6 Most Hated Atlanta Braves Players (since 2003)

The Atlanta Braves have had a lot of likable players over the years. Unfortunately, they've had a few hated players that brought more sorrow than joy to fans.

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Atlanta Braves fans have had the fortune of watching a lot of likable players over the years. From stars like Chipper Jones, Freddie Freeman, and Ronald Acuña Jr, to some of the lovable bench players like Guillermo Heredia and Charlie Culberson. Unfortunately, the Braves have also had a few unlikable players.

Some Braves players have been disliked for their performance, but some of these players have done much more to land them on this list of the most hated Braves players since 2003.

The most hated Braves players in the last 20 years

6. Yunel Escobar

Escobar was an incredibly talented SS when he first got called up. During his first three seasons in the bigs, he was an above-average offensive and defensive player. However, in his final season with the Braves, things unraveled quickly.

Escobar clashed with teammates, the coaching staff, the front office, and probably even the official scorers. This public clash, of course, didn't sit well with fans either.

When Escobar was traded in the summer of 2010, the player who he was traded for, Alex Gonzalez, received a standing ovation in the clubhouse.

From a production standpoint, the Braves would've been better off keeping Escobar over Gonzalez, as Escobar contributed 5.8 fWAR with the Blue Jays, while Gonzalez only contributed 1.0 fWAR, but the organization didn't seem to care much.

5. Marcell Ozuna

If you had told a Braves fan in 2020 that Marcell Ozuna would be on a most-hated list in 2023, they'd be shocked. Not only was he having the season of his life, he had invented multiple celebrations in the Braves clubhouse, including the mix-it-up celebration.

If you had told a Braves fan where Ozuna ranked on this list before the season began, they'd ask you why he wasn't higher. Since his first season with the Braves, the DH has been arrested twice, once for domestic violence and once for a DUI, and has been a liability on the field and at the plate.

At least until the beginning of May. After struggling to begin the year and receiving some of the loudest boos at home a Braves player will ever get in Atlanta, Ozuna started to turn things around at the plate. Since May 1, Ozuna has slashed .294/.364/.545, good for a 142 wRC+.

He's also been credited by both Matt Olson and Michael Harris II as someone who helped get them out of slumps.

He's still disliked by the majority of Braves country, but he has definitely got himself out of the top spot of this list by being a team player.

4. Robert Fick

There are likely a few of you who don't even recognize the name "Robert Fick". If you do, however, you probably hate him. Despite having a stacked lineup in 2003, with Chipper Jones, Gary Sheffield, Javy Lopez, Rafael Furcal, and Marcus Giles leading the pack, John Schuerholz and co. decided to fill 1B with mediocracy.

Fick had been the lone All-Star for the lowly Detroit Tigers in 2002, but he made it as an outfielder with a 105 wRC+. The 2002 Tigers didn't have a single batter with a 2.0 fWAR, as well.

Before coming to Atlanta, the first baseman already had a reputation in the league, as he was once at the forefront of a brawl that left Keith Foulke needing five stitches under his eye. Fick was suspended for five games.

Fick had been released by Detroit despite his All-Star nod, and the Braves signed him to a one-year deal to play 1B in 2003. During his lone season with the Braves, he slashed .269/.335/.418, good for a 94 wRC+. He only had a 0.9 fWAR, however, which was tied for ninth among hitters with Russ Ortiz, the pitcher.

This wasn't what earned the hate, however. In Game 4 of the NLDS, Robert Fick slapped Eric Karros' forearm as he tried to reach first on a bunt. Fick refused to apologize and was fined $25,000 by MLB and an undisclosed amount by the Braves.

Fick was released at the end of the season.

3. Garret Anderson

If you were on Talking Chop (now Battery Power) back in the day, you probably know what FUGA stands for. As a California/Anaheim/Los Angeles Angel, Garret Anderson was a solid player. He was a three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger winner.

As a Brave, he was a liability.

Slashing 268/.303/.401 (83 wRC+) isn't optimal but if you can play solid defense ala Andrelton Simmons, no one will bat an eye. But if you're also a statue in LF while also slashing these numbers, you're going to draw the ire of fans.

He did manage to get his 2500 hit with the Braves, but even then there was no reaction by the fans. At least one Braves legend looked up to him.

2. B.J. Upton

One of the worst contracts in Braves history – although Bruce Sutter had a steal of a deal – B.J. (Melvin) Upton (Jr.) just didn't have it from the start.

After completing his third straight season with a 3.4 fWAR or higher, Upton signed a five-year, $75.25 million deal with the Braves before the 2013 season. He'd go on to total 2.1 fWAR in the next four seasons and was released by the Blue Jays before the final year of his deal expired.

Upton only spent two seasons with the Braves, but he was worth a cumulative -0.9 fWAR during his time with the Braves. He struck out frequently and was ejected several times for called third strikes that were probably strikes.

He was booed by Braves fans during and after his tenure, but at least he had a few cool moments with his brother, Justin.

1. Melky Cabrera

The only reason B.J. Upton isn't the most hated Brave in the last twenty years is because Melky Cabrera exists.

When the Braves acquired Cabrera, along with Mike Dunn and Arodys Vizcaino, they thought they getting a dependable, switch-hitting outfielder.

Instead, they got a "pudgy" player who wasn't interested in playing for the team. He'd have his worst season as a Brave, hitting .255/.317/.354 (77 wRC+) and playing horrible defense en route to a -1.5 fWAR season.

But, after being released following the 2010 season, Cabrera continued to torment Braves fans.

Not only did he immediately improve with the Royals the following season, he had the best season of his life with the Giants in 2012 (with some help from some PEDs).

When he visited the Braves in 2012 as a member of the Giants, his antics drew the ire of fans and players alike. He pretended to throw balls into the stands, taunted Jason Heyward, and had a crotch chop celebration gesture he pulled out multiple times. When Eric O'Flaherty brushed him back in the eight, it got a loud reaction from Braves fans.

Chipper Jones told the media:

That’s Melky, and that’s why he’s not here anymore. He got a little happy when (Gregor) Blanco hit the home run. It won’t be forgotten.”
Chipper Jones (AJC)

The silver lining of Cabrera's existence for Braves fans was his PED suspension. Not only was he cheating when he was playing Atlanta in 2012, but he was also drawing up a convoluted plan to get out of the suspension that dropped a month later.

In an attempt to persuade MLB of his "innocence," Cabrera created a fake website and a fake product to "prove" he didn't knowingly use PEDs. MLB didn't buy it, and his ploy was uncovered and revealed to the public. He allegedly spent $10,000 on the website.