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Arenado's Potential Departure Recalls Other Messy Baseball Divorces

Updated on March 1, 2020

Roger Clemens Left Boston After GM Duquette Mentioned "Twilight Years"


Colorado seems to be headed for an ugly divorce from its biggest star, third baseman Nolan Arenado. Discussions regarding a contract extension have broken down, and the club expressed the possibility of trading Arenado throughout the winter.

Perhaps that situation prompted the February 27 column at, "Remembering MLB History's Most Famous Breakups." Staff writer Chris Landers identified what he considered the ugliest departures, when a team's most recognizable player makes an unpleasant move to another club.

Among his ten choices were Frank Robinson's bitter feelings after Cincinnati traded him to Baltimore and Tom Seaver's unwelcome departure from the New York Mets, as well as Nomar Garciaparra leaving the Boston Red Sox. The most recent case involved Bruce Harper, who just last year spurned the Washington Nationals to sign a record contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Here are five additional ugly splits between star player and his team that were omitted from the column.

Scott Rolen and the Philadelphia Phillies
After spending the first eight extremely popular seasons of his professional career in the City of Brotherly Love, Rolen became bitter about his employer's reluctance to pay him what he considered his worth.

Alex Rodriguez and the Seattle Mariners
Ken Griffey's handcuffing insistence on getting traded out of Seattle made the list of Landers, but A-Rod's departure in favor of a lot more money from Texas might have made him more reviled in that city than even Griffey had been.

Brandon Phillips and the Cincinnati Reds
Phillips was the most popular player for over a decade with Cincinnati, and he loved the city so much that he refused every trade the rebuilding Reds had brokered for him. He finally agreed to go to Atlanta, but only after the Reds had made him a part-time player.

Dave Parker and the Pittsburgh Pirates
We Are Family was the theme for the Bucs team that won the World Series in 1979, but the close kinship became fractured when the Pirates struggled the following season. Parker, who was slowed by an injury that year after signing a lucrative contract, unfortunately suffered most from the wrath of the fans.

Johnny Antonelli and the San Francisco Giants
When the Giants left New York for the West Coast, no pitcher was embraced as dearly as this left hander. He won 21 games for the pennant winning team of 1954 but, after criticizing the difficulty of pitching in such a windy place as San Francisco, he was constantly greeted by booing from the home fans.

Just a few days after the Landers column appeared, and twelve years after finally being welcomed back to Candlestick at a 2008 old - timers game, Antonelli passed away at age 89.


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