(Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
The holidays are upon us. On Thanksgiving, we here at The Stew have a lot to be thankful for. While baseball isn’t currently on television, the game appears to be stronger than ever. The rookie class was fantastic, Clayton Kershaw struck out 300 hitters and the Chicago Cubs are actually contenders again.
This being The Stew, though, we decided to take a different route to the latest Roundtable. Instead of telling you what we’re thankful for, we’re focusing on the biggest turkeys in the game. By that, we mean “a stupid, foolish or inept person.”
We’re sure you readers will have some opinions on this particular topic, so feel free to share them in the comments. With that said … here we go:
SAM DYSON, PITCHER, TEXAS RANGERS
Texas Rangers reliever Sam Dyson had a bad day at the office on Oct. 14, serving up an ALDS-clinching home run to Jose Bautista. His frustration after the game was understood, but his lecture to Bautista, who punctuated the homer with an epic bat flip, quickly turned him from postseason goat to lead turkey in charge of the fun police.
Bautista hit the biggest home run of his career in the biggest baseball game played in Toronto in 22 years. He’s an emotional player as is, but the circumstances and atmosphere that afternoon took it to another level. Bautista’s bat flip wasn’t intended to harm or offend. It was an emotional punctuation of a memorable comeback and a symbolic release of the frustration that haunted the Blue Jays for two decades.
Pardon Jose Bautista for getting lost in the moment. But sorry, Sam Dyson, no pardon for you or anyone else who wants to drain the fun and emotion out of baseball. (Mark Townsend)
JEFFREY LORIA, OWNER, MIAMI MARLINS
If we’d done this award in the past, the notorious Miami Marlins owner might be a dynasty at this point. But as it were, Loria is just a big ol’ 2015 turkey. Things looked so good for him and the Marlins too. Many people thought they’d contend this year, after an offseason haul that included Dee Gordon and Mat Latos and a huge extension for Giancarlo Stanton. But the Marlins disappointed — imagine that! — and that’s when it got silly in Marlinsville again. This team and this owner actually fired their manager and replaced him with their general manager. Who does that!? They still disappointed, but then did so laughably. As the offseason began, we’ve now heard stories about the front office bickering with ace Jose Fernandez and the meddlesome Loria being about ready to run Marcell Ozuna out of town too. It was all too good to be true — the Marlins turning things around and contending. They’re turkeys and it starts at the top. (Mike Oz)
[Related: It’s the BLS guide to surviving Thanksgiving]
(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
CURT SCHILLING, ANALYST
Think before you tweet.
This social media philosophy especially applies to former and current athletes when they dive into any topic that’s not sports related. Ex-pitcher and ESPN analyst Curt Schilling found out the hard way following his ill-advised tweet of a meme in August that compared Muslim extremists to Nazis. The brass in Bristol responded quickly, pulling Schilling from its coverage of the Little League World Series and removing him from ESPN’s MLB broadcasts for the rest of the 2015 season.
If you think Schilling learned something from his suspension, think again. He’s still a meme-posting machine and with election season right around the corner, it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself on a permanent timeout.
The one positive? The baseball world was introduced to a fresh new voice in Jessica Mendoza, who filled in for Schilling down the stretch.
And Curt, please don’t email me. (Marcus Vanderberg)
JONATHAN PAPELBON, PITCHER, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
It was quite the year for Jonathan Papelbon. While he finally made his way out of Philly, we didn’t really make friends in Washington. Papelbon found himself in the news for choking his teammate, and eventual NL MVP, Bryce Harper. He was suspended for the rest of the season for that incident, and also for an earlier situation involving him throwing at Manny Machado. The Nationals claim Papelbon will be back in 2016, but that might be because he’s completely ruined his trade value. The 35-year-old will still make $11 million next season, so he’s got that going for him. (Chris Cwik)
Who did we miss? Let us know in the comments. Also, be safe out there and enjoy your holiday.
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