Get outta here ya bum!
You wouldn’t think a fan base like the Seattle Mariners — who is constantly accused of being too nice to their club — would have many villains.
Ok, yes, maybe the current ownership/executive group is pretty well despised but I’m talking about players.
While there haven’t been many there have been some players that have drawn the ire from the Emerald City. I can think of a few.
Here they are, in no particular order of hatred.
Bobby Ayala- Relief Pitcher (1994-1998)
The former Mariners‘ closer certainly is a good argument to be on this list, if not #1 on this list. Bobby Ayala played in what might be considered the golden age of Mariner’s baseball of the mid to late ’90s.
In his first year with the Mariners — 1994 — he posted a 2.86 ERA, walked only 26 compared to 76 strikeouts and saved 18 ball games along the way too.
To put it simply, Ayala was downright dominant in what turned out to be a year remembered for tiles falling from the ceiling forcing an endless road schedule that was mercifully ended when the players walked out on strike instead of his amazing pitching.
Ayala was never the same pitcher after that first glorious season in Seattle. He was eventually pulled from the closer role in favor of the Sherriff, Norm Charlton. Ayala’s ERA soared to 7.29 in his final year with the Mariners and he was regularly booed every time he made an appearance.
Chone Figgins- 3rd Base (2010-2012)
A more recent player scorned in Seattle is none other than Chone Figgins. Figgins signed as a free agent for 4 years starting in 2010. The reality is, he only played in 3 seasons, 2 of which he played in half of that seasons games because he flat out could not hit the ball anymore.
In his 3 seasons he hit .248, .188, and .181. YIKES! Yup hitting below the Mendoza line when you just signed on for 4 years for big cash will definitely bring out the boo birds.
The boo birds definitely got in Figgins’ head, too, as he was never able to recapture his swing. The Mariners wound up cutting him lose with more than a year left to go on his deal. An expensive mistake to say the least.
Heathcliff Slocumb- Relief Pitcher (1997-1998)
Another relief pitcher for the M’s comes to mind in Heathcliff Slocumb. The Mariners acquired Slocumb in a trade deadline deal with Boston midway through the 1997 season, a season that the Mariner’s were doing very well in.
The Mariner’s were buyers at the deadline that year, trying to make another run into the playoffs and they did buy when they added Slocumb, or should I say they did PAY.
Slocumb was acquired by the M’s to be their closer in replace of a fading Norm Charlton. Slocumb however saved just 13 games in his 1.5 seasons with Seattle. Ultimately though, Slocumb was hated by Seattle fans more for who they gave up to get him, than his anemic performance on the mound.
You see Slocumb was dealt to Seattle for two players that went on to have pretty darn careers. Pitcher Derrick Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek. Ouch! It hurts just reading those two names, doesn’t it?
Jeff Cirillo- 3rd Base (2002-2003)
Jeff Cirillo might be a textbook example of what Coors Field in Colorado can do for a guy who doesn’t hit all that well. Cirillo was acquired by the M’s via trade with Rockies. Jeff had hit over .300 his previous two years with the Rockies. Unfortunately for the M’s he threw up a .249 followed by a .205 before being given the boot.
Cirillo did have one thing going for him. He was a solid defender. Anyone remember that whole consecutive games without an error streak he had? It ended at 99 games thanks to a bad hop on a hard hit ground ball.
Alex Rodriguez- Short Stop (1994-2000)
I have to admit, Alex Rodriguez deserves to be on this list but his name is here because of an entirely different reasons than any of the others. Alex played well for the M’s. No one could argue that. He was a draftee so it’s not like we sold someone better to get him. No, Alex is hated in Seattle for arguably the same two reasons that still plague him today… Lies and Greed.
Who remembers that first home game against Texas in 2001? To this date, I have NEVER heard booing like that before nor have I heard it since. Monopoly money rained from the skies that day at Safeco.
Seattle played host of the All-Star game that same summer and Alex didn’t fare any better in that Seattle trip either. He even stated he didn’t want to participate in the Home Run Derby to avoid the boos. Alex stated repeatedly in his final season in Seattle that it would not come down to money and that he just wanted to play for a winner.
Then he signed with Texas for a record $252 million over 10 years.
Anyone remember how many games the M’s won in 2001? I think it was a big number, 116. Oh yeah, and it tied the record for wins.
Anyone remember how many games the Rangers won in 2001? 73, and that was good enough for LAST in the AL West.
Just remember folks, it wasn’t about the money. He wanted to play for a winner. Alex proved to the world that day by signing that $252 million dollar deal that what you say as a player can come back to haunt you in ways that you can’t even imagine.
Who was the worst?
My vote has to go to A-Rod but by all means pick your own.