In a story that will surprise approximately zero baseball fans, Alex Rodriguez (10 percent) was voted the game’s second-most hated player — behind the ChiSox’ AJ Pierzynski (34 percent) — in a survey by 100 anonymous MLB players conducted by Men’s Journal.
Anyone who follows baseball knows that A-Rod is not liked by opposing players ( for some very strange reason) and even some teammates. Whether that hate is justified or not is a judgement* call, but regardless of how you feel about him it’s easy to see why someone would not like him.
*For those of you scoring at home: I’m not a fan of Al’s. I think he’s a great player and has done great things for the Yankees, but he’s really hard to like in my opinion. I can see both sides of the argument, but I’ll put it this way: I want him to do well and succeed but I will never buy/wear his jersey. He comes off as very unlikeable (i.e. a prick) in my view, although I must admit he’s toned it down since he first joined the Yanks. If you’re a fan, that’s great; to each his/her own, but I will never embrace him as a fan. The reason why is another blog post for another day. Hint: it has nothing to do with his postseason “shortcomings” or him not being a “real” Yankee, which is a dumbass thing to say. Any player who has stepped into the batter’s box for the Yankees, even only once, is more of a “real” Yankee than any of us fans will ever be.
The thing that is actually surprising about this poll is that Nick Swisher (nine percent) was third on the list of most hated players. I maybe can see how his antics can rub some players the wrong way, but he never really does anything to show up opponents IMO. If you’re going to throw his pointing-to-the-sky motion after every hit in my face, save it — he does that to honor his late grandparents who raised him.
And I’m not just saying this because he’s a Yankee, I’ve sweated Swish Dog ever since he was on the A’s. He’s fun to root for and just seems like good people. Although, much like the A-Rod hate being justified, whether or not Swish’s schtick is genuine is debatable.
Anonymous AL vet:
Everything about [Swisher] is annoying, from his mannerisms to his always wanting to ‘bro’ it down. Being around him is just exhausting.
Complete hypothetical: How funny would it be if the anonymous veteran was Jeter or another Yankee?
I can see what Anon is saying, but I’d rather be teammates with/play against a guy who is always smiling, happy and catering to the fans than a guy who is a surly a-hole. It’s hard to believe Swish got one less vote than A-Rod in this poll.
Joba was also a victim of this poll. He was voted “most overrated” by these 100 unnamed players.
If Joba didn’t play in New York, no one would know him.
Anon may have a point here. Look at John Axford’s stats compared to Joba’s. Ax Man has pitched over 200 fewer innings but has put up better numbers, and he’s hardly the household name that Joba is. Put Axford in NY and Joba in Milwaukee and let’s see what happens. Regardless, it’s not Joba’s fault that he plays for the Yanks.
Whatever. We really shouldn’t get too worked up over this. Anonymous polls don’t really tell you much, especially when there was only 100 players polled out of the 750 players in MLB. The 750 players is if we’re only going by 25-man rosters, if this poll used people on the 40-man rosters than it was 1/12 of the player pool. Not very telling, or, as they say, it’s quite the small sample size.
Another poll taken was the city with the most obnoxious fans. San Francisco (which surprised me) came in first, then Philadelphia (truth, trust me I lived down there for eight years) and New York came in third. That seems…about right. Let’s face it, the Yanks and the Mets have some very knowledgeable fans, but they also have their fair share of yahoos. Don’t believe me? Listen to some of the callers on Francesa’s show. Looking at you, Ralph in Manhattan.