Monday, July 18, 2005

The Hate List Hall of Fame

You have spoken, Mets faithful. And it's official:

You love the hate list.

First off, let's give credit where credit is due. The hate list is a subconscious derivative of the "a-hole of the moment" feature from the Dodger Blues website. For those of you who think I'm funny, trust me; I don't hold a candle to these guys. Check 'em out.

Your adoration for the hate list got me thinking...if I really applied myself, I could put together a whole 25 man roster just of players that I hate (25 years of angst can't be narrowed down to just one player). And what can be better than that? I mean, people love to hate, right? ESPN dedicated a whole article on hate.

I live by the axiom: "Give the people what they want." So on this off day, I'm giving you what you want: HATE, and lots of it. Here now, my 25 man roster for the Metstradamus Hall of Hate:

Catcher: Mike Scioscia/Dodgers Catcher is a tough position to call...I have tremendous respect for catchers. And there aren't a lot of catchers that are societal freaks and curmudgeons. So it came down to one thing to get Scioscia on this list. Game 4, 1988 NLCS. It was cold...bitter cold. And Scioscia's HR ensured that I would sit in the upper deck for three more innings and watch the Mets lose.

First Base: Jeff Kent/Many Teams Kent has played some first base so he goes here to make room for my hall of fame second baseman. It didn't help that Kent came in the David Cone deal (another great Mets trade). His refusal to wear the clown outfit for rookie initiation exposed him as a sociopath. Then started his assault on hall of fame numbers after he leaves. And his fake Texas accent ticks me off. The man with the porn star mustache is from California for heaven's sake! The only time I ever rooted for Barry Bonds was in his dugout fight with Kent.

Second Base: Robby Alomar/Mets From day one, was not excited about being a Met...complaining about Mark Shapiro and how Cleveland mistreated him, then near the end complained that he didn't have a reason to come to the ballpark. Boo hoo. I'll forever love Roger Cedeno for teasing Alomar about his baseball card and causing Alomar to expose himself as a thin-skinned crybaby.

Shortstop: Rey Ordonez/Mets Another tough position to call, but when you call Met fans "too stupid", you zoom to the top of the list...especially when it's the only time in seven years that you decided to speak english to reporters. (Derek Jeter should get a special mention here, but I hate more what he represents and the elevated status he gets from the New York press at the expense at the rest of the Yankees roster, than the man himself. I won't even mention how Jeter's whole legacy started on a home run that should have been an out.)

Third Base: Larry Jones/Braves He could be the utility man of the group, since he can play short and left field as well. But I have lots of outfielders for this team and not really anyone else at third. Larry, who said that Met fans would go home and put on their Yankee gear, and named his child Shea for crying out loud, is the clear cut winner at third.

Left Field: Vince Coleman/Cardinals and Mets For those who are only old enough to remember Brave hate, in the mid 80's there was Cardinals that was hate. Coleman was one of the pesky punch and judy slap hitters that drove the Mets nuts...then came to the Mets and was useless. On top of that, he threw firecrackers at children, thought that playing on grass would keep him out of the hall of fame, and didn't know who Jackie Robinson was! What a role model.

Center Field: Ken Griffey Jr./Reds Turns down a trade to the Mets in 2000 so he can go home to Cincinnati. After that, can't stay healthy, and misses out on the Subway Series that he could have been the difference for. Karma's a bitch, aint it Junior?

Right Field: Bobby Bonilla/Mets Do you realize that from 2011 to 2035, Bobby Bonilla will be receiving checks from the Mets to finish the big contract he signed? And for what? For being the centerpiece of the worst team in history? For daring reporters to knock the smile off his face? For threatening to show a reporter the Bronx? For playing cards with Rickey Henderson during Game 6 of the 1999 NLCS?

Righty Ace: Roger Clemens/Yankees "I thought it was the ball." Jackass!

Lefty Ace: Mike Hampton/Rockies The inspiration for this article. (Editor's note: Great catch as usual by Matt Cerrone where the compensatory pick from Hampton's departure turned into David Wright. That's some silver lining. However, I will continue to enjoy the Mets bashing his brains in at every opportunity).

Third Starter: Mike Scott/Astros While a Met, was dubbed "The Human White Flag". Then waits until he leaves to learn to cheat. Was the MVP of the 1986 NLCS for cheating in games 1 and 4.

Fourth Starter: John Tudor/Cardinals One of the best lines I ever read about a pitcher, and I can't remember where it was from, was that "John Tudor always looks like he's pitching right after a root canal surgery". Priceless.

Fifth Starter: David Wells/Yankees It takes a lot to make this team without having any direct connections with the Mets, but Wells does it. But he makes the list because he says stupid things like "If I were Kenny Rogers, I would have done the same thing", then proceeds to know why the cameraman was winking. I could sit here and say that Wells is really brave when it comes to talking to the media about such things, and that I bet he wouldn't have the guts to go up to the cameraman and tell him what he thinks...and that Wells is one of those guys who purposely takes the controversial side so he can be "hip and edgy" so he can have a permanent place on the panel of "The Best Damn Sports Show, Period" when he retires. But I don't know Wells personally, so I would never say such things. And until Wells gets to know this cameraman personally, the fat drunk should butt out!

Righty Closer: Armando Benitez/Mets Has the intestinal fortitude of a marshmallow. Can't win a big game, whines that the media only talks to him when he loses, and only throws at a hitter because he hits him well (a la Clemens).

Lefty Closer: John Rocker/Braves You know why. I'm not going to insult your intelligence by expounding any further.

Middle Relief: Donne Wall/Mets Gives up a home run to Jason Jennings in Jennings' first ever game. I spent the next half inning heckling him mercilessly. There's a good story that goes with this, but I have to save some stuff for posting in the off-season when it's slow.

Middle Relief: Mike Stanton/Yankees and Mets Those of you who read regularly know that I can't stand Mike Stanton. It's not only the fact that Stanton was an important cog on the great Yankee teams and gave up three run HR's to the likes of Endy Chavez as a Met, but during the post game celebration after the 2000 World Series, Stanton actually bothered to spray champagne at the TV screen in the clubhouse when Bobby Valentine was doing a post game interview. I wanted no part of him after that. And not only that, Stanton was the guy who whined and bitched that the Mets were too public with their 9/11 charity work (thank you darth marc for reminding me of that). Only Mike Stanton could take a horrible tragedy and use it as a point for Yankee/Met propaganda. Good job, you're a class act. Now go have a another McRib.

Middle Relief: Mike DeJean/Mets An awful, awful pitcher. But that alone usually doesn't get you on this team...Mike DeJean pulled a Bobby Bonilla and complained to the official scorer about charging David Wright with an error so his ERA would go down from 800 to 799.90. David Wright is the future of the franchise and Mike DeJean is a washed up reliever who once argued with his manager on the mound for all to see. But DeJean felt it necessary to throw Wright under a bus. Nice.

Bench: Brian Jordan/Braves When he was traded away from Atlanta for Gary Sheffield, I thought the Mets got the best end of the deal...they wouldn't see Brian Jordan 19 times a year.

Bench: Eddie Perez/Braves This team needs a catcher, and Eddie Perez is one of those guys that chirps when a pitcher throws a ball one inch inside.

Bench: Pat Burrell/Phillies Why he turns into a monster at Shea is beyond me.

Bench: Terry Pendleton/Cardinals September 11th, 1987 may be the most heartbreaking game I've ever been to at Shea. Two outs, two strikes, ninth inning, Mets up by two runs with Roger McDowell on the mound and one strike away from cutting the Cardinals' lead in the division to a mere half game...Terry Pendleton moves up in the box to jack a sinker out to center field to tie the game. Then after getting two runners on for Keith Hernandez in the bottom of the inning, he grounded out to first and the Cards won it in the 10th. It's generally regarded as the game which cemented the pennant for the Cardinals. Once again, there's a great story that accompanies this game, but I'm not emptying my chamber at this point. Let's just say that Pendleton home run caused many a fan to go home with sore bones for years after.

Bench: Pedro Guerrero/Dodgers You may think Pedro makes the list solely for throwing his bat at David Cone after being hit with a curveball, but before a 1988 game at Shea Stadium, Pedro Guerrero made an effort to sign every program down the third base line...and skipped me! Yeah, this one's a little personal but, my rules.

Bench: Jose Vizcaino/Yankees Remember that game winning hit in game one of the World Series that the traitor was responsible for? Well Vizcaino received the ball from either a fan or a stadium type, but Vizcaino lost the ball in the glove compartment of a rented car. It's a small victory, but I still hate him.

Bench: Juan Gonzalez/Rangers "I want to be a Met" he says before he decides to sign with the Rangers. He's played 186 games in the three and 1/2 seasons since his last minute change of heart. See: "Ken Griffey Jr."

Manager: Whitey Herzog/Cardinals As I have said before, before Braves hate, there was Cardinals hate. And the personification of Cardinals hate was their manager, Whitey Herzog. His nickname, "The White Rat" was fitting. I can't think of any more fitting punishment for him than to manage this bunch.

Bench Coach: Art Howe/Mets Here is all you need to know about Art Howe: August 29th, 2004, after basically being asleep the entire season, wakes up in time to pull off his greatest managerial feat in his Met career...he plays the infield in with a runner on third base with the score 8-1 Dodgers. As you know, a 7 run lead with one out in the eighth is fine, but an eight run lead in the eighth is insurmountable. (Otherwise known as "WHY?") Steve Finley singled to center to drive in the run, and put the game away.

Bench Coach: Dallas Green/Mets There are many others you can make a case for here, Buddy Harrelson and Jeff Torborg come to mind. And while I see the arguments I go with Dallas Green for basically throwing away Jeromy Burnitz and ruining Generation K by pitching them into the ground.

General Manager: Al Harazin/Mets Oh lord Harazin was beyond bad...he wasn't even a baseball guy, he was a lawyer posing as a baseball man. I think he's actually teaching a law class now. This was the man that not only wheeled David Cone, but put together that awful 1993 team. Frank Tanana? Tony Fernandez? Butch Huskey? Harazin wins...hands down!

Uniforms: 1993 Mets home uniforms The official wardrobe of failure.

Close runner up: The 1988-1992 Mets road unis. When the Mets went to a script "New York" for the roadies during the 1987 season, Wally Backman had mentioned that the best part about the new unis was that the letters weren't in block form to look like the Yankees. So what do the Mets do in 1988? They go with the Yankee style block letters. Thanks for listening.


Richard B. Wade said...

Absolutely tremendous.

Metstradamus said...

Maz, you're on the right track. I thought long and hard about Tony Fernandez..."Mr. Gallstones". He swore up and down years later that he was really hurt during his time with the Mets and that was the only thing that kept him off. He was one of the last cuts, believe me. I'll probably put him on the daily list a few times to make up for that. But he deserves to be there.

Doug Sisk, Mike Maddux, and Alejandro Pena were tough cuts as well.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

You, my friend, are a bad ass. (That's a complimnet in these parts.)

That is possibly the best post I've read anywhere in ages -- laugh out loud funny and on the nose, right down to the uniforms. What the hell were they thinking?

I'm going to show my age here, But I remember when Pete Rose was the No. 1 enemy at Shea for his scrape with Buddy Harrelson in the 1973 playoffs. I think Rose was booed relentlessly througout the 1970s for that brawl.

Adam C said...

Totally agree about Alomar, but I must say he was damn good when he was here in Toronto.

There's no one I enjoy see getting the tar beat out of him than David Wells. Fat ass.

Totally agree about Clemens. I love watching him get beat too. That Allstar game in Houston was great. Did he find his Hummer?

You guys out there don't dis Tony Fernandez!!!

Let me add to the your list:

Frank Thomas: Can't stand his nickname. Ain't hurting nobody. Damn slow. He seems to have loser written all over him.

Lou Pinella: I won't say I hate him, but I just don't understand... It's depressing watching him in those slimy unis

Anyways... Visit my blog

Metstradamus said...

Dave, I remember a game in '84 when it was a packed house for the Expos, and Pete Rose was deluged with chants of "Pete Rose Sucks" the whole game. During the 8th (finer details courtesy of, Rose took three strikes while the chants were at their loudest, and after the third strike, Rose was tossed. I'll never forget it, it was WILD!

And Tony Fernandez WAS great with Toronto. Heck he was great everywhere he went...except Shea for that first part of 1993. Typical.

Thanks for the kind words y'all.

Richard B. Wade said...

Ah, 1984. I spent the latter part of that year in the womb.


Great list, but we've got to have Pete Rose somewhere in there for his fight with one of our all time heros, Bud Harrelson. (For those too young to remember, see Kenny Rogers needs to also be in there for his walk-off base on balls in the 11th inning against the Braves in the 1999 NLCS, giving the Braves the title. And M. Donald Grant is definitely the worst GM in baseball history. Somewhere around I still have a bumper sticker that says "Grant's got to go. Save our Mets!"

Metstradamus said...

This is one of those rare instances where I wish I was older so that the Pete Rose hate from 1973 really had a chance to wash through me. Truth be told, my earliest recollections of Pete Rose was as a Phillie...and I liked him! But even though I wasn't around to appreciate hating him, he belongs on this list.

Kenny Rogers: He belongs too...and certainly if this was more of a consensus list, Rogers would be on there instead of say, Donne Wall. But obviously some of the choices here were simply mine and mine alone.

M. Donald Grant: Certainly the man who traded Seaver deserves to be here. Can we create a position for him? Special assistant to Metstradamus? Again, I wasn't quite old enough to really be enraged by his stupidity...only old enough to re-live the misery via books.

Remember, when it comes to hate, there are no wrong answers. Maybe we'll put together a farm team of hate one day.

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

You can add Dick Young in the sportswriter category. He's the man who was the mouthpiece for the Mets management -- his son-in-law worked for the team -- and he wrote the column that finally drove Seaver out of town. It was some cheap shots against his wife, about how she was allegedly jealous of Ruth Ryan. Seaver read that, went nuts and demanded out, forever scarring my youth.

I laminated Dick Young's obit and kept it on my fridge for years. On a bad day, I'd read it and say "On the bright side, Dick Young is still dead."

Harsh, I know...

Metstradamus said...

WOW! Now THAT is hate!!! YOU WIN!!!

Thanks for refreshing my memory on that...I did read about the Dick Young column. Unreal.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Met from from day 1. All these entries are superb and have brought back some memories.

I've got an obscure addition. It's kind of an indirect hate. Mike Glavine. Yes, Mike, the OF brother of Tom. I didn't check, maybe he's gone now, but he was on the triple A Tides roster for 2 years or more. An old guy with a .200ish BA and no discernable value wasting a development roster spot that could have been used by some potentially useful young ballplayer. I figure his presence had something to do with satisfying Tom. Maybe it's even in Tom's contract.

Young OFs have been released because Mike Glavine was holding a roster spot so there was "no room". Think Kenny Kelly here. I don't know if Kelly would have been at all successful, but I'd certainly rather give those few ABs to him and let him have a chance than waste them on Mike Glavine.

Metstradamus said...

pj, I vaguely remember that brawl. I thought Khalifa was going to die.

Totally agreed on Mike Glavine. He followed Tommy from Atlanta to New York and it was so obvious that he was with the team to make Tommy happy. That's a good one.

Anonymous said...

This can't be a complete list without Jimmy Qualls. Sob.