When you’re diligently being safe at home with no sports, apparently you dream up some interesting topics in your head. This one in particular proved to be very interesting amongst Dodgers fans.
The question was simple: name 5 Dodgers you wish were never Dodgers.
With close to 2,000 (!) comments between Facebook and Twitter, fans of all walks of life made their voice heard. Moreover, what’s shocking was the wide range of differing opinions.
Let’s dig into some of the top answers.
Schmidt, Reddick, Jones, Victorino, DeShields.
Dishonorable mention to Eugenio Velez
— DINGERS! (@TRUTHorDINGERS) April 16, 2020
Andruw Jones, Jeff Kent, Jason Schmidt, Josh Reddick and Manny Machado
— shmerg13 (@shmergen13) April 16, 2020
Josh Reddick x 4
— Gail Johnson (@GJOH29) April 16, 2020
Reddick, Reddick, Reddick, Reddick, and Reddick. pic.twitter.com/PXlHD30dFw
— Jon Beltran (@mavrickace) April 16, 2020
Are you noticing the pattern?
Yes, far and away the most hated Dodger of all time by Dodger fans might just be current Astros cheater Josh Reddick. And rightfully so.
The right fielder came to Los Angeles in 2016 and immediately flopped. Combined with his lack of productivity was the fact that upon his acquisition, the club sent the polarizing fan-favorite Yasiel Puig to triple-A to give Reddick the starting role. However, where his villainy came to a head was after he left LA for Houston when he had some choice words for the fan base.
His status as persona non grata was further cemented after it was revealed that the Houston Astros cheated the Dodgers out of a fair shot at a World Series title in 2017. Since then, Reddick has been incredulous about his Astros triumph.
Best Worst of the Rest
So you likely already knew that whole story and, in fact, probably already assumed Reddick would top the list of most hated Dodger of all time. Recency bias is a heck of a thing. However, there were a lot more names listed amongst the fans when it came to this question.
Here are some of the frequent names:
- Manny Machado
- Jeff Kent
- Brian Wilson
- Jason Schmidt
- Delino DeShields
- Andruw Jones
- Brandon League
- Carl Crawford
All across Twitter and Facebook alike, Manny Machado was a frequent listee. Of course, Machado didn’t make many fans in LA after his “Johnny Hustle” perception grew in the 2018 postseason leaving some feeling that his lack of effort might have cost LA a world championship.
Kent making the list is somewhat surprising — as he was good as a Dodger — but reasonable. He posted an OPS of .847 with 75 home runs in his 4 seasons with LA. The second baseman was even named to the 2005 NL All-Star squad as a starter.
His biggest crime? He was a Giant for 6 seasons.
Wilson & Schmidt
The reason Brian Wilson and Jason Schmidt are listed so frequently is pretty cut and dry, they too were Giants. They were also mostly terrible with the Dodgers.
Delino DeShields being named makes sense as he was the guy the Dodgers got back from Montreal in the Pedro Martinez mistake of 1993. That and he was quite awful in his 3 seasons in blue.
Andruw Jones basically stole $36M from the club to hit 3 home runs and bat .158 before being released in the middle of the 2-year pact. That’s
good enough bad enough to make the list.
Brandon League played the final 3 seasons of his career with the Dodgers. The numbers tell the story of a mostly OK pitcher that had one bad season. Unfortunately, that one bad season was a really bad season.
In 2013, as the Dodgers were starting out on what would eventually become 7 straight division titles (and counting), League was the closer to open the season and had an ERA of 6 into the middle of June… but he was still manager Don Mattingly’s (another oft-listed name) closer. After serving up 4 runs in his fourth blown save of the season, Kenley Jansen took the job from League and never looked back.
This feels like one of the more surprising responses as Crawford was fine as a Dodger. His biggest crime may have been his $21M-per-season contract that the Red Sox gifted to LA as part of the Nick Punto trade. The fact that he was often injured likely didn’t help the outfielder.
Most Clever Response
Patrick M. on Twitter offered the most clever and thought-provoking response…
1) Joe Kelly. I hate this guy, he's cost us 3 WS in his career (breaking Hanley's hand with StL, pitching out of his mind in the '18 series and last year being a gas can).
2) Delino DeShields
3) Juan Encarnacion (the Out Machine)
4) Josh Beckett
5) Carlos Perez/Milton Bradley tie
— Patrick J. M. (@PJMFreelance) April 16, 2020
Looking at Joe Kelly as a guy that has cost the Dodgers three World Series titles is an easy thing to do, albeit slightly unfair. Of course, Kelly was the Cardinals’ pitcher that broke Hanley Ramirez’s rib in the 2013 NLCS.
HanRam was otherworldly with the bat in 2013. He triple slashed .345/.401/.638 with 20 home runs and a 5.2 bWAR… in only 86 games. Fully healthy in the playoffs, the slugging shortstop batted .500 in a division series win over the Braves. He was then drilled in the ribs by Kelly in his second at-bat of game 1 of the NLCS and that was all she wrote.
Kelly also posted a Hall-of-Fame worthy performance against the Dodgers in Boston’s 2018 World Series win over LA. And finally, as a Dodger, the reliever served up the grand slam pitch that knocked Los Angeles out of the postseason in the NLDS for the first time since 2015.
Two names were often listed but do not qualify for this practice as they were not exactly considered Dodgers per se were two former ownership groups: Frank McCourt and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (Fox).
And they will forever be hated in Dodger lore.
Share your thoughts!
Usually, we aim to be a little more positive, but sometimes you just need to look at the players you really wish were never on your team. Assuredly there are some names that you feel were missed, so feel free to add them in the comments below as we continue the conversation!