his middle finger while gardening. Presumably, he hires landscapers nowadays.
15) The Tigers’ Lou Whitaker missed the last month of the ’88 season after tearing a hamstring while dancing at his sister’s wedding.
There are many, ma
ny others I could name – from Wade Boggs and the $12 million lawsuit filled by his mistress, to Gary Carter’s rather tacky attempt to interview for the Mets managerial job while Willie Randolph was still occupying the office.
But it’s late here in California. I’ve run out of gas. If I’m not careful I’ll accidentally strain an oblique while washing off my makeup and be the sort of loser I’ve just written about.