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Four Houston Astros Among Thirty Most Hated in MLB

We are now five seasons removed from the Houston Astros using a trash can banging scheme to steal signs in games, and we are over two full seasons removed from the punishments handed down to the Astros by Major League Baseball. Their sentence — seven figure fines and loss of first and second round draft picks for a couple years — has been served, and their debt has been paid.

However, the hate from around baseball may never go away. It’s hard to measure how big the grudge is for fans around the game of baseball, as, in the ballpark, all we can do is gauge the decibel level of the boos for Jose Altuve. However, the digital realm DOES help quantify things, and for that, we turn to Twitter, where recently BetOnline.ag gathered all of the negative tweets about MLB players for the first two months of the season, and generated the list of baseball’s biggest villains.

According to the number of tweets that include negative and/or hateful phraseology, here is the list of the top thirty most “hated” MLB players:

click to enlarge GRAPHIC COURTESY OF BETONLINE.AG

Graphic courtesy of BetOnline.ag

OK, now a few observations as it pertains to this list:

Jose Altuve hate is not going away anytime soon
First, let’s not bury the lede — Manny Machado has somehow managed to maintain the profile of the most hated player on Twitter, despite playing for a nice little, second place squad in a mid-level market. He spent most of his career before that in Baltimore. That is a serious hatable vibe you’re putting out there, Manny! As for Altuve, despite the fact that most people seem to have come around on the fact that he didn’t participate in the sign stealing scandal, he remains quite hated, probably in no small part due to the fact that he is having an All Star caliber season. Sorry, baseball fans, the dude is just really, really good, and he digests your boos and catcalls like a sports car digests premium fuel.

Carlos Correa’s self-imposed exile to Minnesota has not diminished the hatred for him
If Correa were still on the Astros, he’d probably be in Altuve hate territory. As it is, he is still pretty high up on this list, fifth overall, despite a move to a souped up baseball Siberia up in Minnesota. (I say “souped up” because the Twins are actually pretty decent this season, leading the AL Central by 4.5 games as of this typing.) Perhaps the eye opening thing for both Altuve and Correa (along with Machado, Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer, the other three players in the top five) is that they are more hated than the Dodgers’ starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, who was recently suspended by MLB for two full seasons for alleged sexual misconduct.

Four Astros and two former Astros cracked the list
In total, the Astros placed four players on the list. We mentioned Altuve and the ludicrousness of him being second on this list. Alex Bregman was hated enough to finish 18th. The fact of the matter with Bregman is that his subpar numbers the last two seasons (in part, due to injuries) make him less relevant, and thus, less targeted for hate. If he were still putting up MVP numbers, like in 2019, he’d be in the top ten easily. The other two Astros to crack the list had nothing to do with the sign stealing, as Justin Verlander (29th overall) was a pitcher for the 2017 team, not a hitter, and Kyle Tucker (28th overall) wasn’t even on the 2017 squad. The two former Astros on the list are Correa, and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, who frankly should be much higher on this list than 30th overall based purely on being kind of smarmy and having a voice like Kermit the Frog.

The Astros are in good company, though
If you’re trying to maintain relevance, though, being mentioned in the same breath with blue bloods like the Yankees and Dodgers is always a good thing, and to that end, the Astros trail only those two teams, who each got five total on this list. Here is the breakdown by team:

5, DODGERS (Bauer, Freeman, Betts, Muncy, Turner)
5, YANKEES (Chapman, Donaldson, Judge, Stanton, Cole)
4, ASTROS (Altuve, Bregman, Tucker, Verlander)
2, PADRES (Machado, Tatis)
2, PHILLIES (Harper, Herrera)
2, METS (Scherzer, deGrom)
2, ANGELS (Trout, Ohtani)
1, TWINS (Correa)
1, BRAVES (Ocuna)
1, NATIONALS (Soto)
1, WHITE SOX (Anderson)
1, MARINERS (Winker)
1, BLUE JAYS (Guerrero)
1, TIGERS (Baez)
1, RED SOX (Story)

If this list proves one thing, it’s that it is virtually impossible to hate George Springer, whether he cheated or not, whether he is an Astro or a Blue Jay, Springer remains a saint!

Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.




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