The Week in Worst: Athletes behaving badly

Jim Rogash

MLB is heading into the World Series and the NFL is heading into the middle of the season. Thankfully, there are still plenty of bad plays to be found.

The World Series is nearly upon us. The past week saw the conclusion of the two MLB Championship Series, so as you might imagine, the best remaining baseball teams were attempting to play some of their baseball. To their credit, the bad pitches in baseball were far less bad on average than during the regular season. But don't worry; there was still a lot of bad stuff mixed in there.

More importantly, this week was Week 7 of the NFL, with many teams in midseason form of awful. In particular, the New York Jets stood head and shoulders above (below) most other teams and nearly made a run at the All-Crap performance that the Oakland Raiders turned out in Week 6. But fear not, Raiders fans/detractors: the Silver and Black will pop up here as well.

Here are the worst plays in MLB and the NFL for the week of Oct. 15-22. Coming soon: basketball!

Worst Pitch (Location)

Pitcher: Jeremy Affeldt

Date: Oct. 18

You would think there would have been a lot more lousy pitches this week, but teams were, like, trying to win baseball games or something. Weird. The San Francisco Giants had a couple of interesting Week in Worst moments in a blowout earlier in the week. First, Jeremy Affeldt threw this pitch:


Then later, he threw this pitch.


Hector Sanchez is not Buster Posey. He doesn't even know where the baseball went! Luckily, Affeldt is there to direct traffic.

"Hey! Over there, jerk! No, your OTHER left!"



Worst Pitch (Result)

Pitcher: Phil Hughes

Batter: Delmon Young

Date: Oct. 16

Result: 113.9 mph home run (speed off bat)


Of all the weird and unlikely things that happened in the 2012 baseball season, Delmon Young being named the ALCS MVP was right up there. During the four-game sweep by the Detroit Tigers, Young drove in as many runs as the New York Yankees scored in the series. This solo homer off of Phil Hughes has so far been the fastest home run of the 2012 postseason.

Fun fact: Delmon Young is 27 years old. That is absolutely unbelievable.

Worst Swing

Batter: Brandon Belt

Pitcher: Kyle Lohse

Date: Oct. 17


The correct answer to this category, of course, is "Hunter Pence." The answer is always "Hunter Pence." Now that Aaron Rowand is no longer with us, Pence has the worst swings in baseball. And it's every time he swings the bat. 90% of the time he's nowhere near to where the ball is going. But it's 1) a little on the nose and 2) impossible to divine which of his terrible swings to single out as the worst.

So rather than GIF every last Hunter Pence swing of the postseason, here is Brandon Belt feebly swinging over a whatever-the-hell-type-of-pitch-Kyle-Lohse throws.

Worst Defensive Play

Player: Eduardo Nunez

Date: Oct. 17


In the final two games of the ALCS, Eduardo Nunez was pretty much the entirety of the Yankees offense. Which is good, because most teams prefer their shortstops to be able to get the ball from behind second base to first base on MAXIMUM one bounce. Bad form, Eduardo.

Worst Missed Tackle


Date: Oct. 21


Okay so this is a pretty awesome play if you're a New Orleans Saints fan. One of the best plays of the week, perhaps. But if you're on the other side, it's really hard not to notice how insufferably terrible the Tampa Bay Buccaneers performed on this play.

First, Mark Barron flies right by, catching a glancing clothesline before stumbling out of frame. That's just the amuse-bouche for the main course that is Eric Wright, who not only can't just push a guy down who is hovering precariously above the turf. Instead, he goes hurtling nuts-first into the helmet, then gets a Ric Flair-style high back bodydrop that seems more unlikely each time you watch it.

Worst Decision

Player: Carson Palmer

Date: Oct. 21


Probably uh ... probably should have just taken the sack there, Carson.

Worst Pass

Player: Mark Sanchez

Date: Oct. 21


Okay, so here we go, getting into the nitty-gritty of the amazing (awful) week that the New York Jets had. Mark Sanchez is the star of the show here, as you might expect, although he'll get some help from his supporting cast.

First up is a regular punt of a throw that appears to be a deep bomb directly to Alfonzo Dennard of the New England Patriots. It's unclear whether this was an Alex Smith-style "try to wing it to your guy in the end zone but humorously don't have enough arm strength" or just your run-of-the-mill "wow, you're pretty bad at this." But either way, it was glorious.

Worst Dropped Pass

Player: Stephen Hill

Date: Oct. 21


This time Sanchez wasn't at fault! This play gets worse and worse the more context you have. This would have been a first-down and a red zone possession for the Jets, who could have taken the lead late in the fourth quarter. Instead, it was fourth down and the Jets had to settle for a field goal to tie. The Jets would shortly thereafter lose to the Patriots in overtime. How did you feel about that, Stephen?


Yeah. Think about what you've done. Think about it from this closer angle. Then think about it from the reverse angle. Maybe you should think about it in slow motion and maybe you can tell me why your legs did that. Why did your legs do that? You have so much to think about!

Worst Fumble

Player: Mark Sanchez

Date: Oct. 21


And this one IS Mark's fault. In fact, this is how the Jets lost the game! Of all the times you can fumble the ball, you probably shouldn't fumble it on your first possession in overtime after the other team has scored. In fact, that is precisely how you lose a game. The Patriots-Jets game was easily the most Jets game of the year and it ended the only possible way that it could have.

Worst Television Graphic

Network: NBC

Date: Oct. 21


Hey, there's a new James Bond movie coming out. How can we shoehorn that into Sunday Night Football as hamfistedly as possible?


/wins 27 Emmys

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.