As pathetic as the Nationals have been, their short existence in DC and the expectance of their inteptitude has led to this being our only worst jersey list being under 10, because frankly, we can't come up with any others.
Again, the criteria for our list is a jersey that would make fellow fans either:
-Think the guy wearing the jersey is an idiot
As before, please note that any jerseys that are funny bad are not included. Jerseys are is listed in reverse order (least terrible to most terrible):
9) Brad Wilkerson #6 - Not something horrible, but a reminder of a guy who seemed to have so much promise and now is in baseball oblivion.
8) Alfonso Soriano #12 - He had a fine Nationals 'career', but his presence contributed to a team going nowhere, and then Bowden was unable to trade him for anything, let alone anything useful. Just a symbol of the Bowden era that is tough to swallow.
7) Tim Redding #17 - He might seem a little out of place to you, but that is why I have a story. At the semi-tender age of 15, my friend's brother was at an MLB All-Star game party in Houston (poor guy, I know) and walking around with a pen trying to get some autographs from players in attendance. The room was filled with MLB All-Stars past and present. Everyone was having a jolly-good time until my friend's brother suddenly heard someone yelling at him from about 10 feet away: "Hey put that pen away! Some of us are wearing nice clothes, this shirt costs $300!" This rant appeared to creep out even the women at the party just looking for pro athletes to pay their child support, in addition to any normal person who heard the journeyman. Now, I know what you're thinking, Tim Redding was an All-Star?!?, not exactly, he just happened to be a member of the Astros that year, although that's probably not what he told the ladies. Tim, you idiot, that pen was only going near the good players.
6) Adam Dunn #44 or Ryan Zimmerman #11 "Natinals" - Just an embarrassment, and I know this has happened before to other teams/players, but just seems like the Yankees and Red Sox avoid this type of brain fart. This would be higher up the list, but has some ironic potential, so not all bad.
5) Ryan Church #19 - He is either anti-semetic or just a moron, but either way, supporting anybody who says something like that is a bad move.
4) Anybody on the team not named Zimmerman from 2005-2008 - This team was just terrible, and there was no one on the roster who brought any hope or reason to purchase their jersey. Anybody buying one of these jerseys is also clearly new to being a baseball fan, so just unknowledgeable, or switching teams to support, so lacks loyalty. Either way, this jersey is a direct indictment of the person wearing it. The Montreal Canadians have 'The Holy Cloth', but maybe this was 'the damned cloth'.
3) Ryan Zimmerman(n) #11 or Jordan Zimmerman #27 - In case you missed it, both of these are spelled wrong, and this is not an uncommon occurrence for a team whose best 2 young players until a certain #1 pick signed have long last names that are proncounced the same, but spelled 1 letter differently. DC Sports Blog had something on this with pictures, but I can't find it.
2) Lastings Milledge #44 - A once-possible face of the franchise, but not exactly the type of guy you want leading your marketing efforts. He stunk, will continue to stink, and is a symbol of faded hopes. You hear that Elijah Dukes?!?
1) Vinny Castilla #9 - An abysmal contract that never seemed like a good idea. As soon as this was signed, it foretold of numerous bad decisions by Bowden that have led to this team being an absolute joke since arriving in DC.
-Cristian Guzman #15 - If not for the past couple seasons when his BA spiked, he would DEFINITELY have been #1. This contract seemed worse than the Castilla one when it was signed; he was literally possibly the worst regular hitter in MLB history until last year.
-Elijah Dukes #34 - There is still some promise, but he is running out of time to figure this thing out. And by thing, I mean life.
Looking back, this list is just sad, not as anger-inducing as the others. I think the general disinterest in the Nats keeps me less emotional; my hopes haven't gotten high enough yet to be crushed.
As always, bring on the debate about the list!
(Image courtesy of totalsports.com)