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The LCG’s Inaugural MLB All-Crazy Team

Oh Captain, My Captain

Some might call them volatile. Others prefer the term “fiery” be associated with their personalities and behaviors. Personally, I just call them flat-out craaaazy. You know the guys. The players whose respective fuses perpetually seem seconds away from ignition. The players who go off at completely unexpected moments, causing announcers, fans and managers alike to scratch their heads in wonder as to what exactly led to their detonation. The ones who media label as “troubled,” “enigmatic” and “mercurial.” Or, like we said before, the crazy guys.

Not that all of these dudes are evil or anything. On the contrary, they often display some of the same behaviors we love to see in players – competitiveness, hustle and a don’t-back-down mentality. There are also plenty of times when these same folks just go off and completely lose their minds.

In their honor, we’ve compiled our inaugural “All Crazy Team.” You’ve heard about the All-Madden team, this is the same, only completely different. OK, rules. For now, we’ve kept our focus exclusively to active Major Leaguers. Meaning, if you’ve maybe beheaded a cat or something along those lines (but no longer inhabit an MLB roster), you are, unfortunately, ineligible.

Enough preamble…

What is it about outfielders? Their crazy credentials are just off the charts. In fact, we think we could put together an entire outfield whose mental stability could rival any other currently active threesome in pro sports.

Elijah Dukes, Washington Nationals (OF)
Dukes instability is rather legendary. He’s attacked, threatened or traded spittle with managers, journalists and, most notably, his girlfriend and her children. Apparently, he’s immensely talented which is clearly evident from his sick stats in D.C. this season. Sorry, Elijah. I didn’t mean it…honestly…

Milton Bradley, Texas Rangers (OF)
Bradley most recently made headlines for going after Kansas City Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre who made comments that implied Milton might still need to get his head straight a bit. Milton’s going after Lefebvre following the game probably didn’t do a whole lot to change the announcer’s perceptions. Reality with Milton is that despite immense talent (he is having a tremendous season), his crazy resume is quite (un)distinguished. There’s something about MB that makes you want to pull for the guy, but he just seems ill-fated.

Jose Guillen, Kansas City Royals (OF)

Frank Robinson, a manager who actually liked Guillen, claimed he could “blow up in a second.” Since manager Mike Sciosia pissed Jose off during his stint in Anaheim, Guillen has claimed he “wants to kill” all the Angels every time he plays them. He also described Sciosia as being “like a piece of garbage.” Perspective is always good. Speaking of which, The Big Lead captures the angry essence of Mr. Guillen fairly well.

Paul Lo Duca, Washington Nationals (C)
Forget the teen affairs and the fondness of the horsies. Perhaps Pauly didn’t always exercise the the best judgment, but such is not necessarily evidence of a a crazed man. You want to see deranged? Ask any Mets fan who watched LoDuca engage in a few of his most heated confrontations with home plate umpires. Those eyes. You simply don’t see looks like that from sane men. Period.

Gary Sheffield, Detroit Tigers (1B)
We had to put Sheff at first, because, frankly, our outfield is just too damn crowded. Plus, if we stuck him out there with Guillen, Dukes and Bradley we thought the laptop from which we are composing this post might spontaneously combust. Unlike others, we think Shef is kinda sneaky crazy. Sort of like our All-Crazy skipper (stay tuned, it’ll be shocker!), Sheffield often makes you wonder if his craziness is all just a well-choreographed act, a clever ruse, artfully crafted to achieve a very specific objective.

Regardless, he said about his days in Milwaukee: “The Brewers brought out the hate in me…I was crazy man.” Don’t believe him? Read some more of that quote and plenty of other gems that give some credence to the crazy tag, compliments of the ole’ 100% Injury Rate (from back in the day).

Julian Taverez, Milwaukee Brewers (RP)
A trip down crazy lane with the excitable middle reliever compliments of Deadspin’s Will Leitch who enjoyed(?) the unique experience of rooting for Tavarez during his time in the ‘Lou (while simultaneously holding his breath every single time he took the mound — for good reason). You see, because Tavarez is nuts.

Carlos Zambrano, Chicago Cubs (SP)
Z has earned a spot on this list based on more than his fair share of on-field antics and dugout blow-ups. You know it’s bad when the Cubbies hometown paper’s blog said the following earlier this month: “Zambrano has been relatively sane this year, until recently…” Never a good sign when those words appear in print, but a surefire way to get yourself on our All-Crazy Team.

Ozzie Guillen, Chicago White Sox (MGR)
If you were choosing a skip for this team, how it could not be Guillen. The only other candidate might be ejections record-setter Bobby Cox. But we think Bobby just gets bored a lot and figures he might as well get an early shower. As for Guillen, we realize people either love him or hate em. We fall more towards the love side of the equation. That said, he’s still got a screw or two loose for sure and some of his comments can only be characterized as borderline crazy talk.

So LCG readers, who else should make the roster? We clearly need some infielders. Stacking the arms wouldn’t be hard with guys like Farnsworth out there, and we’re sure A.J. Pierzynski would be an acceptable back-up to LoDuca in terms of relative instability. But what are the pieces needed to truly make this team unforgettable? Hit us up in the comments.

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  1. CWEJAY!!!!!

    June 19, 2008 at 10:32 am

    wheres 2nd and 3rd base? you goons

  2. Cecilio's Scribe

    June 19, 2008 at 10:36 am

    thanks for the comment. See final paragraph where we say: “We clearly need some infielders.”

    we’re also missing a SS. we’re looking for help and participation.

  3. Bernie

    June 19, 2008 at 10:51 am

    Is Turk Wendell still pitching?

  4. Cecilio's Scribe

    June 19, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Nah, Turk would have been a lock for the All-Time team. As a Mets fan, he was always one of my favorites. Shark’s teeth and all.

  5. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 10:53 am

    How is Jonny Gomes not on this list? That guy is insane.

  6. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Scott Rolen at 3rd after douchebagging his way out of STL and Julio Lugo at SS for smacking his old lady around. Delmon Young is worth mentioning for outfield consideration as well. And maybe call up Jose Offerman and Izzy Alcantara from the Indi Leagues for bench support.

  7. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Carl Everett should be mentioned somewhere here. Isn’t he still playing in the international league, or prison perhaps? That guy was nuts.

  8. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    How about Jose Offerman? Charging and hitting a pitcher with a bat is crazy in my book.

  9. Cecilio's Scribe

    June 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    i believe everett may in fact be playing in the california penal league.

  10. Oscar p

    June 19, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    how about that alcantara guy who after gettin a pitch inside karate kicked the catcher then went after the pitcher and the rest of the team!! i know you guys seen that video!

  11. pink

    June 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    jose lima. the crazy soab deserves to be on the list, if hes around that is. not sure where he is.

  12. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    How about A-Rod?…(classic schizophrenic) He turns into a completely different person in the playoffs.

  13. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    …and don’t forget Nomar with his OCD routine before his at bats.

  14. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    This guy has to be on the coaching staff…

  15. Anonymous

    June 19, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Jimmy Piersall is the Babe Ruth of craziness. For your reading pleasure…

    On May 24, 1952, just before the game against the New York Yankees, Piersall engaged in a fistfight with Yankee infielder Billy Martin. Following the brawl, Piersall briefly scuffled with teammate Mickey McDermott in the Red Sox clubhouse. After several such incidents, Piersall was sent to the minor league Birmingham Barons on June 28. The final straw came when Piersall spanked the four-year-old son of teammate Vern Stephens in the Red Sox clubhouse during a game.

    In less than three weeks with the Barons, Piersall was ejected on four occasions, the last coming after striking out in the second inning on July 16. Prior to his at-bat, he had acknowledged teammate Milt Bolling’s home run by spraying a water pistol on home plate. Piersall then moved to the grandstand roof to heckle home plate umpire Neil Strocchia.

    Receiving a three-day suspension, Piersall entered treatment three days later at the Westboro State Hospital in Massachusetts. Diagnosed with “nervous exhaustion,” he would spend the next seven weeks in the facility and miss the remainder of the season. According to his autobiography, Piersall blamed much of his condition on his father, who pressured him to succeed as a baseball player as a small child.

    Nevertheless, not only would Piersall return to baseball by the opening of the 1953 season, but he finished ninth in voting for the MVP Award. The next year he became the Red Sox’s regular center fielder, taking over for Dom DiMaggio and playing well enough to remain a fixture in the starting lineup through 1958.

    He once played game in a Beatles wig, led cheers for himself in the outfield during breaks in play, and “talked” to Babe Ruth behind the center field monuments at Yankee Stadium. In his autobiography, Piersall commented, “Probably the best thing that ever happened to me was going nuts. Whoever heard of Jimmy Piersall, until that happened?”

  16. Anonymous

    June 20, 2008 at 7:23 am

    In fairness, Lo Duca’s eyes may have been steroid induced.

  17. Anonymous

    June 20, 2008 at 9:19 am

    A few infield recommendations: Jose Offerman…yeah, I know he doesn’t play, but he attacked a pitcher with a bat. Kevin Youkilis is so nuts, his own teammate slapped him two weeks ago. You could have put Ozzie Guillen at SS.

  18. Balls Mahoney

    June 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Delmon Young is a glaring omission after the minor league incident with the umpire, and Brett Myers is a first class wife-beater…but the player that you missed that prevents this article from being on point is Scott Spiezio.

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