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MLB Players That No One Wanted in the Clubhouse

Updated November 6, 2017 13.8k views21 items

List RulesList includes MLB players from any era who were divisive and difficult off the field

MLB clubhouse cancers aren’t always avoidable, and sometimes teams are willing to deal with their toxic players in exchange for their baseball abilities. Sometimes skill isn’t enough, and the worst teammates and their bad attitudes are too much to handle. Rarely do teams prevail with these types of unpleasant personalities, but often times they’ll try to survive with them long enough for fans to see disasters unfold, and their teammates grow to loathe them. Some wind up blackballed and struggle to find a new team to play for, whereas others are good enough to remain highly sought after amongst the league -- these are some of the worst players in the clubhouse, capable of sabotaging ball clubs from within.
  • Photo: The Library of Congress / Flickr
    Ty Cobb, who many consider one of the best baseball players ever, wasn't as good with people as he was at the game. Cobb got in fights throughout his career, with groundskeepers, fans, umpires and fellow teammates.
    • Position: Outfielder, Center fielder
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Narrows, Georgia, United States of America
    • Bats: Left-handed
    • Teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Detroit Tigers

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  • Photo: Roger DeWitt / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    Alex Rodriguez has come with controversy and distractions throughout his career. It's remarkable that he's found a way to make as much noise off the field as on it, considering he's got some of the best numbers ever seen.
    • Position: Shortstop, Third baseman
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Washington Heights, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Bats: Right-handed
    • Teams: Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees

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  • Video: YouTube
    Barry Bonds is arguably the best baseball player of all time, though he never won a World Series and wasn't particularly well liked. It wasn't just teammates, it was journalists whom he was often rude to, as well as the steroid allegations that came up in the later half of his career. Bonds may have distanced himself and created a self-absorbed persona, but his abilities were undeniable. However, he may have played longer had he not been so widely thought of as a problem at the end of his career.
    • Position: Left fielder
    • Nationality: United States of America
    • Birthplace: Riverside, California, United States of America
    • Bats: Left-handed
    • Teams: San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates

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  • Video: YouTube

    John Rocker wasn't just concerned strictly with himself over his team, but he made comments that offended many and alienated him from teammates. When asked if he'd play for the New York Mets or New York Yankees, Rocker replied as follows:

    I'd retire first. It's the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you're riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It's depressing... The biggest thing I don't like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?
    • Position: Pitcher
    • Birthplace: Statesboro, Georgia, United States of America
    • Teams: Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Cleveland Indians