I can’t put my finger on why, but I have especially enjoyed the start of this baseball season. I usually enjoy it, but this year has been especially good. As I have been watching, though, something has jumped out at me – some players really piss me off. I like some teams more than others, but I don’t really have a huge problem with most teams. I can’t say the same about some players, though. Here are five who really get my blood boiling:
Josh Beckett – I have enjoyed watching Beckett in his two big playoff runs, but overall I think he gets way, way, way too much attention. There’s just one stat I have to look to to justify that opinion, and it’s pretty much irrefutable – the Sox were just 13-14 when he started last year. He burns bettors’ money like it is going out of style, yet he keeps facing big prices. I cringe every time I see his about to pitch.
Mark Teixera – He’s played for four teams in a short time, and he hasn’t really done anything to justify hs massive contract at any of them. He’s paid like he is a cornerstone difference maker – an A-Rod or a Pujols. His play just doesn’t show that. He doesn’t look like he is tough enough or hungry enough to be worth the effort. I don’t get it.
Curt Schilling – I know that he’s gone, but it hasn’t been long enough for his obnoxiousness to be forgotten. Never in the history of the world has a guy needed to shut up more than Schilling.
Nomar Garciaparra – Nomar is just two years older than I am, and I don’t feel old. He gives people my age a bad name, though. He’s 35, but physically he seems to be about 90. He’s been on a steady decline for years, and that has caused him to waste all sorts of talent. That combined with the whole ridiculous grip, grip, grip thing on his bat and with his gloves is enough to drive me insane.
Jose Contreras – He’s getting a bit old these days, but he’s still going. The thing that bugs me about him most is how good he should be. He’s had an okay career since coming over from Cuba, but he has the game to have been much, much, much better. He can throw three different pitches that can totally handcuff any hitter, but he doesn’t have the determination to consistently throw them. When I first saw him pitch when he first arrived thought I was seeing a multiple Cy Young winner, not just a mid-rotation hack.