The 2011 baseball season will gloriously kick off tomorrow in the early afternoon. It’s always a uniquely special time for MLB fans because it marks the beginning of at least one week where everyone, even Pirates fans, can be found with a glimmer of hope in their eye. A little over a month ago we took a look at some players that we’d enjoy having a beer with, so today, we’re naturally going in the complete opposite direction and discussing players that so many of us enjoy hating. Surprisingly, a few of them play in New York and Boston.
A.J. Pierzynski — A.J. is quite easily the captain of this team due to the passionate, universal hatred spewed in his direction year in and year out. Seriously, just look at him. There is no possible way that even the most reasonable of baseball fans could be expected to like this guy. When Michael Barrett punched him in the face, it was like we all punched him in the face.
Jonny Gomes — Gomes is virtually nonexistent these days unless of course there’s a giant brawl, which is usually the best way to find out which team he’s playing for. However, he did introduce a new trick this spring by allegedly singing and celebrating after learning of Adam Wainwright’s season-ending injury. Though he denied doing as much, it’s all likely an elaborate ploy to lure the Cardinals in only so he can savagely mark his initials into their chests with Terry Funk’s branding iron.
Alex Rodriguez — Yankee fans pretend to like him, everyone else thoroughly loves to hate him. From the frosted tips, topless in Central Park in his jeans, countless bottles of bronzer, poems to Madonna, herds of muscly women, grabbing Jeter’s ass, and the centaur painting, it’s a neverending marathon of awkwardness; some self-created, some not. Either way, you can guarantee that A-Rod is always pissing someone off. It’s fantastic.
Kevin Youkilis — Youkilis is cut from the cloth as A.J. Pierzynski in the sense that the mere sight of his face makes thousands of people want to tackle him and pull his goatee off. The widely hated Paul O’Neill retired after the 2001 season and it’s safe to say Youk has carried the torch quite well. Any Boston fan would happily step up to the Van Buren boys if it meant defending Youk’s honor, while fans everywhere else would feverishly applaud him getting slammed through the Spanish announcer’s table.
Milton Bradley — The Dennis Rodman of baseball, sans personality and impressive boink resume.
Jonathan Papelbon — The dude looks like Spencer Pratt and acts like he’s attempting to redefine the term “frat douche.” This is the rarest of cases where even fans of the team he plays for can’t stand him. Enough said.
Barry Zito — An enormous number of MLB fans have a deep rooted hatred for Barry Zito simply because he’s paid an exorbitant amount of money to suck, but he’s certainly not the only one in baseball you can say that about. Perhaps people are just jealous Barry can play the guitar.
Carlos Beltran — When 95% of the fanbase of the team you play for vehemently hates you, you make this list, particularly when they experience so much joy in doing so. Not sure if it’s the neg-burns, the amount of time he’s spent in a jacuzzi since arriving in Queens, or his tender relationship with the organization, but everything that’s ever happened to the Mets is Beltran’s fault, and it’s hysterical.
Nyjer Morgan — Morgan is MLB’s newest shit-stirrer and has quickly become a frequent target among fans. He thrives on fucking with people and often times appears to get a kick out of being the heel. Like many of us, Morgan is probably the victim of watching far too much wrestling as a kid.
K-Rod — Hasn’t taken the mound since boxing his father-in-law, but I imagine the fan reaction in most ballparks this season will be rather awful. Plus, his ridiculous mound karate following each of his saves had already earned him a comfy seat in the hate machine.
Manager: Ozzie Guillen — While his Twitter feed is a refreshingly innocent look behind those endearing choke job signals, he’s easily the most disliked manager in baseball, and it’s not close.
[Photos via Getty]