Wacky Baseball is Wacky
Saturday July 24, 2016 was supposed to be just another ordinary night in the United States of America. Families were settling in to enjoy a movie, old friends were meeting up to have a good time at the local bar and baseball games were being played all throughout the country. Yes it seemed that everybody was in store for just another Saturday. However, at around 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, some peculiar news broke out from the south-side of Chicago.
Mere hours before their game against the division rival Detroit Tigers, the Chicago White Sox were scheduled to take the field with their ace Chris Sale on the mound. Strangely, right before the team was scheduled to warm up, word got out that Sale had been removed from the start by team officials. The widespread hypothesis was that Sale had been traded. As it was later revealed, the real reason for Sale’s absence was much stranger than anyone expected.
The real reason for Chris Sale being sent home had very little to do with baseball at all, but rather what the team would be wearing. The White Sox were supposed to be wearing a throwback version of the team’s uniforms from the 1976 season, but Sale asked for the special jersey night to be done away with because he felt they were uncomfortable. Management refused to acknowledge Sale’s desires. So like any other man who does not get what he wanted, Sale calmly went into the clubhouse and allegedly cut up all of the uniforms so that they would be unwearable for everyone.
Obviously reacting like a 4-year old who didn’t want to share his toy was probably the wrong career move for Mr. Sale. However, this provides us with just another example of good baseball players acting bad. This got me thinking, what are the greatest meltdowns in the history of Major League Baseball? So without further ado, here is the Exit 13 official list of the greatest baseball tantrums of all time…
Number 5: Roger Clemens 2000 World Series
This is by far one of the ugliest events in recent memory seeing as it occurred on the game’s biggest stage and involved two of the sports biggest stars. Since this World Series featured both New York teams there’s no secret that there was a lot of bad blood involved in games. That’s still no excuse for Roger Clemens who made sure that he hit Mets catcher Mike Piazza in the head earlier in the season and throw the end of a broken bat at him as he was running out a foul ball during the Fall Classic.
Number 4: David Ortiz vs Orioles Dugout Phone
This fiasco actually did not occur in a game or season where the Red Sox and David Ortiz were playing poorly. In fact, after Ortiz was ejected from the game, they went on to win by a score of 7–3. This meltdown is memorable for many reasons.
For starters, I’m sure that nearly everyone has sat in a room and thought that “Wow, how cool would it be to just go to town on everything in here with a baseball bat”? Well, thanks to the anger of David Ortiz, we as a society no longer have to wonder what this is like. (Also R.I.P. to that poor dugout phone. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten.)
Number 3: Carlos Zambrano vs Everybody
Over the course of his career with the Chicago Cubs, pitcher Carlos Zambrano developed a strong reputation around the league for being able to pick a fight with anything that got in his way. Zambrano’s fighting legacy would eventually go on to include opposing players, opposing coaches, his own catcher, his own manager, and a perfectly innocent Gatorade dispenser in the Cubs dugout.
Number 2: Phillip Wellman-Minor League Powder Keg
This needs no introduction. Just enjoy the video
Number 1: Frank Francisco
This meltdown is unfortunately much sadder than the others because a fan was actually injured as a result of the events.
During an A’s-Rangers game in 2004, Rangers pitcher Frank Francisco ran out to the bullpen and threw a chair into the stands. The chair then struck a young woman in the face resulting in her needing to go to the hospital with a broken nose and many stitches on her face and head. Francisco was later charged with Assault in 2005, a charge that he plead “No Contest” to. He lived out the remainder of his career being a journeyman reliever, most notably being one of the pieces that the Rangers sent to Toronto in a trade that involved young power hitting cather Mike Napoli.