As we sit here a few weeks away from an election, the country seems as divided as ever. The vitriol taking place around our election has spilled over into the sports world and it feels like it’s not acceptable to just have a different opinion anymore. You think Lebron is better than Jordan? You’re the dumbest human alive! You think golfers wearing hoodies is a travesty on the sport? Well, you must hate poor people. You think PED users should be in the hall of fame? Well, how about I shove a needle up your ass?!
With all this hate out there, we thought it would be nice to have someone bring some positivity, some calm and some sense of rational thought to the internet. Unfortunately, we do not have any of those things to offer, so instead we’re piling on with a new series titled, “Hateability Rankings.”
The goal of the series is to provide you with the teams that we find to be the most objectionable in each sport. Or, at least in some sports. And it may not be a series, but one post. But, to get us started, let’s pretend this will become a regular thing and since we’re sitting here watching some baseball, let’s start with MLB.
As always, these rankings are the only the author’s thoughts and in no way reflect the feelings of Work Hangover as a company. Now, let’s countdown the 5 most hateable teams in Major League Baseball. And no, hateable is not a real word. Spell check is not happy.
5. New York Mets
The Mets might be higher on this list if they were remotely relevant to actual title discussions, but the fact that they grab more attention than more successful franchises is particularly annoying. They have won two titles, but the one in 1986 only happened because of the most famous error in baseball history. On their Wikipedia page, it lists 16 “New York Mets Hall of Famers” but only two of them are actually wearing a Mets hat on their plaque. In fact, there are more Mets broadcasters in the Hall of Fame than players that you would readily associate with the ball club. So, you’ve only won 1.5 titles in your history, you’ve made the playoffs 9 times in 58 seasons but you’re on TV so much that 3 broadcasters have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. And you wonder why everyone hates you.
4. Boston Red Sox
In the fall of 2004, we admit that we were pulling for the Red Sox for two reasons. First, we watched most of the 2004 playoffs with Hangover contributor Cheston, who happens to be a Red Sox fan (which is the second worst team he supports behind UVA) and we felt sorry for him. At the time, his teams didn’t have much to cheer about. Second, their win in the ALCS also serves as the biggest choke job in the history of Major League Baseball and that title now belongs to the Yankees (who you may see later in this list). After that title though, we can all go back to finding the Red Sox insufferable and their fans even worse.
3. Chicago Cubs
One man’s lovable loser is another man’s hateable big market team that spends a bunch of money and rarely has anything to show for it. As another franchise that suffered from a curse, this one from a billy goat, we did go through a short window of time that we rooted for the Cubs to finally win a World Series. Honestly, what bothers us about the Cubs are the fans. Whether it’s the ones who threatened Bartman after he kind of interfered with the possibility that someone might catch a foul ball in a game of some importance, or the ones who acted like they’ve always been fans despite the fact they grew up 1,500 miles away where they don’t even air WGN and have been to one game at Wrigley and bought a hat.
2. Houston Astros
The Houston Astros have long been innovators. Thanks to them, we have hideous dome stadiums, AstroTurf, the biggest cheating scandal that went unpunished in major league baseball history and these uniforms. Other than that, keep up the magnificent work.
- New York Yankees
Back in the fall of 1996, our beloved Orioles faced the Yankees in the ALCS. Decided underdogs, the Orioles had the lead in Game 1 in Yankee Stadium. In the bottom of the eighth, a rookie named Derek Jeter hit a long fly ball and just as Tony Tarasco was about to catch, some spoiled little punk New York kid reached over the right field wall and snagged the ball out of the air before Tarasco could make the play. The umpires ruled it a home run, and our disdain for the Evil Empire blossomed into full-on hate. Over the next 25 years, we would find ourselves rooting against the Yankees in the postseason often, and unhappy at the result almost as often.
However, our favorite moment in our hatred of the Yankees came during the 2001 World Series vs the Diamondbacks. To set the scene, it was Game 7, and a large crowd of scholars had gathered in a house in Chapel Hill to watch the game. There were a few gentlemen from the northeast who claimed Yankee fandom (and one person from Rockingham, NC, who claimed to be a fan because he once had a key chain with the team logo on it). Your favorite blogger was focused too much on his coursework to spend an entire evening watching the game (how do you think we developed these great writing skillz).
Nevertheless, we made our way into the viewing room as the game headed into the 8th inning. On cue, the Yankees score to take a 2-1 lead and bring in Mariano Rivera. One of my colleagues who claimed the Yankees as his favorite team handed me a Budweiser and said, “Here’s to another Yankees title.”
Disgusted, we set the beer on the ground and sat in misery. That is, until Luis Gonzalez’s wounded duck made its way over the outstretched arms of Derek Jeter and Craig Counsell came running home to seal the comeback and the Series for the Diamondbacks. Never had a Budweiser tasted so good.