Every franchise has a few names that are culturally verboten, prone to provoke spitting or cursing whenever they're mentioned, regardless of the player's talent or how much he's done for a franchise. Some, like a certain never-Hall-of-Famer with an alliterative name, have more complicated legacies, while others, like a certain major-leaguer-turned-Survivor-contestant, will always be known simply as garbage human beings. There are all of those in the middle, as well, players who just never amounted to what fans expected them to be, players who became trade chips and then victims of circumstance, and so on.
Here are 5 of the most hated Houston Astros of all-time
The Houston Astros are a pretty old franchise that, especially in recent years, has had its fair share of controversy. Controversy always breeds dialogue, dialogue frequently breeds vitriol, and vitriol finds a way to persevere. Here are five of Houston's most hated players of all time.
We're starting off with a bang: former Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers, who played for Houston in 2015 through 2017 might be the most hated Astro by the team's own fan base. If 'Houston' and '2017' being so close together in this context worries you, it probably should.
In 2019, Fiers' revelation of the Astros sign-stealing operation to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of the Athletic sparked their investigation and led to the watershed expose that made the Astros the most hated team in baseball. Despite Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman being the only remaining Astros from their marred, championship-winning 2017 season, the scandal continues to make them an incredibly easy team to root against, even now.
Wider reactions to Fiers' betrayal of his former team were mostly positive, but he still drew criticism from noted guy-who-will-do-anything-for-his-team Pedro Martinez, who called Fiers a bad teammate. Whether or not it was the right thing to do in a broader moral sense, it definitely had consequences for the team Fiers left behind in Houston (he left the Astros to spend a short-lived stint in Detroit in 2018). Even if they weren't material (none of the Astros involved faced disciplinary action of any kind), the Astros' reputation was incontrovertibly changed by Fiers' reveal.