10. CARLOS PENA
Maybe this isn’t fair, but in our opinion the contact-challenged Tampa Bay first baseman was the player most responsible for the Rays wasting all that great pitching and missing the playoffs by three games. Because they knew Pena, the Rays went over budget and spent $7.25 million — the second-highest salary on their team — to bring him back to provide a desperately-needed middle-of-the-order power bat. Instead, Pena, who had averaged 28 HR and 82 RBI the previous two seasons, had the lowest batting average in baseball (.197), the third most-strikeouts (182) in the AL, and dropped to 16 HR and 61 RBI. Most egregious, however, was his ineptitude from April 30-Aug. 7 — the period Evan Longoria was out when the Rays went 41-44 and fell from first place to third. In 87 games over that span, Pena hit .178 and slugged .329 with 11 HR and finally had to be benched by manager Joe Maddon.
5. STARLIN CASTRO
Welcome to the Turkey List the most undisciplined player in baseball. The Chicago Cubs’ second-year shortstop, who was nevertheless rewarded with a seven-year, $60 million contract, was among major-league leaders in three dubious categories in 2012 — errors (27), caught stealing (13) and mental gaffes. During the course of three games in June, Castro was (1) thrown out trying to steal second because he had stopped halfway after thinking the batter had fouled the pitch off, and (2) took a flip from second baseman Darwin Barney for what should’ve been the start of a double play then casually jogged to the dugout thinking there were two outs. That was the last straw for Cubs’ first-year manager Dale Sveum, who benched Castro for a game and publicly chewed him out. The Cubs may have committed their future to Castro, but so far he has shown himself to be a player you’re never going win with.
2. MELKY CABRERA
Melky we hardly knew ye. The fun-loving, exuberant ex-Yankee turned himself into a bum of the highest nature when, after being named MVP of the All-Star Game, he tested positive for testosterone on Aug . 15, and was subsequently suspended for 50 games and not brought back by the Giants for the postseason.Worse, however, was Cabrera’s attempt to cover up his guilt by having a friend, who works with his agents, Seth and Sam Levinson, devise an elaborate, phony supplement website, which then brought federal investigators into the case. Still, just to show in baseball no bad deed goes unrewarded, Melky signed a two-year contract with the Blue Jays worth approximately $16 million.
Posted: November 25, 2012 at 08:29 AM | 11 comment(s)
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