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Dishonorable Mentions: Major League Baseball


Some teams just can't stop at three strikes.

As the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays prepare to do battle in the 2008 World Series, Minyanville reflects on a season full of surprises (like the Rays' presence in the Series), soul-crushing disappointments (the American League's record as a whole) and some memorable missteps ripe for a Dishonorable Mention.

Worst Dinner Guest
Astros Pitcher Shawn Chacón

While it's common courtesy not to disturb someone mid-meal, Shawn Chacón might have overreacted when Astros General Manager Ed Wade asked him to come into his office while Chacón was eating dinner. Already upset at being taken out of starting rotation, the ballplayer stubbornly refused to stop eating. The 2 men got into a heated argument that ended with Chacón grabbing his boss by the neck, throwing him to the ground and jumping on top of him. He was released from his contract with the Astros 5 days later.

Worst Ideas For a Game That's Already Too Long
Instant Replay

After much deliberation, the use of instant replay during Major League games was approved, pushing the length of play to roughly 9 hours. Instant replay made its first triumphant appearance in September during a Yankees-Rays match. Alex Rodriguez homered, but Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden argued the ball could have been foul, given how close it came to the left-field foul pole. Umpires conferred; fans yawned. Crew chief Charlie Reliford finally agreed to the review. Guess what? It was a home run.

Worst-Tasting Foot
Yankees Co-Chairman Hank Steinbrenner

Like his father, Hank Steinbrenner is known as a something of a blowhard. Already persona non grata in Boston, Steinbrenner called the Red Sox Nation phenomenon "a bunch of bulls&%t." Paradoxically, he has both criticized former manager Joe Torre's legacy and claimed his father should have gotten more respect for hiring him. Along with his tendency to get vocal about the designated-hitter rule and divisional alignments only when it affects the Yankees, one thing becomes clear: Steinbrenner should let his publicist do the talking.

Worst Financial Planning
Seattle Mariners

That $700 billion rescue package may have gone to the wrong people: Before the start of the season, players and coaching staff were haphazardly added to the Mariners club like thrown confetti. Despite an opening day payroll of nearly $117 million, the team was still in last place by the end of April. Then began the purge. Among the dismissed: Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, Erik Bedard and manager Bill Bavasi - much to the relief of Mariner fans. The team went on to be the first eliminated from the wild-card race in post-season play. As if people in Seattle weren't already depressed enough by the weather.

Worst Ballpark
Ray Kinsella Field

If you're planning a road trip through rural Iowa, do yourself a favor: Avoid visiting Ray Kinsella's farm. Built on the grounds of his struggling farm (a bonehead move, if you ask me), Kinsella's so-called "Field of Dreams" supposedly features players from the Golden Age of baseball, but I didn't see one damn player except for some guy claiming to be Shoeless Joe Jackson. To be honest, he reminded me more of that guy from Goodfellas. Honestly, Ray, you're turning your daughter into a space cadet.
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