Grote’s Gripes: Mad Men Of Baseball

It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

HOLLYWOOD, CA –Congratulations to the new Kings of the NHL. My beloved Bruins are no longer the reining Stanley Cup Champions but the Kings showed this post season that they deserved it.

This past Sunday, season 5 of Mad Men came to a close. It is one of the best shows on TV and even after a year and a half off it didn’t disappoint. Think Johan Santana (except for that Yankee episode). Spoiler Alert: I have yet to see the final episode so don’t ruin it for me. Did Don Draper get shot? Oh no, that was the Monty Burns cliffhanger after season six of The Simpsons. Anyway I thought it would be fun to list some mad men from baseball over the years. Some of these guys are considered mad because they are nuts and others are mad because they are full of anger, like our very own Angry Ward. I hope you enjoy.

Al Hrabosky – Known as The Mad Hungarian, this guy had it all. Anger issues and bats in the belfry. He sported a fu manchu, which made him even more menacing. His pre-pitching ritual of rubbing up the baseball behind the mound was like watching a mad scientist in the lab.

The Bird Cleans Up His Nest

Ty Cobb – By all accounts he was a racist with insane anger issues. If you need any proof he was suspended indefinitely in 1912 for jumping into the stands and beating a heckling New York Highlander fan within an inch of his life. To make matters worse the fan had no hands so he could barely defend himself.  Needless to say Ty won that battle… hands down.

Mark Fydrich – When you decide to talk to the baseball on the mound you have to considered nuts. Plus the crazy blond afro put him over the top, especially when he was on his hands and knees patting down the dirt around the mound. Died a few years back when he suffocated while he was working on a tractor on his farm. So first he boughtthe farm, then he BOUGHT the farm.

The Spaceman Cometh

Carl Everett – He has had many run-ins with the law, but that could happen to a sane person too. What makes him unique is that he takes The Bible literally, famously being quoted that he doesn’t believe in dinosaurs because they weren’t in The Bible. I don’t think he believed in child services either until they came to take his kids away while he was playing for the Mets.

Bill Lee – The Spaceman was a pretty damn good pitcher but completely out of his mind.  Well, he was certainly crazy like a fox and never bit his tongue on any subject. The most recent example is his quote upon hearing of George Steinbrenner’s passing: “Steinbrenner’s dead? Good, I always hated that guy.”  Amen Spaceman, amen.

Jimmy Always Was A Little Backwards

Jimmy Piersall – The biggest nut job of them all and the subject of the movie Fear Strikes Out.  He was diagnosed as being bi-polar during his career but his behavior was off the charts.  Was sent to the minors in 1952 after spanking a teammate’s child in the Red Sox clubhouse during a game.  Fought with players and fans alike on the field and even circled the bases running backwards after hitting his 100th homer as a member of the 1963 Mets.  I guess those Mets were really ass backwards to begin with.

Stay tuned tomorrow for our favorite mad man, Angry Ward.

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