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MLB Oddballs: The 20 Freakiest, Funniest Crackpots In Baseball

The Animal: Vance Worley

Illustrated for Maxim by James Bennett | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013 

You’re constantly talking on the field. For those of us who can’t read lips, what are you saying?
It’ll be “motherfuck” this, “motherfuck” that. One game last year I was really talking out there. “Motherfuck, shit, fuck.” I was striking out a bunch of guys, and the guys in the other dugout were whining about me talking. Fucking babies.
Do you play mind games with opposing hitters?
Yes. One of the guys I’ve had these games with is [the Mets’] Ruben Tejada, who is a really good player. I’ve faced him a lot in the minors and with the Phillies. Last April he came up, and I remember thinking, Take this motherfucker. I hit 94 mph on the gun, which I’d never done before. That was a lot of fun.
What kind of impact do all your antics have on the batter?
I think it helps. The more lippy I get, the more these guys probably think, Is this fucker crazy or what?

Jonathon Papelbon, Philadelphia Phillies Relief Pitcher
The Phils’ closer has said he gets so worked upM during games that he goes half-blind. He can’t sleep. He grinds his teeth. He gets paralyzing headaches. He seems like such a prick that we’re fine with all of it.

Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants Relief Pitcher
Is the Beard legitimately insane or just crazy like a fox? And do we care? No play­er is funnier than the spandex-tuxedoed “certified ninja,” who keeps a leather-clad gimp dubbed the Machine on call. Fear the Beard!

Nyjer Morgan, Yokohama DeNA BayStars Outfielder
The man known as Tony Plush has thrown balls at fans, charged the mound, and yelled obscen­ities on live TV. We love the guy, but we can’t say we’re surprised he’s playing in Japan in 2013. Come back Tony!

Ichiro Suzuki, New York Yankees Outfielder
The greatest Japa­­nese player ever gets his spot purely for his Yogi Berra–level words of wisdom. While the language barrier may be to blame, we have a sneaking suspicion Ichiro’s been fucking with us all along.

Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays Relief Pitcher
His hat’s crookeder than a D.C. lobbyist, his fastball has more heat than a Spring Breakers cast party, and his 0.60 ERA last year was skimpier than Giambi’s gold lamé thong. Sorry for the visual (again)!

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