Sports Illustrated polled current MLB players to vote on the “meanest player in baseball.” The results are kind of weird. A.J. Pierzynski “won” the top spot — and frankly, no matter how you’re defining “meanest,” he’s a good guess.
But Chase Utley came in second, followed by Milton Bradley (does he even play anymore?) and Carlos Zambrano, and then, at number 9, Nyjer Morgan. Chris Carpenter is in there at number 7.
I’m not sure I get the rationale behind this list. Utley likes to block the bag, and he’ll run over a catcher at the drop of a hat, so I guess he’s mean. Bradley and Zambrano don’t strike me as particularly mean — just unhinged, and not in a good Bill Lee kind of way. They’d be 1-2 on a “bad guys” list. Morgan is a goof, saying and doing stupid things that make his teammates cringe and his general manager deal him. Is he mean?
But it’s interesting to think that 215 MLB players came up with this list. Pierzynski, for what it’s worth, won in a landslide. His manager, Ozzie Guillen, has described him thusly: “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”