Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ugly MLB Player Power Rankings

We here at MAMBINO consider ourselves to be fairly good people. After all, we do spend gobs of our free time cooking up this made-to-order content just for you, don't we? We try not to curse, throw around racial slurs or insult the feeble nature of women's sports,  although those thoughts might rumbling around in our head as loosely as the WNBA is based on actual basketball. 

However, as the Magellans of this sporting world, we have an obligation to leave no stone unturned,  no deserted island untouched or forbidden continent undiscovered, no matter how hideous the finding may be. Yes Mambinites. It's time for the Ugly MLB Player Power Rankings.
Months ago, we unleashed our Ugly NBA Player Power Rankings upon the world, and to this day it's a force that can't be stopped. Summoning together our collective disgust into a gigantic ball of heavy handed judgment, the esteemed council here are MAMBINO HQ came together with a tragic slate of NBA superstars whose faces were more mangled than a Joakim Noah free throw. Coincidentally enough, Noah's face actually resembled his own free throw, and thus, the Ugly NBA Player Power Rankings were on their way.
We've perused the much more expansive MLB active rosters (750 players are opposed to the NBA's 450), and come up with our indomitable top 10 list of the ugliest mugs in professional baseball.
Now please keep in mind the two simple rules here:
1) Any player under consideration has to be an active player on the 25-man Major League roster. DL players are eligible, but must be on the 25-man prior to his injury.
2) Any player under consideration has to be out and out UGLY, not just funny looking. For example, you might think that Carlos Ruiz is a little funny looking, but he's not doing a Elephant Man impersonation out there. He has to be ugly enough for your girlfriend to look at him and give an instantly "Ugh, who's that guy??"
So with those guidelines in mind, (in your best Lawrence Tanter voice) here.....we.....go!
1. Bartolo Colon
There's just so much to work with here. Literally.

What I love most about Bartolo is that the guy would travel around the globe to get stem cells put into his pitching elbow, and yet it looks like he hasn't put a green vegetable into his diet since 1987. Remarkably, this amorphous blob of flesh and hair that was stolen from Lionel Richie's family lineage has put a real mark on recent MLB history. In 2001, Colon was part of the infamous trade that sent him from Cleveland to Montreal for three prospects including future All-Stars Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips, as well as future Cy Young award winner Cliff Lee. A few years later, Bartolo was paid over $50 million dollars in funnel cakes by the Angels, only to win the Cy Young Award in the second year of his deal.

Yes, my friends, this person you see before you who more closely resembles the Batman villain Clayface than a paragon of athletic dominance was not only dealt for some of the best players in the league, but was actually one himself. You should be proud of yourself Bartolo. Despite the wandering eyes, salivary glands so active that it can't be contained by that pesky organic cage called "a mouth" and a body straight from the David Wells School of Competitive Slobbery, you've managed to be more than just a hideous footnote in baseball history. And you're number one in these [un]esteemed rankings. Congrats!
Most distinguishing feature: His doughly head that ranges somewhere between a melted Dominican candle with hair sprinkled on it and a child's drawing of Jabba the Hut.

Hope for a makeover?: "He needs to get rid of the turkey neck by losing 20 lbs or so."


2. Alcides Escobar
When I see Alcides Escobar, I get uncomfortable. Not just because of the vast potential he's squandered away - after all, the guy was the prospect centerpiece of the Zack Greinke trade with Milwaukee and has since been one of the worst every day players in all of baseball. It's that the guy looks like he's still going through puberty at age 26. The bad skin, braces and gangly frame all suggest to me that perhaps the Venezuelan pituitary gland swings into action 10 years behind the rest of the world's - kind of like the country's social and political infrastructure.

Of all the players on this list, it's Alcides that most reminds me of a hideous NBA player. His light body and long reach is ideal for playing shortstop, a position demanding of not just range, but speed and quickness. However, his physical ability in the game severely cripple his ability in the real world to fit in with society. 

Most distinguishing feature: That skin that looks like it belongs on an ad for your local sleazy dermetologist on the subway.

Hope for a makeover?: "Braces? For serious? Not sure if removing them would make a dif. Borderline hopeless."


3. Jack Wilson

Oddly enough, what Jack Wilson and Jack Skellington have most in common isn't their first names - it's their faces that mimic what a human skull looks like when not coated with that pesky muscle and flesh. I'm 90% sure that Wilson isn't the victim of a horrible fire or explosion, so even though we're making light of the accident of birth, I'm pretty excited that we're not making fun of another, more dangerous human-ignited accident.

My man Jack here is just not handsome, especially under a hot summer sun, sweating out bullets while manning the infield. He's always been a spectcular fielder, but his bat could never catch up to the Formula-One racecar that's his glove. Hopefully, his face will be able to catch up with the monstrosity that's his bank account - according to baseball-reference.com, Wilson's banked over $40 million in his career.

Most distinguishing feature: That skull-like face that makes him look like he should be playing for the Atlanta Cryptkeepers.

Hope for a makeover?: "His facial asymmetry is a problem. What's with the half smile? I keep wondering if the right side of his face can move."


4. Vicente Padilla
I'm really reluctant to criticize Vicente Padilla, the same as I am of anyone that had a warrant out for their arrest in the harmonious country of Nicaragua.  I was a bit more assured by the fact that it was only because he missed a child support hearing, but my fear came back tenfold when I saw this face again.
What's scariest about Padilla besides the fact that he's shaped like a Russian nesting doll, is that when he's staring down an opposing hitter, I'm not entirely sure if he's going to deliver a breaking ball, or the death blow. A guy that ugly, that serious and that Nicaraguan can't be safe on the mound.
Most distinguishing feature: The aforementioned Russian nesting doll body.

Hope for a makeover?: "No hope. He looks like a muppet. An unattractive one."


5. Brent Lillibridge
Every single day, Brent Lillibridge should thank God that Steve Irwin is no longer with us, because I'm pretty sure the Crocodile Hunter would have taken down a man who most looks like this creature.
Chicago's utility man resembles a scientific experiment gone wrong, like a clone of Frankie Muniz, but in a twist only borne of a Michael Crichton novel, had the DNA of a lesser primate to fill the gaps and VOILA! Brent Lillibridge. Going to US Cellular Field is kind of like visiting a beast in Jurassic Park, but instead of Dinos that emote fear, you have a left fielder that chips away at the sanctity of "man in God's image". In a league of goofy looking white fellas, Brent, here's to you!
Most distinguishing feature: His disproportionately gigantic eyes and ears. The guy would be the world's greatest spy, if not for the fact that his ugly mug would stick out like an American Flag tanktop in the Kremlin.

Hope for a makeover?: "The cap emphasizes the size of his ears. But if he were to let his hair grow out to cover them, he'd be okay."


6. Freddie Freeman

Atlanta's fantastic first baseman is a boy trapped in a man's body. Freeman has been a free-swinging slugger ever since his debut last season, hitting over 30 homers but striking out nearly once a game. At just 22 years old, he's got plenty of time to refine his game, cut down on the punch outs and become the full-born power threat that he's destined to be.

However, what's confusing about the ever-evolving Freeman is that he seems to have stopped the process of puberty just in his face amidst his development as a baseball player. Standing a fully-formed 6'5", 225 lbs, Freddie is your prototypical monstrous first baseman. But above the uniform and glove, lies the face of former British child actor Nicholas Hoult. The resemblance is stunning.
Most distinguishing feature: A face that looks like it's straight out of Manchester, England, rather than Fountain Valley, California.

Hope for a makeover?: "Sadly, I think that he is #1. Could be improved with "smile coaching". is he stoned?"

7. Juan Uribe

I know I'm selling out my own kind here, but let me be clear: by "own kind", I mean "Los Angeles Dodgers", not "guys who look like living  zombies".

As alarming as it is that Uribe looks like a bloated corpse, it's even more distressing to find out that he plays like one. Ever since hitting a two big home runs in the San Francisco Giants' unbelievable postseason run two years ago, Juan has only mustered 5 jacks and a miserable .214 batting average since coming over to Southern California. His once highly vaunted fielding has now become a liability, as injuries and age have somehow slowed down the newest cast member of The Walking Dead. Uribe's face is one of the most hideous in the league, which is completely befitting considering how awful his game has gotten.

Most distinguishing feature: A face that looks like it's been inflated with helium.

Hope for a makeover?: "Oh lose weight for sure. Also keep his mouth shut at all times, or get braces."


8. Jose Contreras

I'm not really sure how old Jose Contreras is. His official MLB documents claim that he's aged 40 years, but as we all know, information from that corner of the globe isn't exactly reliable. Whether it's Leo Nunez actually being a man named Juan Oviedo, or Fausto Carmona being born 3 years before his reported birthdate as Robert Hernandez Heredia, there's a lot of highly questionable info emanating from the Carribbean.

As murky and mysterious as Contreras' documents may be, I still can't tell how old he really is. Much like a mannequin in a storefront or a marble statue, my man Jose doesn't really look like a human being. He's got almost zero age lines on his face, and yet, doesn't look like a spry, youthful athlete. I'm almost as confounded with Contreras' agelessness as I am with the fact that he's remained in the majors for over 10 years. I wouldn't categorize him so much as "ugly", as I would "strange and freakish".
Most distinguishing feature: Besides that Michael Strahan impression he's putting between his front two teeth, it's probably the general look of anger from a face made out of limestone and granite.

Hope for a makeover?: "Sometimes I think a space between the two front teeth is charming, but i don't appreciate when there's a space and the teeth are two different colors."

9. Kevin Youkilis
Here's the thing with Youk: this is an improvement. Seriously. Years ago, this two-time World Series champion switched up the hair on his head. Though losing his MAN less gracefully as a 25 year-old than Jack Nicholson is as a 70 year-old, Youkilis stuck with his thinning hairline. Big mistake, but at the very least, it did distract us from the rest of his face. 

Youk 's parents somehow managed to combine the best assets of a bulldog, Rene Zellweger and Michael Chiklis, throw all those parts out the window  and combine their worst attributes to make the one-time MVP candidate on YOUR...Boston Red Sox. Over the year, like the thoughtful and patient hitter he is, Kevin switched up his look, cutting his losses, shaving his head and growing a large goatee where a jaw bigger than Fenway lies. My friends, this is an improvement. For real. And thus, the drop in these rankings.
Most distinguishing feature: Gotta be that grill.

Hope for a makeover?: "Weight loss. No facial hair. Rogaine"


10. Casey McGehee

Casey McGehee has carved out an incredible major league baseball career for himself, especially when considering that the guy most resembles one of the Lollipop Kids. Though he hasn't been honored with All-Star berths, postseason accolades or long-term contracts, he's been able to escape the typecasting of what scouts have called "not a baseball body, at all", and carved out a starting MLB job. What I think they're missing when they mentioned "not a baseball body, at all" was that he might  be a freakishly large munchkin, and those freaks certainly weren't meant to play baseball.

Most distinguishing feature: I think just generally looking like Charlie Brown, if he grew up to be a journeyman utility player in the major leagues.

Hope for a makeover?: "First, we take the muff off his chin...definitely, we do that first. His rosy, apple cheeks make him look like a young Santa Claus, but without any of the comforting, good cheer."


Dishonorable mentions: Livan Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, Dustin Pedroia, Alfredo Simon, Miguel Cabrera, Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto,  Edison Volquez, Jose Molina, Freddy Sanchez's Mole


Like these power rankings? Check out a couple of our others


White American NBA Player Power Rankings v. 1.0


White American NBA Player Power Rankings v. 2.0


Fictional Sports Movie Jersey Power Rankings

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