Baseball is generally viewed as a slow-moving, cerebral game. Many times players have to find things to do during agame to entertain themselves. The “hot foot” (wrapping a wad of gum around a burning cigarette, then sticking it to the heel of an unsuspecting teammate), and “bubble gum-blown bubble placed unknowingly on top of a teammate’s cap” are some of the more recognizable pranks that keep the dugout amused over the course of lackluster games.  But, who do suppose is today’s Biggest Goofball?

 

Bert Blyleven in 2008

Image via Wikipedia

There’s nothing wrong with millionaires in their 20s and 30s goofing around during a game, but some players just seem to constantly be doing it……especially pitchers since they are not every-day players. Recent Hall of Fame inductee Bert Blyleven was one of baseball’s greatest practical-jokers. One of his traditional pranks was to moon the photographer during the annual team photo. Also, don’t forget the beer-drinking, fried chicken-eating, video game playing Red Sox pitchers from last season who really took their boredom to the next level. Many Beantown fans blame their historical season-ending 7-20 collapse on this behavior, and new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine has already put an end to those shenanigans.

 

David Price

David Price (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

The Tampa Bay Ray’s 26-year old lefty David Price is one of  baseball’s biggest goofballs today. Watch any Ray’s game,and you’ll be certain to see Price in the dugout messing around and being childish when he’s not in the game. You may not agree, but I contend that he overdoes it. Frankly, I believe he has lost much of the competitive fire displayed during his rookie year. As the first overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt, he did have early success as evidenced by getting the starting nod in the 2010 All-Star game and being the Cy Young runner-up that same year. However, last season he fell to a very disappointing 12-13, often struggled with his command, and appeared to be more concerned about losing the toy version of his dog Astro during a roadtrip than anything else. Maybe he would have been a better “money” pitcher for the Rays in 2011 by taking the game a little more serious?

 

Price’s latest dugout stunt however has moved him straight to the head of goofball class! Drying his head off in between innings of a spring training game this past week, he actually sprained his neck and had to be removed from the game for precautionary reasons. Price tried to explain that, “the towel catches the back of my head and pulls my neck forward”. Are you kidding me, how do you do something like that unless you’re totally screwing off?? Rays’ ever-so-clever manager Joe Maddon responded to reporters’ concerns by saying, “David might need a better technique when it comes to toweling himself down. He’s been doing it for 20-some years now, but apparently doesn’t have it down yet”. You’ve got to love Maddon’s tongue-in-cheek comeback, but he also knows better than anybody that Price needs to grow up!

 

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