While the MLB is regularly seen as a league that has far more individual action than the NFL or NBA, there still are not a ton of personalities that stick out. It’s been seen as one of the marketing problems the MLB has had. There are folks out there, such as Mike Trout, who are generational talents, and somehow haven’t gained the national attention that they deserve. Younger stars like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Fernando Tatis bring a bit more spotlight, but the sport still lags a bit behind. So how do you come up with a list of the most hated MLB stars?
No worries because we love to make villains out of baseball players. Every stadium likes to have someone to boo. Every stadium wants their version of slowly chanting “Darrrrr-ryl!”. Rather than fight that urge to heckle, I decided to compile the list of the Top 5 Most Hated MLB Stars – the ones we like to heckle the most.
Top 5 Most Hated MLB Stars
It’s worth noting that I had him on this list before he was hit in the face with a 96.9mph fastball. There were probably a few sickos out there who enjoyed that quite a bit though.
Harper has been rubbing people the wrong way for a while. Some people enjoy a teenage phenom. Others hate them by nature. In the case of Harper, I think more trended towards the latter due to his self-confidence and swagger. His somewhat disrespectful answers to reporters certainly didn’t help his case – “Clown question, bro”. Nor did it when he seemingly started taking things easy in the field during his contract year. His defensive runs saved in 2017 was 6, which is a respectable number. The next year, in his contract year, it slipped to -21. Following that, magically back up to 11. Apparently, you can knock the hustle.
If that list of reasons isn’t enough to make him a lightning rod for hate, add in that he said the wrong city in his Philadelphia introduction. That’ll do it.
Trevor Bauer is the peak ideal of a player people love to hate. Some of it is because it is just so easy.
Despite being a professional athlete, Trevor Bauer uses his Twitter account much like you would imagine a faceless troll. When a Twitter user said unfavorable things about him, he spent the better part of his next week making sure to tag that person in a number of tweets and allow those who do love him to pile on that person. It is worth noting that he did claim it was good-natured and that he didn’t encourage people to attack that user. Even with this interaction aside, his Twitter is a tough place to gain a lot of fans. He muses on why climate change is a hoax, makes bigoted jokes, and more.
But even if you could care less about social media, Bauer enraged some of the fans of his former team by injuring himself during the 2016 MLB playoffs playing with a drone. Not a great look. But it was an even worse look when he then wrote a rap song (he has since deleted) about a former teammate.
After the move to San Diego, who seem to be everybody’s darlings, the hate for Machado seems to have waned a bit. That could just be due to not playing against Boston 19 times a year. The Red Sox had a load of reasons to hate Manny Machado. Notoriously, his slide into Dustin Pedroia seems to have contributed to the second baseman’s career being cut short. It isn’t the only time Machado’s base running has come into question either. On more than one occasion he could be seen stepping on different players’ feet. This includes, again, more than one Red Sox (Mitch Moreland and Steven Pearce).
With that being said, he’s not void of ill will in the NL either. In 2018, after a collision at first base with Jesus Aguilar, the benches cleared. So he may not have a single baseball team that hates him as the Sox did, but he’s still taking some heat.
Is it a cop-out to close out a top-five list with two teammates that we hate for literally the same reason? A bit – but people really love to hate them.
Baseball has seen a number of cheating scandals. We’ve seen corked bats, illegal substances, steroids, gambling on the game, and more. However, the idea of having technology aid in it seemed to really throw people over the edge. The public backlash to the “banging scheme” only became worse due to the fact that the league did not punish individual players. So already, Bregman and Altuve were about to face their share of boos in the coming years. The reactions of these two players in particular made it much worse.
After hearing rumors that the Yankees may have also done something nefarious, Bregman took the opportunity to try to chime in via Twitter. The Astros third baseman mimicked a tweet from Aaron Judge from when he found out. After the tweet wasn’t well-received, due to Bregman having done arguably much worse stuff, he deleted it. Altuve’s reactions, although a little less blunt than Bregman, also seem to have rubbed people the wrong way.
Who did I leave off this list that you think should be included? Let us know. And be sure to check out all of our excellent MLB coverage.