In a world of egos and large salaries, it shouldn’t be a big shock that professional sports is full of “MLJ’s” (Major League Jerks). However, what transpired with Atlanta Braves closer Billy Wagner about a week ago really turns me the wrong way, as it should every baseball fan.
Wagner was doing mop-up work in the Braves 7-1 loss to the Marlins and while doing so, managed to become the all-time major league leader in strikeouts by a left-handed reliever. His “K” of Florida’s Mike Stanton put him at 1170 for his career. He currently has 1171 and close behind him is Cincinnati’s Arthur Rhodes with 1126. Now, even though Rhodes is close behind Wagner, he probably won’t catch him because the two are about the same age, which is a gosh darn shame. Why?
After the strikeout of Stanton, Wagner refused to though the ball to the Braves dugout and keep it as a memorable item. He kept on pitching with it and eventually threw it in the stands after Hanley Ramirez fouled it down the third base line. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately in Wagner’s mind), a Braves club house attendant went into the stands to retrieve the ball.
Wagner didn’t want to keep it himself because of the way the game was going for his team.
I said ‘We’re getting our [butts] kicked, it’s raining, let’s go,’ ” Wagner said in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “It’s stupid. Who in their right mind makes a big deal out of doing something they’re supposed to do in the first place? I’m out there pitching in a [bad] game; we’re getting our butt kicked. It’s not worth it to make a big deal out of that. That’s embarrassing.”
To me, Wagner’s arrogance was disrespectful to the game of baseball and even the Braves organization, which wanted to cherish the moment.
Therefore, I considered Wagner to be one of the most asinine people in professional sports. Of course, he’s part of a very large group of imbosol’s, but Wagner’s stupidity made me think of the Top 5 Asinine People in pro sports, with Wagner being No. 5.
4. LeBron James
Before this summer, I would chastise anyone who thought LeBron was in over his head. However, once he went on ESPN for an hour and took part in that whole free agent charade, I lost all my respect for him. Nobody, not even the great Michael Jordan, is bigger than any game or sport. LeBron’s actions were a shot in the face to the fans of Cleveland and basketball. Did he have the choice to go where he wanted to? Yes. Is it an issue he went to Miami? No. Did he need to have that hour long show? Absolutely not.
3. Jonathan Papelbon
He is like Wagner’s estranged twin brother – same bad attitude and big ego. In addition to that, how annoying are his in game celebrations. It’s always like he just won the World Series after everytime he retires a stretch.
2. Sean Avery
Remember the “sloppy seconds” comment? This guy is locker room poison. For someone who is not even that good, why he opens his mouth so much is baffling.
1. Terrell Owens
Well, since he caused problems for every pro team he ever played for, I think it’s safe to put T.O. at the top of the list. This guy makes me want to hate popcorn.