Sox and Violence

when the White Sox signed convicted wife beater Wil Cordero last week, manager Jerry Manuel told his players they’d “probably be the most disliked team in baseball.” Why stop there? This may be the one arena in which the Sox can finally win. A few strategic moves before the trading deadline, and the Sox could become the most reviled team of all time!

DH: Wil Cordero k The Sox say Cordero will play first base, but he’s only done that before in one major league game. Better he should be the designated hitter. Cordero’s first wife claimed in divorce papers that he beat her, once while she was pregnant. Last June, his current wife called 911 at 2 AM begging for police. Cordero grabbed the phone and hit her with it. Later, as police led Cordero away, he hissed at his wife in Spanish. She translated for police: “He said he’s going to kill me.” In an ESPN interview, Cordero grinned and said nothing had happened and he didn’t need counseling. He later pleaded guilty and got a suspended sentence with a 40-week counseling course.

First Base: Mo Vaughn (Red Sox)

k Acquitted of a DUI this year even though he admitted to drinking at a strip club before driving home at 2 AM and crashing his pickup into a car in the breakdown lane.

He emerged unscathed–yet officers reported he couldn’t say the alphabet or walk a straight line.

Second Base: Roberto Alomar (Orioles)

k Spit in umpire John Hirschbeck’s face during a 1996 argument. After he’d had time to cool off, Alomar blamed Hirschbeck for being “bitter” because his seven-year-old son had died three years earlier from a rare disease.

shortstop: Tony Phillips (unemployed) k Bring ‘im back! The Angels let him go last year after Anaheim police caught him in a motel room with a loaded crack pipe and lighter. He usually plays third, but a strange lack of deviant shortstops forces him into this position, which he played for three years with the Oakland A’s.

Third Base: Wade Boggs (Devil Rays) k Rather than settling a 1988 palimony suit quietly, Boggs insisted former mistress Margo Adams wouldn’t “get a red cent” from him. He dragged his wife, nine-year-old daughter, and toddler son through six months of sordid headlines (including a Penthouse photo spread of Adams) before settling out of court. Boggs blamed the four-year affair on his sex addiction, which he diagnosed himself after seeing a Geraldo Rivera show on the topic.

Left Field: Albert Belle k Keep ‘im! Some say Cordero’s arrival means the Sox will trade Belle. What a mistake that would be. Among his many qualifications, he allegedly used his Ford Explorer to chase down some Cleveland kids who egged his condo on Halloween, hitting one kid, who sued. Belle settled out of court. Last month he reportedly told a child seeking an autograph, “Get the fuck out of my face.”

Center Field: Bernard Gilkey (Mets) k Plans to plead innocent to a DUI. Last month, police said Gilkey was driving erratically and without taillights at 1:30 AM, smelled of alcohol, and was given three chances to touch his nose but hit his mouth instead. He told reporters he’d made a mistake–“driving with no taillights.” Later, surrounded by Mets officials, he redefined the mistake as “driving after having a couple of beers.”

right field: Jose Canseco (Blue Jays)

k Pleaded no contest to assaulting his latest wife in November. According to police, Canseco grabbed her hair to better hit her face and head. Back in 1992, he got community service and counseling for ramming his car into a vehicle driven by his first wife.

Pitcher: Dwight Gooden (Indians) k Suspended for half of 1994 and all of ’95 after testing positive for cocaine. Last year Gooden settled out of court after beating up a cabdriver in Texas and refusing to pay the fare to his hotel from a topless bar.

Catcher: A sufficiently sinful catcher could not be identified for the Dream Team. One wonders, however, if catchers instead incite bad behavior in others. Can you name four Cy Young winners who are convicted felons?

–Cate Plys

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): baseball player photos-uncredited.