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What Exactly is a Clubhouse Cancer?

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  • What Exactly is a Clubhouse Cancer?

    I hear this term mentioned often. It's usually tossed around by people when disecting a player having a down year. Is this simply something people use when maybe statistics don't support their argument that the said player must be traded, not traded for, not signed as a FA, etc?

    I think it really came to me when I hear ARod is a cancer. I had to step back. When he became a Yankee, wasn't he the better of the two shortstops when it came down to he and Jeter? He moved over to a different position without a squeak of dissatisfaction. He knew and we all knew, that this move would disable him from the chance of being known as the best SS ever to play - as he was on the pace for it.

    What exactly is a clubhouse cancer?

    Here in my town, it was Pat Burrell when fans finally saw he wasn't going to be the next great thing. It was also Bobby Abreu. Scott Rolen? - yep. Jason Werth once everybody realized he wouldn't be resigning? Sure.

    This bugs me a bit. It seems to give those who absolutely despise statistical information free realm to trash players simply based on their gut - and usually their gut is wrong.

    Rolen should have been catered to IMO instead of how the Phillies ran business. With Burrell and Abreu, okay they played enough that we had a window to see they hit their limits. Werth? Our genious GM here in town discombobulated any chance of extensions when he went public during the signing period mentioning Werth in the past tense already

    But I've heard other players mentioned in this same vein. Eric Bedard comes up - and I've heard nothing but great things about him the past five seasons. Enough to the Orioles to try to get him back a few years ago and Seattle bidding to retain him. If a guy's that bad, would his past teams still be so enthusiastic about getting him back?

    I just wonder, what drives fans to target a player as a "clubhouse cancer"? Is it because it's an easy out that can't be quantified by what said player's done on the field?

    I'm sure every city has their own, and I'd like to hear what drives this.
    "Chuckie doesn't take on 2-0. Chuckie's hackin'." - Chuck Carr two days prior to being released by the Milwaukee Brewers

  • #2
    John Lackey is a guy who gets called a "Clubhouse Cancer" quite a bit. I associate the term with a guy who has a bad attitude, and spreads that attitude to other players. I dont think it really has much to do with on-field performance or stats, although when a guy is having a bad day or year is when you really start to see the poor attitude show through.

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    • #3
      It was classy of Alex Rodrigez to let Jeter keep his position but if it was any other shortstop thats not gonna happen. I think he's a cancer because he's a prima donna and I think he's a bit of a phony. Just like Sammy Sosa was. I see a guy like Pujols and I really think he cares about his teammates and winning and I feel his teammates notice that too. I don't think players like Rodriguez and Sosa types ever realy cared about teammates. I think those types are in it for image only.

      I saw Rodriguez on the top steps when Ibanez hit his homerun but of course he's gonna do that, he knows better to sulk and sit at the end of the bench. I could be wrong but it wouldn't surprise me if Rodriguez was upset that Ibanez hit that homerun.

      I think the Yankees were better off when Scott Brosius, Robin Ventura or Wade Boggs were there.
      "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

      "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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      • #4
        AJ Pierzynski when he was on the Giants
        1. The more I learn, the more convinced I am that many players are over-rated due to inflated stats from offensive home parks (and eras)
        2. Strat-O-Matic Baseball Player, Collector and Hobbyist since 1969, visit my strat site: http://forums.delphiforums.com/GamersParadise
        3. My table top gaming blog: http://cary333.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Bobby Bonilla is a definition of a clubhouse cancer, particularly his second tenure with the Mets. It was a combination of poor performance and attitude.

          Also, the Mets are still paying the guy until 2035.
          The Mets have the best, smartest fans in baseball.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
            AJ Pierzynski when he was on the Giants
            I've heard some stories about AJ's year with the Giants. But he went to Chicago from there, and has been a fixture on the South Side for seven seasons with no real problems, although that may be coming to an end.
            They call me Mr. Baseball. Not because of my love for the game; because of all the stitches in my head.

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            • #7
              I think Frank Thomas was a cancer on the Whitesox. I know Paul Konerko couldn't stand him. I'm pretty sure Guillen and Kenny Williams made sure Thomas wouldn't be on the 2005 WS team. I think they felt he was a distraction.
              "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

              "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by chicagowhitesox1173 View Post
                I think Frank Thomas was a cancer on the Whitesox. I know Paul Konerko couldn't stand him. I'm pretty sure Guillen and Kenny Williams made sure Thomas wouldn't be on the 2005 WS team. I think they felt he was a distraction.
                "Clubhouse cancer" is a phrase used for a good player on a team achieving less than its perceived potential. All too many fans seem to think that physical talent is an unimportant part of sports so they devise criteria that have little to do with performance and more to do with their perception of people that they don't even know.

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                • #9
                  The 30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History.
                  (in their opinion)
                  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...seball-history

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Steven Gallanter View Post
                    "Clubhouse cancer" is a phrase used for a good player on a team achieving less than its perceived potential. All too many fans seem to think that physical talent is an unimportant part of sports so they devise criteria that have little to do with performance and more to do with their perception of people that they don't even know.
                    True but alot of times these guys think there bigger than the team they play on and Frank Thomas definitely was one of those types. The Chicago media used to print these storys in the paper all the time about how hated Sosa and Thomas were in the clubhouse.

                    It's gotta wear a team down to a point, I mean look at what Sosa used to do. He would blare salsa music in the clubhouse and nobody was allowed to play any other music unless he said it was ok. The Cubs were fine with this because he was their golden child. I think it was Kerry Wood who got so mad about this that he smashed his boom box to pieces.
                    "(Shoeless Joe Jackson's fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning." -- Connie Mack

                    "I have the ultimate respect for Whitesox fans. They were as miserable as the Cubs and Redsox fans ever were but always had the good decency to keep it to themselves. And when they finally won the World Series, they celebrated without annoying every other fan in the country."--Jim Caple, ESPN (Jan. 12, 2011)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ipitch View Post
                      The 30 Worst Clubhouse Cancers in Baseball History.
                      (in their opinion)
                      http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1...seball-history
                      wow half of that list were cubs players. is that guy a little biased?

                      Wasn't ted williams also supposed to be quite complicated? I heard he only cared about his own hitting and had a difficult relationship with fans and media.
                      I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dominik View Post
                        wow half of that list were cubs players. is that guy a little biased?

                        Wasn't ted williams also supposed to be quite complicated? I heard he only cared about his own hitting and had a difficult relationship with fans and media.
                        He did have a difficult relationship with fans and the media but from what I read in Monville's biography he got along with his teammates fine He was particularly good friends with Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio, and Bobby Doerr.

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                        • #13
                          The first guys who come to mind are Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds.
                          My top 10 players:

                          1. Babe Ruth
                          2. Barry Bonds
                          3. Ty Cobb
                          4. Ted Williams
                          5. Willie Mays
                          6. Alex Rodriguez
                          7. Hank Aaron
                          8. Honus Wagner
                          9. Lou Gehrig
                          10. Mickey Mantle

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                          • #14
                            I always think of chewing tobacco.

                            As far as players Dick Allen seems to have that phrase tagged on his back, usually in conjunction with the question "why isn't he in the hall."

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                            • #15
                              Rogers Hornsby probably fits the bill too. For a player of his tremendous ability, he sure got traded a lot.
                              My top 10 players:

                              1. Babe Ruth
                              2. Barry Bonds
                              3. Ty Cobb
                              4. Ted Williams
                              5. Willie Mays
                              6. Alex Rodriguez
                              7. Hank Aaron
                              8. Honus Wagner
                              9. Lou Gehrig
                              10. Mickey Mantle

                              Comment

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